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Before & After: Grandmother’s Vintage Buffet

Today’s before & after is all about reinvention. When my beloved grandmother Blanche passed away a few years ago, I was the recipient of a few pieces of her furniture, a buffet in particular.  A delightful shade of green, the buffet and the matching china cabinet (that still – to this day – smells like Grandmother’s house) have been sentimental to me, but also have proven to be super versatile.

But after several years of heavy use (not to mention the decades before that at Grandmother’s house!) the buffet was starting to look a little, well, sad. My aunt painted it back in the 60s or 70s and as much as I loved the green, I was wanting to make this piece a total showstopper. A little less country and a little more glam, if you will. Additionally, I am not a fan of any kind of faux finishing or faux aging, so the brown glaze that covered it was not my cup of tea.

The plan was to paint it a nautical navy blue with gold hardware.  Here’s the before (photo from right when we moved in – pre stripes on the wall!)

And the after!  Paint color is Martha Stewart’s Wrought Iron (which you’d think would be black?) at Home Depot.  Please ignore the dust bunnies underneath. I’m keepin’ it real, y’all.

The thing that was really going to make this makeover complete was the right hardware.  Simple and understated but in the right finish, I chose super-sleek hardware in a brushed gold (or brass, depending on your POV). The ring pulls are from LA Hardware (and also come in a ridiculously glamorous square shape, as well) while the bar pulls are from Lewis Dolin’s bar series.  Lewis Dolin also makes those pulls for refrigerators. Crazy fabulous. Can’t you just imagine those on a custom-facade fridge?

Runner on top is from eBay and is just a length of ikat fabric that’s unfinished.  Lamp is from Target (Victoria Hagan for Target from a few years back). Mirror was a gift. Rug is Madeline Weinrib.

It’s funny how emotional you can be about things. Admittedly I felt a certain pang as I brushed the first coat of paint over the original green, like it was sacrilegious or something. Simon asked me if I was going to paint the matching china cabinet and I shook my head. Nope. that’s staying as is for now.

But I do think that Grandmother would be pleased with the way it all turned out.  And I smile as I think about her every time I pass it.

Now my next step is to replace the semi-frilly light fixture to something not only more fabulous but also more functional. The teeny chandelier might be cute, but it puts off a terribly dim amount of light and isn’t quite the right piece for the space. Here are my picks for the entryway -

Sources (clockwise from top): Flower drum shade ceiling light (Shades of Light), Pagoda Pendant (Furbish), Simple Scallop Pendant (Circa Lighting) 

Whew! Makeovers are fun but they’re a lot of work!  What are your thoughts on the light fixture? What would you pick?

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  • BettyMod

    Totally agree about smells. I have some of my Grannies things that still smell just like her house. The buffet looks fantastic and is totally you. Thanks for all the house posts!

  • lili

    looks amazing!

  • http://hasel.typepad.com/ Allison Hasel

    It is fabulous! The pulls are the perfect finishing touch, it looks great! :D

  • scarletbegoniavintage

    Love the color and hardware. I have been keeping my eye on Craigslist for a dresser to style.

  • natalie bross

    I used to steal my grandpa’s plain white t-shirts to take home and sleep with because they smelled like his house. I now realize that smell is moth balls but love it nonetheless! :) Great makeover with the buffet!! LOVE the color!

  • http://twitter.com/DomestiKateBlog Kate

    I love the hardware and color you chose!

    • lulu240788

      I was thinking that too!