After the excitement of Christmas and the clean-up aftermath, I set a new goal for myself: to rid the living room of boxes of books that thus far have had nowhere to go. I had wanted to get a bookcase for the area the boxes occupied, but it would have to be low enough to allow in the lovely light from the window above. A low bookcase would not be sufficient for the many boxes of books.
The space where the boxes were stacked for the past six months is right beside the fireplace—a pretty prominent feature in the room— and the boxes were not at all attractive. I have selected a place for tall bookcases— which will solve the book problem—but that is another story.
For more than four decades, I have had a cabinet always used just to fill space in our home. It is an old Magnavox Hi-Fi cabinet that I gutted years ago to make it easier for me to move around. It is a very traditional mahogany piece and has seen better days since it first came to us. After our move, I decided it might be more appealing if it were painted. It certainly was not valuable as an original cabinet with its insides removed. It had some battle scars from early use as a stand for a small portable TV. Paint seemed to be in order.
I had considered a black and gray combination, or a turquoise; turquoise won. At first, it seemed too bright and lacking in depth, so I added some antique glazing; that was better. Still not sure before Christmas what to do with it, I first put it in the spare room and let the holidays occupy me.
Come the new year, my daughter suggested I try using the old, painted the cabinet in the space beside the fireplace until I found something better; it certainly would fit. I decided that the cabinetwould allow “Sophie” the cat, a more stable place in the sun to view the dogs next door; the boxes of books were sinking under her weight! It also would add a bit of color in a room that already has a lot of wood furnishings.
I was not thrilled with the cabinet even after the paint; it just was not something I thought I would use again, but using it under the window was a good idea, so why not give it a chance. Just when I thought I would kick it to the curb and see who might pick it up, it was spared that humiliation and has a place in our home once again.
The moral of this story is not to give up on a piece just because it is old and worn. Paint can revive just about anything and bring new life to an old piece. Who knows? It looks good enough to stand the test of time for another few decades.