Our house is starting to look like a family museum, filled pieces that have been passed down from one generation to the next. I love using them them to decorate in every room because my favorite pieces are the one’s that have a story and are attached in some way to our loved ones.
My Uncle Jeff recently brought a beautiful display cabinet to our house that he and my Grandaddy restored many years ago. He was making room for the pie safe my Grandaddy built and wanted to keep the display cabinet in the family. I loved it as soon as my Aunt Sara sent me the picture. She told me there was one catch to taking the cabinet…that it came with my Great-Grandma’s China (my Grandaddy’s Mother). I was THRILLED!
I’m a lot like my Uncle Jeff when it comes to cherishing family pieces and that I love DIY projects. My paternal Grandparent’s (his parents) were that way too. My Grandaddy was a skilled woodworker and my Grandma a talented crafter who did beautiful needlework. They were always doing projects to display in their home and for gifts for their family. I give credit to them for being the reason I enjoy building and restoring things. I was so honored that Uncle Jeff wanted to give me this cabinet and Great Grandma’s China, because I know they mean a lot to him. Sadly, I never got to know my Great Grandma since she passed just two months before I was born but I do have her pretty yellow ware mixing bowl and now her China, which are very special to me.
The cabinet was in great shape when he brought it to my house but I thought the wood could use a little polish. I decided to freshen it up with Formby’s Lemon Oil that I purchased at Ace Hardware. Lemon oil cleans and replaces the natural oils that are lost in wood furniture over time. It’s not a refinishing product, it’s a maintenance product that refreshes and protects the wood. It really brought out the beauty in the wood…
After shining it up with the lemon oil I arranged the dished how I wanted them. I already decided on the arrangement before applying the lemon oil because I knew once the cabinet was finished I would be ready to set it all up. I arranged it and rearranged it quite a few times until I made up my mind. I really enjoyed putting it together because I decided to fill it with things that belonged to my Grandparents. I came across things that I’ve had hidden away for a while and I’m so glad I finally found a place to display them!
Isn’t is gorgeous? I didn’t get a picture before I treated it with the lemon oil but it really wasn’t a huge difference since it was already in great shape. My Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sara had it beautifully decorated in their house, too.
Great Grandma’s China looks perfect in this cabinet! I also decided to include the tarnished silver tea set and the vintage floral tray my maternal Grandparents received as wedding gifts. I decided to leave the tarnish on the silver for now because it really gives it a vintage/dated look and I like it. I’m sure I’ll change my mind at some point and polish it.
I was so happy to finally find a place for the floral tray. My Grandma had it displayed in her house for many years until she gave it to me, and I just haven’t found the perfect spot for it until now. The glass pitcher that holds the dried hydrangeas belonged to her too. I get to enjoy my hydrangeas throughout the fall and winter because I still enjoy the way they look when they’re dried.
Here are a few of my favorite pieces of the China. I like the pattern on the butter dish the best and the way the floral pattern looks on the cream and sugar set. The pink flowers make me wonder if pink depression glass would look good as accent pieces to go with the dishes when I use them to set the table. I do plan to use this China when I can. I know some people don’t use their China and just have it for display but I enjoy using mine when I can and just don’t see the point in having it if I can’t use it. I think it will make nice conversation pieces when we entertain guests…especially family! It won’t be at the kid’s table though…I guess I do have my limits.
If you’ve seen my other furniture pieces, then you know I love these mid-century style legs. I don’t think they were the original and I’m pretty sure my Grandaddy added them as replacements when he and my Uncle Jeff restored it. They’re perfect for me though, and happen to be the style I like! (good choice, Grandaddy!) I didn’t notice that one of my daughter’s earrings was sitting on the floor underneath the cabinet by the leg in the back when I took this picture. We’re breaking it in already around here. Our house is what I’d call “lived in”.
I also included a few crystal serving dishes that belonged to my Grandparent’s (from both sides) and the crystal candy dish my Great Aunt and Uncle gave us for our wedding. I need to fill it with some ribbon candy to give it the full effect since my Grandparents always had that in their candy dishes. haha.
That metal tray belonged to my maternal Grandparent’s. I don’t really know the story behind that piece and don’t remember them using it. I happened to find it inside a small dresser after they passed away and it was a great piece to fill this space and display. I really like this picture with the candy dish and tray because it really shows the shine of the lemon oil on the wood.
And….one more close-up of all the dishes together! I also included the crystal dish (front and center) that my paternal Grandparent’s received for their 25th wedding anniversary. That’s my Grandaddy who restored this cabinet AND whose mother this China set belonged to. I think he would be proud to see this cabinet with these dishes displayed in our home.
I’m so happy with our “new” cabinet and China set! Thank you to my Uncle Jeff and Aunt Sara for thinking of me!