Things I shouldn’t buy on Craigslist

January 29, 2009

….but am going to anyway!

Here it is: my newest (almost) acquisition:

Bottom half of built-in

Bottom half of built-in

Top half of built-in

Top half of built-in

Apparently, this piece came out of an old Victorian house on the Peninsula. It’s been sitting outside, and I’m going to have to head down to San Mateo to go get it, but the seller has priced it accordingly, so I’m excited!

We’re going to give Oakland’s own Mignonne Decor a try on this one—the owner Johnelle has a new furniture refinishing business that I read about over on the Oakland-based design blog More Ways to Waste Time. She’s game to try tackling this, and gave us a reasonable ballpark estimate, so I’m going to give it a go. (While I’d love to do this all myself, I learned from my experience with our breakfast room built-in that stripping and refinishing furniture are not among my skills….in fact, the doors to that one are still sitting in the kitchen!)

If you’ve been following along with my interior design sagas, you might’ve guessed that this is destined for our kitchen. Yep, that’s right—it’s the very first step in the long, slow kitchen remodel process! If rehabbing this piece works, actually, it will help make our kitchen project financially feasible. We’d be taking out our wall of awkward cabinetry and replacing it with this piece, probably freestanding. One challenge, though: we have eleven feet of wall space and need 32 inches for the swinging door to swing again and another 30 for the fridge. That leaves about 70 inches to work with—and this puppy is a whopping 82 inches wide! So somehow, I need to trim about a foot off….or come to terms with the door not swinging, but somehow I don’t think D. will go for that, since a major plus of replacing the floor is restoring the door operation.

So, next up: finding a good local carpenter who can help us fit the piece to the space before the handoff to Mignonne. This is tricky, since I’m trying to work within a budget of $1,000 for the full rehab of the piece, so there’s not much wiggle room….but I’m optimistic that the right soul is out there somewhere!



  1. Nice find!

  2. Hi,
    I think you mean Migonne Decor. Migonne Design does websites. http://www.mignonnedecor.com/

    Love the built-in! Should be fab when done. Will you leave it white, or have it stripped?

  3. Doh! Thanks for catching that—link is now fixed! It will be stripped (at least partially) and sanded, but then repainted, I think—white is a strong contender with the traditional feel, but I’m open to other interesting ideas. This probably came out of a kitchen or butler’s pantry where it would have been painted originally, so it’s likely made of paint-grade wood, but we’ll see!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: