Friday, 9 July 2010

Cupboard love

How well I remember arriving home from school one afternoon (many years ago) to find my mother struggling to manoeuvre an enormous cupboard through our front door and into the hall. This scruffy brown stained item stood about 7ft tall and mum had enthusiastically purchased it from a local auction sale because 'its size offered numerous storage possibilities'. Two men with a large van had delivered the monster and now it was up to mum and me to get it indoors before my dad came home from work.

The cupboard had obviously been made by an amateur carpenter and apart from its 'storage possibilities' it had nothing to commend it. My dad was a craftsman and his woodworking skills were superb and so you can imagine the horrified look on his face when he arrived home to find mum and me still battling with the cupboard.

After much discussion he was eventually persuaded to lend a hand and with the shelves and doors removed the monster was taken indoors, but it only got as far as the front hall. Mum wasted no time in painting it white (inside and out) and the 'big cupboard', as it was affectionately known, became home to a great many household objects. And there it stayed for the next 6 years until we moved to a new house.

The big cupboard now found a home in the conservatory where it stayed for the next 24 years until my parents moved to a smaller house. With doors off and shelves removed it found a home in my mum's utility room.

Mum and dad sadly passed away 5 years ago and the big cupboard seemed to have reached the end of it's useful life as it was simply 'too big'. However, I was keen to inherit it (due to its storage possibilities) and with great difficulty and with much help from husband, son and daughter we eventually managed to get it through our back door and into the utility room, but no further. And what a useful cupboard it has been.

Then a few months ago we decided to give the utility room a much needed make-over and a new purpose built fitted cupboard was ordered. The end of the line for the big cupboard perhaps?.........

Happily I can tell you it's useful days are continuing. With some persuasion hubby agreed to dismantle the cupboard and then re-assemble it as you would a piece of flat pack furniture. The doors and shelves were removed (that was the easy bit) and then the cupboard was broken into smaller parts.

With 2 weeks of constant sunshine it has lived in the garden where hubby has stripped and sanded the various bits. You might just be able to spot him at work beyond the flower bed.

Once cleaned down I painted all the individual parts. Yesterday we reassembled the cupboard in my newly decorated breakfast room. And here it is looking very grand in its new home.

It has new knobs to match my blue and white theme 

and inside I'm able to store all the blue and white china that I've collected over the years.

The old cupboard has travelled a long way and had many homes and I feel sure my mum would be pleased to see it now looking so smart. It would be very easy to think of dozens of uses for it but for now I'm happy for it store my china and if I ever decide it should be moved, then the job will simply involve removing the necessary screws that hold it together. This would of course involve a strong man with a screw driver who knows how to reassemble it!