Make-Shift Dining Room Hutch


Our kitchen is so teeny tiny that right after we moved in I realized that most of our kitchen items would need to be stored in the dining room. I planned on using the red credenza in there and I thought about painting it a really dark plum color.


Also, I didn't have a place in the brownstone to put the HUGE bookshelf from the loft's laundry room and it didn't fit down the stairs to the basement, so we had put it out on the curb, but only for about 15 minutes.


As I unpacked all of our kitchen stuff, it was pretty clear that my plates and bowls and servingware weren't all going to fit in the red credenza. So we hauled the giant (heavy) bookshelf back up the stoop and set it up on top of the credenza.


We were shocked and thrilled that it actually fit, but the ketchup/mustard color combo was not so appetizing to me. :) I thought about still doing the plum idea for the whole piece, but really, it is such a huge, huge piece and the room is so small, I thought a big block of dark color would overpower the space. So I decided just to try gloss white. But before I painted it, we secure the shelves to the wall and I added two pieces of wood to the base of the bookshelf to make the whole thing look less disjointed and more like a single piece of furniture. (We did a similar trick with our Billy bookshelves)


I used a 2x4 for the bottom of the base and a 2x6 for the tall part. I made a couple of 45 degree angle cuts with my miter saw, screwed the pieces together and caulked and filled the holes and gaps. 


I painted it all out with Rustoleum's white gloss enamel and I used a bit of my favorite Penetrol to help reduce the brush marks (this stuff really does work - as long as you use the recommended amount!).


I decided to leave the insides of the shelves the navy color from before and I like the contrast. I know it's busy - there are so many dishes in there! I've since edited and taken some of the things out, but really this space needed to be about practicality (isn't every small space?). I've considered adding doors, but you don't really see the contents of the shelves from any other angle in the room (and not at all from the entry). Mostly, it is SO nice to have easy access to all of this servingware and I love that my girls can easily grab the dinner plates from the bottom shelf to help set the table by themselves.





I like that the white sort of blends into the pale walls and helps to make the small room not feel even smaller. Though, some days (usually during breakfast, when the light is so pretty in here) I start to daydream again of painting the whole thing dark, dark, almost black, plum. We'll see if my better judgement holds out. :)




It's a fun challenge for me to figure out ways to make furniture from previous homes work in (very different) spaces. I'm usually tempted to get rid of everything each time we move, but it never really happens that way and I usually can find a way to make our old stuff work (which is probably for the best) :)

What have you done to make your old furniture work in new spaces?

70 comments:

House@heart said...

Great transformation!!
As I was reading your post and saw the hutch, I immediately knew you'd put it on top of the credenza. The whole unit now seems as it was there from the beginning, so that's nice!!
And that chandelier really blows my mind!!
Ozana

Calamity Jane Doe said...

Oh, I'm so glad you posted this picture! I was thinking they were peach. My screen wasn't reading the picture as well. Great call on stacking the pieces, and I like the white!

Beth Pearlman said...

Seriously, I bow down to you. I have never really attempted much of anything DIY. Although I recently used a glue gun to apply some fab greek key trim around my lamps in my master bedroom, ha!,that is about the extent of it. I am beyond impressed with your project, it looks fab. Thanks for sharing!
Beth
http://www.chicandglamorous.com

Emily said...

I love this, I'm now totally inspired to tackle an ugly bookcase from my husband's bachelor days...
Thanks for sharing
Emily

Stephanie Sabbe said...

oh Jenny, you've done it again. looks awesome!

Maria said...

Great job! It looks fantastic!

mom23 said...

It is a beautiful piece! Great job!

Sarah said...

How did you paint the inside of the shelves and have it look so clean lined? Did you lay it down? I've found that to be really hard before.

Sam and Ben's Mom said...

fabulous.

that red credenza is legendary and i see it all over the net. I'll miss it just a little.

Vu the Explorer said...

I'm mourning the end of the red credenza. I have one myself. I can't imaging repainting it (partly because it's a lot of work) mostly because i'm so not over it.

Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

It looks awesome and so much great storage. But I will admit I gasped a little when I saw that you'd painted the red credenza. I love that thing!

Ashley said...

Your red credenza has long been a favorite of mine, but it is so fun to watch you transform pieces over and over to suit your needs and new home.

I recently changed a vintage sideboard (that I had painted a cheery grass green for our kitchen) by applying lime wax. Now it has a new life in our living room: http://meetmeinphiladelphia.blogspot.com/2013/03/stripping-and-liming-vintage-desk.html

Jennifer @ Dimples and Tangles said...

Your piece totally looks like you walked out of a designer show room with it! I love that you left the inside dark, it really shows off your beautiful dishes. As fabulous as the hutch is, can I say how much I want a light just like yours? I was at an event at an old hotel (dated old, not good old) the other day and the conference room had four chandeliers exactly like yours hanging in it, and one in the hall. I totally wanted to make them an offer on one of them! I don't comment often here but read every post. Thanks for your constant inspiration. The way you think outside the box amazes me!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

What a smart idea. I love that you use what you have!

Tiffany Leigh Interior Design said...

Pretty brilliant if you ask me. And that chandelier still gets me every time.

barbara@hodge:podge said...

What a great idea, even though I am sad to see the red colour go. I have repurposed so many of our furniture as we have moved every few years. It is so fun to have the lightbulb go off when you have figured out how to fit everything into the new space!

I really love how the "hutch" looks!

sarah said...

oh, jenny, i will miss the red credenza....it was one of my all time fav pieces. i say go for a color....i think the credenza cries out for a pop.

Amy said...

You constantly amaze me! Your sense of design and your photography skills are astounding!

But I have a quick question, since you are constantly painting and repainting furniture I was wondering if you strip the furniture of the previous finish, sand and then repaint, or do you just paint over the previous color? Very curious to know.
Thanks.

Rikki said...

Hi Jenny, Love the look. I am dying for your dining room chairs. I have tried to search for chairs like yours but have come up empty. Would you be able to help me with key word searches or manufacturer? Thank you!

Carmen said...

I LOVED the red credenza - but you have geniously repurposed what you have. I love it! Everytime we move we have had to do similar things to make our space work.

I'm on team dark purple for the dining room hutch. Your use of color is so inspiring to me. It's fun to see you show retraint and editing your own work though. I like the process. Thanks for sharing!

projectpalermo.com said...

That looks lovely! Such a clever solution.

Katie Waddell said...

Absolutely fabulous Jenny!!!

Sasha said...

Absolutely love the transformation here! Would've loved to see a beautiful plum, but youre right - it may have darkened the room.

Still totally obsessed with the chandelier. I think its my favorite piece in your home!

Thanks for sharing!

xo,
Sasha @ sashapearl.blogspot.com

Shauna Mailloux said...

Beautiful! It's cool to see a hutch that is so unusually tall - the proportions go so well with your tall ceilings. I love the classic white, but I always ooo and ahh over your use of deep, dramatic colors, so I fully support the plum, too! :) And that chandelier...phenomenal!

Paige Beckett said...

That red credenza is my favourite DIY on your site and I've been searching for a similar piece. Were it white alone, I'd scream blasphemy, but with the added on "hutch", well, sigh, you once again prove that you can make anything look great :)

Laurie Swartz said...

Wow. Great post/transformation. I still don't know where you find the time for all these projects! I started to wince as I realized you painted over the red. But it was worth it.

Katie Anderson said...

I am so glad you got it back from the curb. What an awesome DIY. Your dishware looks gorgeous on display.

Hilary Dow Ward said...

JENNY! My word, that looks amazing!
Good for you!...and well done.
I am also glad to know about the paint treatment to eliminate brush marks. Yay for you.
HDW

jtc said...

Thank you for this post! I love seeing how you are making things change and work from one home to the next. I am always amazed at how fearless you are about re-working something. Please keep these posts coming!

Casey McCombs said...

What about painting the entire piece dark plum and then painting the shelf backs a lighter color? Personally, I'm in a "I want to gold leaf everything" stage, so I think that would look awesome too!

Paige Byrd said...

Great idea! Love the upcycling. And that dark navy really looks good as a backdrop for your dishes.

Angry Asian said...

this is lovely but i have to say, i miss the red credenza.

Ellen Mallernee Barnes said...

Great work- really beautiful piece! I'm so impressed with your woodworking skills especially. Love how you made this work for you and your family.

Shannon said...

I am trying to learn from all of your wonderful experience! Did you sand before priming? How many coats did it take to cover the red? Love all your projects!

simplymodernhome.com said...

Seriously?!?!? That. is. AMAZING!
And can I say your chandelier took my breath away as well. Stunning!!
Susan
simplymodernhome

Heather said...

Again, job well done! I'm curious, did you use a roller or a brush for this project? I am considering painting a dresser and I am not sure which tool to use....

New nest said...

You are *incredible* at making things look intentional and beautiful. I'm new to this blog and I'm just blown away!!

Elizabeth Downie said...

I don't get how you are even real!! I'm SOOO intimidated by the tools and supplies you use! You're my role model!

Tobe | BIA said...

I'll be honest - I wasn't digging the idea of repainting that credenza in all of its red splendor, Jenny. But it looks FABULOUS.

ashley rachelle said...

you beat me to the punch (i'm doing something similar in my daughters room). i love, love, love how this turned out. the white, the chunky trim at the base of the "hutch". it looks super high-end and amazing...per your usual! xo

-ashley
ashleyrachelle.com

Mel & Liza said...

Beautiful!!

Ginger said...

You amaze me! How do you do all of these amazing projects with three children running around?? I can barely get supper made :) Very cool piece of furniture!

Ashley Travers said...

It seriously looks awesome. It really doesn't come across as busy at all because a lot of the dishes are the same color. I love, love, love it!!

Hannah said...

Oh my goodness amazing. Way to make use of something that would have been trash!

Champagne Lifestyle on a Beer Budget

Kai said...

It looks wonderful and I'm a big fan of working with what you've got - but I have to admit I'll miss that beautiful red on the credenza. Every time I saw a picture of it, it made me happy.

Anne Golliher said...

You never cease to amaze me. Brilliant! Your blog continues to be one of my favorites stops each day. You have a gift.

Angie said...

I'd been curious about that red piece (more like: wishing I lived in NYC, so when you moved, I could just scoop up your goodies:) It's beautiful the way you re-used it, and the bookshelf. And I love that you have a lot of "stuff" (even if you did edit it a bit) in the bookshelf! Deep plum would be great with the light blues :)

Tassi Smith said...

How did you prep the credenza before painting? I can imagine it would be hard to cover the red.

fric and frac said...

Looks amazing! I love it open with your dish collection. I will miss the red credenza - one of my favorite projects of yours!

Lauren Monique said...

Love the hutch! I've been looking for one to refurbish recently and I find the glass doors too heavy and dated... Open shelves in a different colour are perfect!
{lamourcheznous.wordpress.com}

Anna Bazhaw-Hyscher said...

Plum, yes.

http://www.preciouslyme.com/ said...

Love the chandelier and I really LOVE what you did with the buffet!
It's completely different and so beautiful in black & white ♥

Penelope G. said...

What a great idea- and thanks for the tip about the stuff that makes brush marks go away.

I would probably put quarter round on the top lip of the faux trim around the base of the bookshelf... what do you think?

P.S. Where do you get your rugs?

thefolia said...

I'm loving it! Isn't that McDonald's line? However, they would have loved it before you painted it white. So organized--my kind of gal!
Happy Nesting!

Jessica Munroe said...

nooooooooooooooooo!!!! the red credenzaaaaaa. i'm dying, i loved that thing and i was too afraid to scroll any further to see. so sad!

junebug said...

This is pure genius, and the whole room is so, so lovely.

debi said...

While I applaud your ingenuity and skill in making the two pieces look like one...I'm kinda dying inside to see that amazing red credenza disappear!! Still one of my favorite inspiration pieces!!

Dad said...

While I applaud your ingenuity and skill in making the two pieces look like one...I'm kinda dying inside to see that amazing red credenza disappear!! Still one of my favorite inspiration pieces!!

Kelsey (Southern in Love) said...

It's nice to know other people felt a little sad too when your red credenza became white! I love the new look in the dining room, but I'm a just a little bit sad to know that my favorite red credenza is no longer that bright red.

Jenny at LGN said...

I'm cracking up that so many of you are mourning the loss of the red!! :) I was so ready to change that thing, guys! It's been red for like four years, which is pretty much an eternity in my typical furniture finish lifecycle. I get antsy for change pretty fast. :) Plus the Safety Red secretary is about six feet away from the credenza, so it almost feels like an homage to the old finish.

http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2012/12/entry-progress-bright-red-secretary.html?m=1

Sally said...

Wow! I absolutely *love* that light fixture! And the navy shelves in contrast to the white? Divine.

Bec said...

It looks great! I love love love that you think outside the box and work with what you have. That's true designer talent, I think!

onemess said...

What a fantastic idea! It turned out beautifully! And I am madly in love with that light fixture. The contrast is just stunning!

Anne P said...

Looks great!! I especially love the "trim" between the pieces to join the two. What do you think about adding a *very simple* crown to the top? Just a thought. :) Maybe it will help it look even more like one, I-bought-it-this-way piece? Either way, still a fun makeover!

Portland Sunshine said...

the hutch is lovely, but i just can't stop loving that chandelier the best. http://portlandsunshine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/chandie-love.html

Crystal said...

Beautiful makeover! I love the white with the navy interior shelves. But I could see a dark plum being very tempting.

Shavonda said...

Love it. Great revamp!

Julian Levi said...

I really love these mirrors... and other posts too thanks for sharing your blog. I am inspired by your posts... if interested you can find here amusing wall arts for your home decoration.

wall art canvas
sculptures for sale
metal wall art
wall art ideas

Elissa Romines said...

Jenny this is so beautiful!!! My husband and I moved into a 500 sq ft efficiency (after only 2 months of marriage-- yikes!) and I have had the same dilema. I have been torn over navy or coral for the inside and seeing the navy on your piece totally won me over. Love it! Thank you so much for sharing!

fahim ali said...

Hey!Thank you so much for your original post! Its was so helpful and I love the way these turned out! Thanks again!
Dallas texas furniture stores

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails