Storage: we can seemingly never have enough in our home. We finished our kitchen a few years ago and the change from everything in plastic tubs under a block of wood on trestle legs to actual items in kitchen cupboards was amazing! I’ll never underestimate good storage from here on in. But we still needed more, so I started my hunt for a pantry-style freestanding cabinet with glass doors (which means it will be reserved for chic crockery only – but worth it!).
I started on local marketplace sites: eBay, Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree. At first it was hard to actually know what to look for! So I searched a few options and narrowed it down to ‘Welsh dresser’, ‘kitchen cabinet’ and ‘glass front cabinet’ – I then added this search to my alerts. I had to wait a few months to really find the best piece (like most great items – especially ones that fit in your home – I rarely find it online the day I decide to look. It takes time).
It was cream but had ‘good bones’ and was in excellent condition for £70. We had budgeted for £150 – as a brand new one can be upwards of £400 – so saved the rest of the money for decent quality paint. We borrowed a van to collect it and then, typically, it sat in our hall for a week or so because it was very heavy and we didn’t want to risk scratching the floors! We waited for Chris’s dad to help us carry it into the kitchen and we got to work. It was already lovely so it only needed an gentle sanding, a coat of paint, and then a switch over of handles (this is a top tip for a frugal update – simple handles can completely change the look of a cabinet/wardrobe – we changed the handles on the Dunelm wardrobe in our kids’ room and it looked totally different).
I wanted to paint it a different colour but with our kitchen already being a strong green (our cabinets are colour matched to Little Greene ‘Obsidian Green’) I was worried about another completely different colour being too overpowering. So instead, we decided to keep it tonal and go for a lighter green. We chose Little Greene ‘Aquamarine Light’ in Intelligent Eggshell and then the shop we bought it from (The House Winchmore Hill) recommended the ASP (all surface primer) from the range, which is a great primer (we always use a primer for woodwork), especially for those tricky slightly shiny surfaces.
The primer worked amazingly, and a year on, there are no knicks in the paint work at all! It took a few evenings to do (around kids) and this is probably three coats on top of the undercoat – inside and out! But I think it looks great and painting the inside a lighter colour really bounces the light around and means you can see the product inside the cabinet much easier (I originally wanted to paint it a contrasting dark colour inside but we tried it and you couldn’t see inside).
The last step was to change the handles (make sure the paint is really dry before doing this as it can pull paint away) – these are from my parents’ shop, Saxon Security – but you can also find on Etsy or local hardware stores.
We use this cabinet every single day and I love that I can see everything easily inside – it feels like it was always part of the kitchen and the best bit? It’s totally changeable – we can repaint or move into another room (maybe with some help!) at any time.