Upgrading Our China Cabinet

When we bought this china cabinet for out kitchen a while back, we were so excited to finally have some extra storage in our kitchen. It only ran us $40 (plus the cost of paint) and it has served us well.

But. When we were decorating for Christmas, we needed a place to put the gold bookcase from the living room (since it sits where our tree goes), and we figured the kitchen was the best place for it. So we temporarily (or so we thought) relocated the china cabinet to the garage for the season and moved the gold bookcase into the kitchen.

The problem was, the Christmas season ended and I didn’t really want things to return to the way they were. I liked the bottom half of the china cabinet exactly where it was in the garage, and I liked it a hell of a lot more than I had liked it in the kitchen. I had been itching for something new in the kitchen for a while now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. So, Corey and I got rid of the top half of the hutch (we just tossed it out on the curb and a few hours later it had found a new home with a neighbor!) and let the bottom half stay where it was. We moved the gold bookcase back to where it belongs, and began the search for a new china cabinet.

I’ve been half-heartedly looking for something for several months now, and have been super disappointed with the lack of choices. We didn’t want to spend a lot of money, and we didn’t want something super traditional or boring. We’re pretty picky.

But apparently, it was meant to be. Just a couple of days after Christmas I did another search, determined to find something and I stumbled on the absolute perfect china cabinet. For $100. And I knew right then I had to make it mine.

So I did.

It’s significantly bigger than the old one, which I adore, and I’m actually loving the wood tones in here – it ties into the breakfast nook chairs so nicely.

We bought it with the knowledge that it would probably need a bit of work, but we have every intention of just living with it for a while before we make any alterations. For one, the bigger size means that our light switch for the breakfast nook is covered up. We don’t use it very often, so it’s not a huge deal – for now, we have a little plastic hanger sitting on top of the hutch that we use to reach behind it and flip the light on if needed. Long term? We’ll cut a hole in the back of the hutch so it’s easily accessed. We’ll have to open the cabinet to get to the light, but since we use it so rarely, it won’t be a bother.

There are also some spots on the side of the cabinet that are pretty banged up – it’s not a pretty look, and of course it just so happens to be on the side you can see all the time (if you look closely, you can kind of see them in the above photo – one near the top and two on the bottom half). Annoying. We haven’t figured out exactly what we’ll do to fix them, but I think we’ll start off with one of those stain pens and see if it will at least camouflage it. They don’t bother me too much for now – I never mind a piece that looks well-loved, so I’m hoping that the pen will be enough to make it blend in and look okay.

The back of the cabinet it (obviously) the biggest problem. Ew, right? The pattern and color are super traditional and, um, ugly, and I am definitely not a fan. We’ll eventually replace the entire back (it has a small hole in it anyways) and will probably paint it a fun color or something, but I don’t want to do anything that permanent until we’ve lived with it for a while and are positive we know what we want. But I also cannot live with that terrible pattern and color in my kitchen, so I had to do something about it stat.

Enter my leftover Christmas wrapping paper. Seriously. I measured the back, cut a piece of wrapping paper to size, and used some double-sided tape to toss it back there to hide the ugly. It’s not a perfect (or a long term) solution by any means, but it was free and I think it makes a huge difference in updating the entire piece. And now I don’t cringe every time I look at it. Which is a nice perk.

I’m obsessed with our new china cabinet, and I am so excited about how much more storage it gives us than the last one. Plus, we’ve still got the bottom of the old one the garage holding most of the same stuff it held before, so we even have some empty space in this one – which is definitely going to be helpful with all the new baby stuff in our house!

Have you upgraded any pieces in your house lately? How about some temporary fixes to make things tolerable until you’re able to fix them the right way?

9 comments

  1. Sandi says:

    I love the doors on that cabinet! It reminds me of the drawers Corey did last year. Makes me think he could replicate the look on your kitchen cabinets if you like the look. Everything you do inspires me.

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  2. Sam @ The Junk House says:

    Great find! I can’t believe it was only $100! I have a china cabinet that was my grandma’s and I know what you mean about all the storage space. It’s amazing! Seriously, you can never have too much storage space.
    Anyway, after almost 3 years of procrastinating, I finally painted it over Christmas break. So I totally get the temporary solution/living with it for awhile plan. Here’s how it turned out if you are interested: http://thejunkhouse.blogspot.com/2014/01/white-china-hutch.html

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    Amanda Reply:

    It looks fantastic!

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  3. Brooke says:

    I love the detail on those doors, and I’m so glad to hear that you aren’t immediately diving in to paint. It has so much character. I think what you’ve done so far looks great!

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  4. Jamie says:

    After adopting our daughter the bottom half of our china cabinet has turned into baby over flow! Extra diapers, wipes, formula…that extra space TOTALLY came in handy for us! hopefully you will find yours just as useful with you new little one!

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    Amanda Reply:

    Yes! I’m definitely thinking it will be super useful for the baby gear we’ll inevitably gather!

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  5. Jake says:

    I love what you did with the china cabinet. Simple ideas automatically make everything better.

    It really adds beauty to the room,

    Plus, I want to congratulate you on your new baby! :-)

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