I will get to the china cabinet style refresh, but first…you have to hear the story about how we acquired it, so read on!
Some number of years ago the hubby and I were out garage saleing (YES he is cool like that, now you know why I love him!) and we came upon a sale that had all kinds of furniture. Bookcases, tables, end tables and…THE China Cabinet (swoon). It was love at first sight and I just had to have it!! It was handmade by the owner’s husband and he had carefully refinished it countless times over the years. We asked what the price was and the owner gave us the “I don’t want to sell it” price…you know that price, right? I was so bummed!! I really wanted that china cabinet darn it! We looked around picked up a couple of small items, paid for them and left.
After hitting up a few more sales in the area, we went back. We made the woman an offer on the china cabinet. She clearly didn’t want to sell it, but her husband had recently passed away and she was moving in with one of her children, she obviously couldn’t take it with her. Her daughter spoke up and told her she should let it go. I promised I would take very good care of it and leave it in it’s original condition (meaning no painting it). She finally relented and that china cabinet was ours!! We have had it now for about 6 years and it is still original to the day we bought it. The previous owner would be very proud.
That china cabinet has housed a variety of objects over the last 6 years, a depression glass collection my mother-in-law gave me, my collection of pitchers, and family photos. Inevitably in and among those treasures “stuff” would find it’s way in. I am talking screws, flashlights, buttons, nail clippers, door hinges, it was crazy the stuff you could find in there!! See what I mean?
All that stuff….ugh!!! I walked by it day after day and just tried to ignore it until I just couldn’t take it anymore!
So, on to the china cabinet refresh. I took everything out and cleaned the shelves. I thought about touching up the paint on them (because that would not have been breaking my promise of leaving it as is) but I decided to leave it in all it’s chippy goodness. Next I added cup hooks for those tea cups, by hanging them I gained an entire shelf!!
I added in the rest of Grandma’s china. That took a few different arrangements (I am a stacker when it comes to plates and such), table linens given to me by my mother-in-law, collected glasses and the ones my mother-in-law gave us so I could drink wine in style, and baskets on the bottom shelf to corral all of that aforementioned “stuff” so you can’t see it. The doors on this china cabinet meet in the middle with glass in each door so I had to make sure those treasured items were placed on either side of the middle so everyone would be able to see them.
Well, and of course I couldn’t leave the top naked, so I put the soup tureen up there with my old mirrored window that I repurposed using looking glass mirror spray like I did with this OLD DOOR, and some other old china plates. I think I am going to start collecting old plates (shhhh, don’t tell my hubby)…I have a project in mind for them using a pallet.
This set of china is a hand-me-down. It has 9 teacups, 11 saucers, 10 salad plates, 12 dessert plates, 11 dinner plates (3 are chipped), and 12 soup bowls. There is a sugar and creamer without lids, a soup tureen, gravy boat, serving platter, serving bowl, and another smaller serving plate. Some people wouldn’t keep this set of china because it is missing pieces and some are chipped, but that is part of the story for me! I imagine kids bumping into grandma as she sat at the table drinking coffee after Thanksgiving dinner with her sisters causing her to drop and break a tea cup or two over the years, Grandpa helped do dishes and chipped a couple of the plates (earning him a scolding from Grandma to be careful), and a plate was misplaced when it was passed on to her daughter.
That is part of the family history of this china along with the story of the husband that built this china cabinet for his wife and kept it like new for so many years just for her. I challenge you to get out that miss matched china and use it, make memories you will remember and add a story to that china before you pass it on to your daughter…that is what family is all about.
’til next time
~Susanne, The City Girl
Sharing with Vintage Charm and SNICKERDOODLE SUNDAY