My grandma, Phyllis, my moms mom, bought an unfinished pine hutch back in the late 60's or early 70's. My grandma and grandpa shellacked it and over the years the shellac turned a god-awful shade of "orange". Either the shellac wasn't UV stable or the natural tannins of the pine just leached out.
When my grandmother moved, one of her many moves, she gave the hutch to my mother. It was a background staple in many of our dining room photos growing up. Then on one of my mothers many moves, I was lucky enough to be given the hutch. Sure, this simple piece of furniture isn't some name brand, collectible antique that would fetch thousands of dollars at some high end auction, but it is MY family heirloom. And carries many memories through three generations. AND one in particular.....
Back in 1996, when we bought our first house in Washington state, it didn't quite fit the decor of the newer, contemporary home. Just so happened that one of Phillips childhood friends had just rented a rustic cabin up on the Hood Canal and so I told him he could "borrow" the hutch.
Fast forward a couple of years. The lot of us had a falling out and didn't speak to each other for a long while. Later, when we made contact, as friends always seem to do, I inquired about my grandmas hutch. He told me he had sold it before they moved up to Alaska. WHAT THE ......?
I was full of emotions. Anger. Sadness. Dismay. Luckily, I was able to track down the new owner and made arrangements to get it back. I borrowed an old 70's extension van, like the ones electricians or plumbers use. With three little boys in tow, I drove 100 miles round trip, in the dark (up hill both ways, in the snow, barefooted!) to a neighborhood back into the forest. Now for any of you who have been in the Washington country, you know the trees are super tall and even in the daytime, you can get completely turned around and lost. So it was, after much driving around in circles and up and down winding dirt driveways, I found the little house. Many apologies and expressions of gratitude, and $150 later, I had both pieces of the hutch loaded in the back of the van.
Even though I was always happy to have such a nice storage piece, I never really appreciated it as much as I should have. But after I got it back home, you bet, it will NEVER leave my house again. Not as long as I'm alive!
It had acquired many dents and scratches. Some knobs were loose, missing or broken off. So I decided to give it an over-haul. A shabby chic over-haul. It was the Rachel Ashwell era. Shabby Chic was the rage. But anything was an improvement over the "orange". AND as I've found, it still stands the test of time. Well, except for maybe the knobs and pulls. Those might get changed out shortly. But there's a whole lot more things that are a priority right now.
Fast forward to now. The hutch stands proud in our dinette room off the kitchen against the brick fireplace back. It looks so nice there. Just like it was built for there.
I currently have it decorated with an eclectic mix of trinkets. Some might call them junk. Some might call them dust collectors.
So let's take a tour.
Here are part of my glass collection. Milk bottle, canning jars, water pitcher.
This is a button-legged rag doll I found when my friend, Janice, and I went to Eugene recently. She was a whole $.95. I couldn't even have bought the buttons for that! She will be going into the Americana (red, white & blue) guest room I have planned.
I found this wooden ruler some time ago for $.10. I love the patina. Calico Junction is a quilt shop that used to be in Jacksonville, Or. I think they are now in Medford. Our area code is now 541, not 503. Wonder when that changed? The watercolor is by the friend that sold my hutch! Ironic, huh?
These little, tattered blue shoes are made of cold cast resin. I found them for $2.95. They are also for the Americana room. I want to find two air ferns for each shoe. No watering required! My grandma always had air ferns somewhere in her house. ** Note grandma is still with us - only she and grandpa now live in Oklahoma.
Ty brought me this Route 66 rootbeer. I love rootbeer. It took alot of will power not to drink it for weeks, but I gave in. But, I'm keeping the bottle. I like it! The sourdough crock is 2nd hand, as well as the brown stoneware syrup bottle.
This little white tea pot is just a run-of-the-mill piece. I've paired it with two mis-matched sets of tiny cups and saucers. The first set is marked Made in Germany. The other I found later and the scale was just right to create a tea-for-two set. The little painted tin tray isn't vintage, but I liked the graphic nature of it. G-Rated, of course!
To complete the set, I added a matching vintage creamer and sugar set. Another tin. A white stoneware pitcher. I love its classic style. It looks great with fresh flowers.
Don't recall where I got him, but I call this guy, Jumping Jack. Pull the bead at the end of the string and his arms and legs flail up and down. Too much interactive fun! Go ahead, pull the bead!
Stephanie, Ty's girlfriend, brought this to me from Texas. Her aunt makes all sorts of cute creatures from hollowed out eggs. It's o.k. to allow at least one Santa to stay on display year round. He's a jolly 'ol guy!
Once upon a time, I needed a double boiler to melt chocolate. After pricing them new, I decided to "hunt" for one. I came across this one. It works just great and since I don't use it everyday, it makes a real statement in black and white.
When I saw this pot, I just knew the double boiler would be in good company. So, home it came. I admit, I've never used it for its intended purpose, but....
My little wooden honey bee with dangling arms and legs. I love the versatility of Scrabble tiles. Nice reminder of a sweet spring and summer.
Sometimes, one letter says it all. I found one of the honey bottles one day. I thought it was cute with the embossed logo, so of course I brought it home. On a later forage, I found two more. The same kind. One of the rims has a little chip, but you can hardly notice it. I filled the bottles with honey colored water and corked them with some used corks I had in my crafting stash.
So that's it. Hope you enjoyed the hutch "tour of the moment". The displays change from time to time, but the memories last forever. Three generations of memories. Hopefully, my boys will keep this thing in the family for more. Hopefully, they will find a place for it in their "futuristic" decor and they won't "loan" it out again.
Thanks Grandma. Thanks Mom.
ps. I'd love to see "what's on your hutch"! Feel free to post a link and show us what you've got!
HOW-TO OF NOTE: I sanded the original shellac finish to scuff it up and give it "tooth" for the paint. I did not sand all the way through to wood or strip the entire piece. I then painted the hutch with 100% acrylic white eggshell sheen. After it was thoroughly dry, I used a 220-grit sandpaper to lightly distress the raised edges and some of the flats of the doors. Mostly keeping in mind where natural wear marks would be and to highlight seams and edges. I did NOT clear coat the hutch. I only used an automobile Carnuba-type wax over the white paint and exposed wood. Wax on. Wax off. Just be sure that the wax is NOT tinted, such as green or blue. Be sure to use white-ish or clear on white paint. The tin can type works better than the liquid type. This was done almost 10 years ago and still looks great!
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