A few weeks ago, on one of my routine spins through the Salvation Army around the corner from our apartment, I spotted this cool 1950s sideboard in great condition with plenty of storage.
Immediately, I thought of my close friend Austin, who'd been on the
lookout for something to keep all the vintage silver, serving ware and
linens she collects. Her taste is cool and eclectic—a great mix of
modern and traditional, so this piece I knew would be perfect.
Luckily, she wasn't too far away at the time, so she hopped in a cab
and came right over.
And as soon as she saw the piece, she loved everything about it! The modernist lines, the porcelain knobs, the sliding glass doors, not to mention every New Yorker's dream—the storage! Even the wood tone too would be so great in the new apartment she shares with her boyfriend Manny up in Sugar Hill. All that bang for 100 bucks, plus 50 for delivery? SOLD. The next day, just as things were looking a bit too good to be true…
…this is how the glass arrived! Now the Salvation Army may be a place for great finds at next-to-nothing prices, but don't count on White Glove service! Oh, well. We both agreed the piece still had so much potential without having to do much to it. After all, this wasn't going to be a paint job, just propping and organizing. Even if we had to get new glass for it, we'd still come out ahead.
And that's exactly what we did. The old doors that were broken we took to Clinton Glass on 9th as a template for new ones to be cut and drilled. 60 bucks. Not too bad, right? Especially considering how great it looks in her apartment.
Check it out! The new doors are in and the wood has all been conditioned with lemon oil. This piece really was in such great condition, and the wood itself is exquisite. Now as much as I love a coat of paint, we both agreed this piece was perfect as is. All it needed was a good prop job with all of Austin's stuff—the silver, china and linens she's been collecting for years but never had any place to put…until now.
First thing's first, though. The drawers were already lined with felt, so all it needed was a little light vacuuming. Austin, if you please. (Did I mention she moonlights as a hand model?) And with that…
Voilà! Salvation Army cheap turn china cabinet chic! Finally, Austin has a place, neat and tidy, to keep her growing collection of vintage serving ware. Notice how most of her pieces do tend toward the traditional but their casing is much more modern. The combination makes for a look that's interesting and eclectic, don't you think? I love classic things, as does Austin, but I always try to mix in modern elements just to keep it fresh. Speaking of, how fresh is all that white ironstone against the warm wood tone of the sideboard? Love too the white porcelain knobs! This piece is especially great to display china because there are already grooves notched into the surfaces to hold up platters. Even though the three on the bottom are not the same shape or size, grouping them together still forms a nice backdrop for everything on the buffet. The items behind the glass doors, like goblets, pitchers and casserole dishes, Austin uses everyday. Even the top too is a place to display collectibles, like pressed glass compotes, bowls and (my favorite!) cake pedestals.
Here's a detail shot with the glass doors open. Love that milk glass shelf! And how pretty is Austin's decanter, together with her collection of antique pressed glass goblets, all mixed and matched? Each is a little bit different, but I think they definitely work well together. All those onsies you find at flea markets, lonely without a set to match, are sometimes the best finds of the day! Think collection—harmonious without being matchy.
Here's a peek into the cabinet below. Bowls and round plates on top; oval platters and casserole dishes on the bottom. Everything is stacked and accessible, which is going to make all those dinner parties she's going to have so much easier. Saturday at 8:00 works for me; how about you?
And what's a sophisticated dinner party without vintage silverware and linens? Here's a peak into the drawers and all that dreamy storage. Silverware goes on top with felt to keep it from tarnishing; pressed linens and oddities in the middle; and stacks of small plates and bowls on the bottom. Talk about dreamy.
Give me a box (or drawer full) of silver, and I want a closer look. Here, serving pieces on the left; utensils on the right. Soup spoons with soup spoons; dinner forks with dinner forks; knives with knives. You get it. Problem is (and I'm guilty too) we all forget to do it sometimes, but it really does make planning for and cleaning up after parties so much easier if you just take the time to organize.
Austin's sideboard is complete, her china, silver and linens tidy and organized, so I'd say it's time for a party, wouldn't you? Now that the dining table and chairs (good basics from West Elm and IKEA) are back in place, you can see how the two wood tones work together. I think they make for an eclectic and modern pairing—a mix of vintage and new, harmonious without being matchy. And Austin, you'll notice, just got promoted from hand model to super model! Or should I say super hostess? (Taste her Meatballs and Sauce, a secret recipe from time spent in Italy and you'll agree!)
Finally, a close-up shot of a setting at Austin's dinner table—simple and chic. And talk about eclectic pairings! The dinner plates and wine glasses are from IKEA, while the vintage monogrammed napkins and Paris porcelain salad and dessert plates are from the flea market here in town. The antique silverware Jaithan and I found for her birthday on a shopping trip down in Miami. And so, whether mixing furniture styles or silverware patterns, wood tones or glass shapes, keep it simple and the results might surprise (and delight!) even the most super of hosts—You. Oh and speaking of, what do you love to mix and match in your home?
wow! what a fantastic post and an even better transformation! tons of great propping tips. it looks great and i love the mix of new and old – it’s definitely a look i’m into. the china cabinet looks great and i bet she’s extremely happy with the way it turned out.
as for me, i’m (finger crossed) moving into my new apartment this weekend which i plan on blogging about and i’m sure it will be a mixture of hi + lo, new and old….just the way i like it!
gorgeous! I am thinking of redoing my grandmother’s sideboard which is a horrible finish and has some nasty brass hardware.
I love this! So great to see a project from start to finish. And I’ve been wondering how you city dwellers store all of your thrift scores, too. Fantastic.
I am a lurker coming out of the shadows to tell you how much I admire your work. You are fabulously talented and I really love reading your blog posts every day.
Thanks for the inspiration – today’s especially. I am always struck by the freshness that explodes out of the mixing of old and new things. Hail to the King of Mixing!
Great post – I love seeing how other people organize and display items in their china cabinets – thanks for the look in the drawers! Also, I love the transformation of the cabinet from the thrift store to home.
Gorgeous! I would love to find something that beautiful at a local thrift store. No luck yet, but I will keep at it. Great arrangement of serving pieces.
Eddie I love how when I click on something you’ve italicized or underlined in your blog, like pressed glass compotes, it takes me to even more information. I am learning so much from you. I feel like a sponge! I’ve always been partial to anything with a stem. As you said, having the varying heights makes the best presentation.
I love the white of the dishes and the white of the knobs. Love. The piece looks great – and even with the doors – that’s a lot of look for the money. Bravo!
Love the “fluffing” or propping! Gives us a real how-to. Vintage silver looks so grungy in fleas, etc. Does the normal silver polish work well enough for us to use at table? Thanks mucho Eddie!
The cabinet looks SUPERB!!! Amazing what a touch of lemon oil can do! I love her collections and all that vintage silver! Great Job!!!
WOW! I love the transformation! Your friend Austin has such great taste – I love her collection!
I love cake stands and platters – I never buy them because I have no cupboard storage…. I never thought of displaying them – now I can buy them and show them off!! THANKS for this great and educational post Eddie!!
How about Saturday at 8 to come help me organize my place like that? 🙂 Again, you create something beautiful, what a great friend you are!!
Quite the transformation, love it all, especially the cakestands, that decanter on the top shelf , and the lined drawers for silverware. Mixing and matching the table settings is a look I adore!
I have been reading your posts and enjoying them enormously, but please be aware that the word you should have been using is “peek”, not “peak”.
I think your blog is so well done, but using the incorrect word detracts from the blog as a whole.
As Mr. Rogers said…”Won’t you be MY neighbor”!!!!!!! Fantastic job!
Oh I love it. All the white dining pieces look amazing in the case. Plus Austin looks very chic in dining room.
Wow, the lemon oil really brings out the warm wood finish. I Love how beautiful and sofisticated the whole thing looks and what an incredible price! Great post, Eddie!!
How do you feel about mixing wood tones in a room? I notice in the photo above, the new china cabinet is a lighter wood than the dining room table. We have a dark walnut/mahogany dining room table and curio cabinet that we’re mixing with modern white chairs, but I’m wondering what it would look like to add a second wood element. Would love to head your thoughts on this!
What a great friend you are! I am repeatedly struck by how beautiful and intriguing a room is when created with gradual acquisitions rather than bought all at one time, new. My home is furnished with inherited, thrifted and found items, united with color, fabrics and arrangement. I have lots of fabric and sew all the time, so can redecorate frequently — what fun! Thank you for generously sharing your experiences on your blog. You have a unique and talented eye, plus boundless energy, it seems.
Thanks for such a great post – enjoyed the follow up to your shopping trip. The piece turned out beautiful (love Danish modern) and her collections look so nice in it.
How can you tell she is your friend? All white everything? It’s the only way to go with dishes I agree! Love how you showed the step by step transformation! Fabulous!
Eddie,The vintage piece turned out Great. I love the display of all of Austin’s collections, it turned out Oh So Perfect. I have been on the hunt for ironstone platters and so far I haven’t found any but it is fun looking.Because of your inspiration I am finding myself going out once a week to the local Junque stores, thats french for Goodwill, haha, you know like Tarjay for Target. I digress. Love everything you do. Smiles Kathysue
I was waiting for the reveal and actually gasped with delight when I clicked on your blog this morning. As a former commercial prop stylist I so loved the way you made me want to own that piece of not-my-style-at-all furniture. You have soooo much talent, thanks for an inspiring start to my day!
As a fellow mix-and-matcher I’m always intrigued and inspired by your ‘new’ looks and projects. I’ve been collecting and redoing vintage since I was about 8 (Barbie had the most KILLER wardrobe!) I’ve evolved into a 4000 sq. ft. home that is a thrifter’s heaven…you’d love some of the finds that we in the Southwest have in our thrifts….amazing stuff really. Looking forward to many future projects…loved you on TD2…so fun!!! Oh, by the way, my fave word as of recent…’edit’.
that looks so wonderful Eddie!!! I would have never thought to mix a mid-century piece with classic ironstone and milk glass…it looks fab! my style is a mix of classic, country, modern, and eclectic…I’m kind of all over the map and just love really beautiful things.
Im hoping Santa brings me some antique silverware but Im worried about spending all of my free time polishing. Does the felt really prevent it from going black?
Can I be your friend? Love how you immediately thought of her and how perfect it looks, like a match made in furniture heaven. What a find!
Once again, lovely work.
Please come help me and my apartment 😉
Hope you are well,
i love the new cabinet in austin’s place- can’t wait to see it in person – and as the china cabinet’s grandmother i think she should have you, jaithen and me over for meat balls.
What a great piece you got for Austin…she was telling me about it last week…looks divine!
And such cute pix! Who took them?
Love you & your site. FYI I taught HS English for 25 years and didn’t notice your “peak.” I’d much rather you just put your ideas in and not worry about the proof reading. You have certainly improved my day, as I am getting rid of everything that doesn’t fit well, cannot dwell easily with an old lady in a wheelchair, or, sadly, must be dusted with a paintbrush and a Qtip. The Salvation Army where I live is getting some really nice things.
Thanks again for your bright and cheerful comments. It helps to know that my beloved things are going to others who will love and care for them. If I lived in New York, I would call you up and give you my enormous collection of flow blue.
I love the wood … no home should be without lemon oil !! It makes everything “new” again and it is most definately this thirft store / flea market lovers must have cleaning caddy item … scary thought – it is just like my pressed powder compact; I am never without that either 🙂 !!
Thank you for the great pictures … Eddie, is there anything you don’t do well ?? I especially love the shot of the open drawers. It is not only a lovely example to follow but a beautiful photograph as well.
I will be anxiously awaiting for the announcement of your next New York Flea Market Tour !! I hope you and Jaithan enjoy … don’t forget to take a moment, look around and bask in all the glory and adoration of your people 🙂 !! I will be sadly otherwise engaged wishing desperately I was there … being one among your people.
Thank you again for your brilliance,
New Canaan, CT
GASP! Love it. Austin’s collection looks like it was made to be with this piece.
I wish I were in town this weekend to join you on your escapades. I’ll be in Saugerties…on a treasure hunt of my own. 🙂
I love it! I find thoes all over in junk shops & thrift’s. Such a Danish Modern total 50’s look! As much as I would enjoy it painted, I still dig the wood tones. Even a muted green velvet lining for the shelves & backing to pop the display is great too.
Less then a few hundred bucks & a bit of work something wonderful can be done!
Eddie, that looks so fantastic! I’m sure Austin must be beside herself with glee over a find like that…and a Drexel piece, no less. I had that happen recently with a chest of drawers I bought, discovered it was old Thomasville when we moved it to haul it home.
All the ironstone & glass pieces look perfect on it & what a great piece for all that storage. You really have a great eye!
Have fun on that shopping trip this weekend, boy am I jealous!
That sideboard is to die for—it was gorgeous to begin with, and it looks even better when it’s all dressed up!
Right now I’m enjoying a mix of mid-century modern and granny chic antiques in my house—including a curvy tufted sofa in flaxen linen, contrasted with a danish teak chair upholstered in black vinyl ($10 at goodwill!)…I’m not sure the whole look is working yet but piece by piece it’s coming together!
Amazing work with the cabinet as well as the styling! 😉
Hard to believe that the piece came to life with just a little lemon oil and elbow grease. Great job. I’ll bet Austin is tickled to have all that great storage, and it looks good to boot!
Wow it looks amazing. It makes me want to pull out all my dishes and start stacking. Thanks for sharing the price with us. What a great bargain!
Just lovely! What a great find!
Looks really great I have the same set—hutch & sideboard plus matching credenza and a beautiful set of dining chairs with diamond inlay. It’s all solid walnut from the Drexel Declaration line designed by Stewart MacDougall and Kipp Stewart… in case anyone wanted the details.
Great transformation! Love the cabinet and Austin’s table is wonderful. And Austin, oo la la, what a beauty she is!!
Your friend is the luckiest person in the world. I love the look. Is this possible with a dry sink???
Well, Eddie, I certainly wasn’t disappointed! Great work…..as usual!
Austin looks very proud as she should be…..just in time for Thanksgiving, too!
I know this just adds to the chorus here, but wow! What a gorgeous transformation – a diamond in the not-so-rough, all polished up! The ironstone + modernism mix works beautifully.
In my ‘new old house,’ we’ve mixed wood – all kinds of wood, especially in the kitchen. Dark cherry, natural cherry, chocolate-stained oak and reclaimed pine. It breaks all the rules and makes everything warm. Eddie, I jumped here via Renovation Therapy, and glad I did. Lovely blog!
What a transformation! I would much rather have an older piece like this with character than something new. Austin will enjoy this for many years.
Eddie, I recently stumbled onto your wonderful blog and even though I’m an antiques dealer, I got such a childish thrill at your latest find! Not to mention, I also love to collect white ironstone.
Anyway, the unveiling was definitely worth the wait.
happened to wander over and noticed I have the same silverware set! except I use it for everyday because I love it. I just wish I had somewhere as pretty to store it!
Lucky lucky Austin!! She looks so happy and proud! Turned out beautifully – well done.
Once again you are brilliant!!
Hi Eddie! Found you through Rhoda over at Southern Hospitality. One question…if you even have time or care to answer…but is it OK to mix wood furniture with black furniture? I noticed that she has a black table and chairs but then put the wood sideboard in there. I am always staying clear of mixing woods/browns with black pieces but if it is OK in your book then I am not anywhere near concerned. Thanks! Love your style 😉
This was a great project. Modern pieces are so fresh and don’t clutter the collections! GREAT FIND!
I don’t like it – leaves me cold.
great story, amazing transformation and great presentation! 🙂
Just stumbled accross your blog yesterday and I am already hooked. LOVE your take on turning junk into treasure and finding those hidden finds. It’s the ultimate in Recycling and great style. As my mom always says, you can’t buy good taste! Thanks for inspiring me! Can’t wait to start hunting!
Great work, you just inspire me to do just the same… refurbishing old furniture.
Have you been turned down by other lenders?
I just found your blog and am so excited. I too am a Flea market DIYer, and have a lot of ideas, but need someone to consult with to pull it all together. I live in Enfield CT and work in Meriden CT, so I think I am relatively close to you. Do you do design consulting? I am redo-ing my living room, dining room, bedroom and master bath. Please let me know…but if not, I still really enjoy your blog and maybe can get enough ideas to pull it together myself.