Friday, 4 July 2014

new cabinet doors

For those of you who haven't been here before, I moved back into this house about a year and a half ago, after renting it out for seven years. I'm slowly decorating the whole house, but my latest project involves adding doors to this cabinet.

I originally wanted a china cabinet with glazed upper doors, so my partner built this unit, and added a wooden detail to the top that he found on a job somewhere. Then he got a computer and made an extra shelf in the bottom section for paper, and even made one section of wood removable, so that he could slide the screen and keyboard behind the non existent doors.
I didn't mind the compromise because there was nowhere else to put his computer, but the doors never materialised.......
and then we both moved out, separately !
After being inspired to turn the cabinet into a craft cupboard by Carol (instead of just using it to house junk) which you can read about here, I was intent on finishing this built in unit.
I went to a wood yard and had four pieces of mdf cut, two with cut outs for the upper doors.
I bought some trim to make a central panel on the bottom doors and to frame the opening on the upper doors, which would also disguise the edges of the chicken wire.

I don't have a special place to work or any special tools, I just used a saw and a mitre block and my dining room table.

I pinned on all the trim in a couple of hours, then tackled the hinges.
I laid out the doors back to back and marked and measured all the hinges, and after another couple of hours, I went from this,
to this,
and then this,

Then I took off the crosses (because I wasn't going for barn door, I was going for European), and put on trims in a diamond shape, and a trim on the edge of one of each set of doors to cover the central gap, added magnetic catches inside and painted the doors dark brown.

I rubbed the edge of a candle on the trims to resist the paint and then coated the doors in two layers of white, and distressed and finished with AS wax .

I trawled the internet for hours looking for handles, and finally found what I wanted, and I really love them.

All that was a breeze compared to fixing the chicken wire and finding some fabric.

I can't quite believe that I had managed to hang the doors straight, with almost no adjustments, but it took three or four attempts and lots of scratches to get the chicken wire right.

And the fabric, oh my ................... I had always imagined tightly gathered white or off white muslin, but it looked awful because it was too bedroomy.
My second choice wasn't much better.
I went to every fabric shop in town and all the charity shops. I even tried old lace tablecloths but nothing looked good, so I went back to the internet and looked at prints and sent off for loads of samples.

I really like the two green fabrics at the top on the right, but I wanted something a little different, so I went with this.....

Yay for map fabric, I love it.
The colours are perfect for the dining room. It has lots of blues, reds and browns. Some of the pictures have a slight green tinge, but the picture below shows the true colours of this great fabric.

Also, I originally found it on the Next website for £15 a metre, then found the exact same fabric on another site for £8.99 a metre, so that was a real result.

My dining room almost looks like a proper room now.
From empty.... to wasted storage space.... to useful art cupboard.... to dining room shabby chic/useful art cupboard......
and it only took 10 years !!
I'm pretty happy and as Vickie has pointed out to me, I can always change the fabric if I go off it, but I don't think that will be any time soon. 
I hope you've all enjoyed your 4th July celebrations, of course we don't celebrate this day in the UK, but most people are celebrating the great weather we're having here.
It's hardly rained at all in the last few weeks, which is very unusual, my garden and I both like a little bit of rain !
Linking up with
Make it pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday @ French Country Cottage
Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party @ Silver Pennies


  1. Fiona, another one of your unbelievably gorgeous makeovers!! I love the fact that you are so persistent in finding exactly what you have envisioned, and for amazing prices, too! Your dining room is very pretty and inviting; love all the white, of course, but also the warmth from all the different textures coming from your marble topped table to the glass of your chandelier and of course the new star of the show, your Euro chic craft cupboard! It's a cozy room with a hint of glam! Now, all you need is some of that rain dancing on the window panes for the perfect ambiance!

    Happy weekend!


  2. I love the way this turned out! You did a great job. And I love that fabric! :)

  3. Oh my gosh, Fiona! This is AWESOME! I have some stuff that I need you to come do over here.

  4. You amaze me!

    I can't believe how great the cabinet looks and those handles are fabulous.

    I love everything you have done since you have taken possession of your home again.

  5. Wonderful job, the fabric and handles are perfect. I am trying to organize my craft supplies, do it yourself projects and all the cleaning that I think I will tackle when school is out and I am not "working." The heat has been awful and there is too, too much to do but I keep reminding myself that whatever I accomplish is one more thing closer to organization! Your pile of crafting supplies looks as chock full as mine and seeing that your project took 10 years to finish reminds me that if sometimes things take time. Now, I should get off the computer and get back to work, huh?

  6. Nice piece for a gorgeous room! Your dining table centerpiece is so creative, also. I love it.

  7. Wow, you made a china cabinet! I don't know where to begin to tell all I love about this piece. The fabric and handles are so unusual and perfect for the cabinet. The distressing is your usual amazing job. I could go on forever but I'll just say I love it all and I'm pinning!

  8. now that looks so awesome, fiona! the finish you added is distressed beautifully, and the map fabric is great! and no one will know of the crafty treasures behind those doors:) your dining room looks so charming!

  9. It's beautiful Fiona! Very nice job. I'm sure I've told you before, but I sure do love your dining room table!

  10. It looks amazing and like it was always meant to be there. I love the fabric you chose and the diamond shape on the bottom doors!

  11. WoW!!!! TOTALLY worth the wait!!!!! Everything about this is PERFECT. Fabric choice, color, shabby/chippyness, how it fits in the room, I mean PERFECT. I stand in awe.

  12. Perfect!! Really perfect!!! Totally worth the wait!! Everything about this is absolutely wonderful and the way it fits in the room is just so inspiring. I stand in awe!!! (actually, I'm sitting on the couch, but I'm totally in awe….)

  13. I love this! So beautifully done. Visiting from Magali's blog and a new follower. Nice to meet you!

  14. Oh WOW Fiona - this is just beautiful - especially watching it all come together with each photo - I'm drooling here!
    Gorgeous job!

  15. Love this. It looks so beautiful. And those dining room chairs are heaven! Following along now. x J

  16. Your cabinet is beautiful, Fiona. I love it. I'm a new follower, having found you on Magali's blog. I went through your house tour and am just amazed at what you've accomplished. Every room is charming. I love your bathroom -- what a transformation -- and I think your kitchen is sweet even now. Your plans for it will really make it smashing. So glad I found you. Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage

  17. Your blog is new to me, having found you on Art & Sand. I think you did a fantastic job with this cabinet. I have some chairs like yours - that was the original color I painted them, too. Actually they have now been several colors, and are waiting for a new do over! I am going to have to try your cabinet idea on a piece.

  18. It looks like it was always there; you're both very talented!

  19. Love your cabinet doors. In fact, I'm using this model for a cabinet in my bedroom. Will you share where you got the glass knobs? Thanks. Isabel


It's always a pleasure to receive your comments. I really enjoy reading them, and a huge thank you if you are following as well !