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A Buffet of the Non-Restaurant Persuasion

By June 27, 2011DIY, Frugality, Furniture, House

Buffet after clean-up

If you were on Twitter on Friday afternoon, you might have noticed that I was in full SQUEE over a buffet I had found on Craigslist. It was gorgeous, with beautiful original hardware and accents that match the general time period our house was built. I had to have this piece for our dining room — even if it ended up being nearly 45 (x2) minutes further away than I told Neil it would be. Surprise road trip!

Cookbook Affliction!

Until now, we’d been using two re-purposed bookshelves from our old study to house my obscenely large cookbook collection and a few decor items. It was never a permenant solution. The bookshelves were a cheap pick-up for my first apartment from Target. Great for a first post-college apartment, not so much for a big dining room in our first house.

The previous owner used the buffet to store clothes, so it is in great shape inside and out:



It also has gorgeous original hardware that we we’re going to leave as is. Some things are just better kept original and the hardware is almost an exact match to a piece my grandma had in her house.


Although the overall condition of the buffet is great, I went ahead and gave it a good massage with furniture oil. I also vacuumed it out completely and made sure there were no spiders anywhere (there were unfortunately — eek). I then filled it with my precious cookbooks and put a momentos on top. I’d like to take more time to formulate what we’ll display in the long run, but for the time being I just want it to look a little less like a random piece of furniture placed in our dining room.



With the buffet purchased, we’re now eyeing our kitchen table from Neil’s first house for replacement. Do you have suggestions on a style we should be looking for? The real challenge with investing in older pieces seems to be blending them to complement one another. While we definitely want to pay homage to the time period in which the house was built, we also want a few pieces with the clean, modern lines we like in say a mid-century modern or danish piece. The hunt is exciting, but the pressure of finding the right piece is definitely daunting!

Old Kitchen Table

It is our hope that we’re able to find some nice older pieces for the house over the next few months and years. Not only do they add character to the decor, but rehabbing old furniture is a love of mine and a great way to “go green” with decorating. The quality is also a lot better for the overall price. An all-around win in our book.

What is your favorite piece of furniture in your house? Where did you find it?


  • laura says:

    Wow, what a beautiful piece! Great find!

  • Wow! What a fantastic find! I dream of scoring things like this on Craigslist, but it has yet to happen. Congratulations!

    In my house, we’re still in the hand-me-down and found-it-on-the-side-of-the-road stage. I’m hoping that will change when we move in a few weeks – we’re only bringing essentials and plan to slowly collect replacements that are actually our style and aesthetic, instead of whatever was free or given to us by someone else. 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      That’s exactly the boat we’ve been in. We didn’t want to invest in nicer things because our life has always been completely spastic, and I’ve never wanted to design or work for a specific space, only to have to move again. Maybe that’s too practical, but it’s also nice to be starting with a clean slate and no guilt that I have to use what we already have.

      I can’t wait to see what you pick out!

  • Rachel says:

    I love it! Perfect fit for the dining room!

  • Mary Ann Durboraw says:

    Felex looks exhausted after moving that in —must have lost a few pounds too! Mom

  • MarytheGoodNeighbor says:

    I love so many of the pieces we have here at our house; the secretary desk that was given to my mom when she turned 13, and she gave to me when I turned 13; the 4 drawer buffet made by a great-great-great uncle in Kentucky in the 1850’s; the glass front china cabinet that was John’s mother’s, and the clock that sits on top of it. There’s also the futon John made in Mission style, and (now in storage) the toddler bed he made for Zach so long ago. If I had to pick a favorite though, it would be the chaise longue that was in the house where I grew up–it’s so comfy for reading, sleeping, and snuggling with kitties!

    • Jessica says:

      You have tons of great pieces in your house, I always admired them when I came to feed the kitties. I would love to have a chaise lounge!

  • Nick Klaus says:

    Love the lines on that piece! It looks like a perfect solution for the cookbook collection, and there’s room to spare.

    My favorite piece is a midcentury lounge chair that I found in the trash. It needed cushions, but for the price it was a steal. At some point, I’m going to have to refinish it but until then it’s good enough.