Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Making Furniture Match............

Many years ago all furniture in the same room had to match. You couldn't get away with throwing a cherry cabinet into a room filled with oak. Nowadays things are different. You can blend an eclectic web of painted items, various woods, wicker and even rod iron all into the same space and you won't offend anyone. The trick is to do it tastefully so it makes "sense" to the eye.

A few years ago I purchased a dining room set with a china cabinet. I wanted something very different and unique, not elegant nor traditional. Not an easy thing to find. Fortunately I picked up a set with a Spanish influence and loved it.

Now I find myself with a big problem, I really need a sideboard. I desperately need storage for things that I use in that room. It's been 6 or 7 years since I bought this set, so how can I possibly find something to match. I tried.............shopped.................looked.....................but nothing, not even close. What I needed was something that "wasn't going to match" because if I tried to match it, it was going to look horrible.

I stopped into a retail store called Grand Harbor a few weeks ago and there it was. The perfect piece but the wrong color!!!
The more I look at it the more I can't believe they painted the front rust and the top red! Red does not match anything in my dining room but the rust does, so there was only one solution-paint it! There were also a few small dents on the top so I asked the manager for a discount. He gave me 20% off the entire cost. It really pays to ask. This entire piece is made of MDF wood (that's the crushed and compressed wood). I guess the days of buying "real" furniture may be coming to an end. The sales guy told me that they are starting to use more and more MDF to make furniture to save our precious resources. I am all for that and the piece looks really nice.
Here it is with a new top color-walnut brown which coordinates much better with the colors in my dining room. The style of this piece is certainly not Spanish, but more of a dutch/country influence. Surprisingly it still looks very nice in the room and I now have plenty of extra room to store china, table clothes and other items.

The bottom line: You can buy something and alter it if you need to. This piece worked but the colors did not. You must be brave going in and remember......you can do it. No one wants to spend money on furniture and be faced with painting it, but if you want to make it your own you may have to do it. In this case, I had no choice but I'm happy that I took the time to make this piece fit perfectly into my room.01 02 03
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  1. I love that cabinet!

    I am having the issue of needing a "new" kitchen set with a hutch but it will probably be used. I am just going to paint it, $15 will make it all match :)

  2. Christy,

    You did a beautiful job! Not only is that a very rich, elegant sideboard but it also looks like it stores quite a bit.

    You really had a very impressive result! Is there a particular brand or finish that works well for this kind of project? Was it difficult choosing just the right color?


  3. Thank you both for your comments!
    Kim: a used kitchen set all painted up nice will be as nice as a new one if you do it right. Just remember to apply extras coats of polyurethane on the tabletop and sand in between coats.

    Marilyn: I always use Minwax products. In this case I used a flat finish so it wouldn't take away from the beauty of the cabinet. You are right...this cabinet really holds a lot!

  4. something very different and unique, not elegant nor traditional. Not an easy thing to find.

  5. my Mom was a designser, she would always tell me when I found something that I just loved but really didn't 'match' she would say every rooms needs a focal point and a conversation piece :)
    That is a great piece