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Using Cherished Pieces to Tell A New Story

Using Cherished Pieces to Tell A New Story


If you have been to my home, you would know that I’m an avid re-inventor decorator! Almost every piece of furniture in my home had a previous life and story. It gives me such joy to work the old things in with all of their imperfections and flaws.

One of my favorite pieces takes center stage in my kitchen/family room. When making plans for the remodeling of our current home, my husband expressed his interest in getting a larger television set. Since the larger size wouldn’t fit into our existing television cabinet, he wanted to mount the new television on the wall. If you know me, you know that this sort of thing is NOT my traditional aesthetic! :)

So, it was time to get creative and find a resolution that would keep us both happy! Shortly after the search began, I located the perfect piece for the foundation of a design that had been developing in my mind’s eye. The shopkeeper at the antique store told me she had purchased the large buffet in France at an estate sale and it was most likely from the 1960s. The dimensions were perfect, and I swooned over its curvy French legs, beautiful carvings and parquet-style top. The bonus was that it would give us lots of storage. It was perfect and the fact that it was French, well, that was the "le cerise sur le gateau", or the icing on the cake for a Francophile like myself!

Now for the next piece of the puzzle... I met with our kitchen cabinet maker and asked him to make a cabinet top to fit the dimensions of our new television with doors that would fold completely back so as not to obstruct the views from other parts of the room. When he asked how I imagined the top of the cabinet to be, something I had been saving for some time immediately came to mind; my dad’s headboard.

Before my dad passed away, we moved his bedroom from the upstairs of my childhood home to the downstairs area, so that he wouldn’t have to navigate the steep steps. After his passing, I asked to keep the headboard from his bed. I didn’t know what I would do with it, but it made me think of him and I hoped to find a use for it someday. Finally, I found its purpose – it was truly a match made in heaven! The carvings on the headboard were very similar to the buffet, and soon, under our cabinet makers deft hands, the rounded, curved top part of the headboard with the beautiful detail was cut down and modified to become the cartouche and the “piece de resistance” of my most favorite piece in our home. That old but sentimental piece of wood had a story and now it helps me tell my story too!

Since then, I have used this same design idea for several of my decorating clients.  As a huge proponent of the “use what you have” decorating style, it has proven to be a very useful solution several times. With the help of Chalk Paint® by Annie Sloan you can use several disparate pieces, (even some that were banished to the garage or storage shed), and marry them together with beautiful rich color to give them a whole new life.  A whole new story.  I kind of like that.

Happy Decorating!



P.S.  Below are two projects for television armoires that I helped put together for decorating clients using their own pieces as a base.  A coat of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® unified everything and made the old new again!


Shop Annie Sloan Chalk Paint® Now!

Jill Bednar - 09 Apr 2020 @ 02:10
Thanks so much Jodi! Can't wait to see Grandma Pearl's dresser! She would be so happy to see you using it and giving it a facelift!
Jodi Kelly - 08 Apr 2020 @ 05:03
Love it! Love that you can use something that makes you feel like he is a part of you every single day! I just painted Grandma's furniture for our guest room. Not quite finished with the room but will send photos when it's done! Love your blog :)
Jill Bednar - 06 Apr 2020 @ 01:55
Hi Brenda. Thanks so much. Yes, I think of him every time I see this piece. It's a small thing, but it makes me feel better. I hope you are doing well and staying inside. Thanks for your comment - I'd love to hear if there is anything else you'd like to hear more about!
Jill Bednar - 06 Apr 2020 @ 01:51
Hi Lori! Thanks so much! Blogging has been something I've wanted to do but was scared because I wasn't sure if I had anything to say that people would want to hear about! It's putting yourself out there - you know? Sooooo, your comments really warm my heart! Let me know if there is anything in particular you'd like to hear more about! Take care! xo
Lori Rosburg - 06 Apr 2020 @ 01:28
Hi Jill. I love the story of taking something sentimental and making it beautiful again. You are so very talented and I am looking forward to reading your new blog. I miss coming into the store but your stories an photos gives me hope that I will be there soon! Take care and stay healthy and joyful!
Brenda Faken - 06 Apr 2020 @ 01:20
What a heart warming story. I love that you will always have a little piece of you dad with you during family time.
Lisa Jerry - 06 Apr 2020 @ 12:56
Hi Jill, great story! You were more persistent than I with your tv. Alas ... Very lovely transformation. What color did you use? Thanks.
Jill Bednar - 30 Mar 2020 @ 02:09
Thanks, Holly! And thank you for helping us to continue to tell our Southbank Story! XOXO
Holly Hyde - 29 Mar 2020 @ 07:08
A whole new story. Yes! I love that.
Jill Bednar - 29 Mar 2020 @ 05:38
Hi Connie! Thanks so much for your comment, this blogging thing is pretty intimidating - it's hard to put yourself out there! It makes me feel better when someone says something! lol! Hope you are doing ok during all of this craziness. I swing from feeling optimistic to feeling scared to death! Here is a virtual hug for you!
Connie Odekirk - 29 Mar 2020 @ 03:48
A beautiful story and a beautiful piece of furniture. Very inspiring!

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