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The one that didn't get away

The other day
I got up in the morning, poured my coffee
and sat down on the sofa waking up a bit while the sun slowly popped up into the sky.

I am one of those girls who likes to have 2 (or 5 ) cups of coffee 
before breakfast, simply because 
 I need to wake up fully before eating and I am not usually hungry right away when getting up
So, as I sipped, I opened my laptop and browsed a few things
edited photos, wrote a blog post and started thinking about the plans for the day ahead
and decided to just pop onto craigslist to do a few searches.

You know how you sometimes have that elusive piece that you spend years looking for?
The one that you just cannot seem to find the perfect fit for.
Size, style, age, look, scale,  color
you name it. Something isn't right.
Maybe you find one that is close.... but it isn't perfect.
So you wait. and keep looking for
the ONE... 
and maybe you find something that might be right
but it is already sold and you are crushed.
 Ahhh... always the one that got away.

Honestly, when I look on craigslist
 I half expect to find absolutely nothing like I am searching for.
Like a search for a 'old cupboard'  will get you 1980's tv console units, 
 pieces made of particle board
and an occasional old refrigerator with a cupboard next to it.
And yep, that morning-
 that was pretty much all that popped up.

So, I closed the computer and finished my coffee and went on my merry way about the day.
And around 4 that afternoon, 
I took a 10 minute break and sat down for a few minutes
and when I opened my laptop -
 Craigslist was left up and was waiting for me.
So, I typed in a few more searches... just to see if anything was listed during the day.
You know- it could happen. Not likely but you never know.
But this time-  It did.

A photo popped up that caused me to stop in my tracks
and get sweaty palms and heart palpitations.
All at the same time.

An old built-in china hutch that had been taken out of a house.
You know- one of those that had been built right into 
the inside of the walls and had been there for years.

I quickly opened the post, looked through the photos 
saying 'oh my gosh' under my breath probably 50 times
then fired off an email with fingers crossed .

But with a grain of salt 
 knowing it was incredibly unlikely that the hutch was available
and that if it was
that there would be many others in line ahead of me that were closer to it 
and could snatch it up before I could get there.
(I will admit that I have been known to use a phone a friend for pieces that were 
close to friends or family who could dash over- I am not ashamed- you have to do what you have to do to grab the treasures sometimes.)

But honestly, even if all those things lined up perfectly
it was highly unlikely that it would have the right measurements 
that I needed for that one spot that this piece would be perfect for 
that I had been trying to fill
  for. years. 

It was insanity when the person selling it called me about 15 minutes later.
Saying the hutch was available- they had inquiries but no one had made time to come see it yet.

I was absolutely dancing inside but those measurements...those darn measurements....
what were they?

Just about 8' tall- Perfect.
16" deep- Excellent
and the all important width?
52" wide.

I grabbed the tape measure while we were talking
and measured that spot. 
That ONE SPOT that so many years ago
we took out that door and covered it up. 
That has been filled with this and that and everything 
and nothing EVER was right.
Because this spot was right next to a window on one side and up next to a doorway on the other
and EVERY TIME I found something that was perfect in chippy goodness charm
it eeked over too far and covered the window up part way
 or it was too short or too deep
or just plain not right.

So... as I held my breath... I measured 
(and I was already calculating just how I could possibly make it work even 
if the measurements didn't fit.)

And the width of that space?

54.5" wide.

This amazing piece of old character and charm and chippy goodness
would actually fit.

Normally, I would set up a time to look at something the next day. 
Nope. Not happening. 
I was not letting this one be one that got away.
I hopped in the car and my daughter and I took a drive to see it.
And it is safe to say that I pretty much fell over
 when I walked in.

It was HUGE and amazing and absolutely perfect.
It had old drawers and big glass doors with the original hardware.
It has probably been painted at least a dozen different colors 
and they were all showing through- and I loved it.
 All the dings and dents and years were covered in huge amounts of 
chippy crusty charm, character and shabby deliciousness
and on top of all that?

You can imagine that I pretty wanted to hug it 
and twirl it around like a ballerina.

You know how it just feels like something is meant to be sometimes?
This piece was meant to be in this house.
It fits like it was always supposed to be there.
Like that doorway we closed off so many years ago
and that tall window we put in next to it
were creating a perfect little spot for 

Once I got it home, I cleaned it up and starting getting it decorated for fall
with pumpkins and apples and hydrangeas and lots of pretty ironstone filling up the shelves...

and then it started looking like rain and the skies clouded up
and it was dark and gloomy outside and those dark dreary skies
 did not make for pretty photos.

So just a few photos - and I know, I am teasing you.
But I will share more about this piece and how it looks dressed for autumn next week-
 and I will also dish on some of the little details 
that are making my knees weak.

So until then... tell me- 
what is the story about the greatest piece you found
 that had eluded you for years?

 Or are you looking for 'The One' even now?

Happy Friday everyone!


  1. Hello Courtney. I can imagine how happy you were when you find it, as same situation I had couple of weeks ago. For a long time I was looking french cane back armchair and it always was too far, too expensive, etc. But one day I found just what I was looking for. You can find my post about it here

    1. A French cane back armchair... yes please!! Popping over for a peek- don't you love when that happens?

    2. Oh yes! And its always worth waiting for your perfect piece!

  2. It was meant to be, lucky lady! I love it, can't wait to see more. xo

    1. Hi Kristin!! I think it definitely was- things worked out just perfectly. :) Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Such an exciting story! Love it all over, it`s so beautiful... I`m looking for the perfect piece of cupboard too... Enjoy ♥ Alexandra

  4. Oh that's like a fairytale ending, Courtney! I'm still in search of my perfect, Prince Charming hutch for my DR. Until then, I guess I'll keep trading out the frogs. Have a great weekend playing house with your new cabinet.

  5. Oooohhhh. How exciting. I was reading, and my heart was beating fast... the excitement of your score!!! How perfect and beautiful!!
    Can hardly wait for the reveal in its little niche . Happy weekend.

  6. I feel your joy. My heart was thumping just reading your blog. Congratulations!

  7. LOVE this story and any story like this. I have (luckily) many stories like this and it's all about waiting for the perfect piece, right time and meant to be scenario. I've learned patience and saving for the right piece is a good thing.

    Cannot wait to see the whole cabinet!!

  8. What an awesome find! Off to check craigslist right now. :)

  9. Congratulations, Courtney. It sounds like the piece is more than worth the wait. Looking forward to seeing more of it. Happy Weekend, Ardith

  10. I love your cupboard! It reminds me of a built in cupboard we had in one of the houses we lived in as a kid! No glass doors, but wood ones top and below. Imagine decorating it at Christmas time, with reds and greens.

  11. Oh that cabinet is a dream for any French farmhouse or cottage villa home... I love when things show up to meet and greet you with a beautiful placing that will take place when it's in a perfect spot in your home... I never look for a piece, it just let the piece find me. Or an idea of what I may have take on a whole new look.

    Wonderful post, and oh so inspiring.


  12. Congratulations on your find!! Isn't it the most amazing rush when you find the perfect item?!! It's wonderful!

  13. I love the cabinet!Oh it is looks like just one did you and your daughter get into your vehicle....did you have a truck? That is always my problem.....getting it to fit. There is a silly rule around here, if it doesn't fit it doesn't go....
    Well, we broke the rule last week....I found a china cabinet, nothing terribly gorgeous, at least until I get done with it. It needs paint and paint and new hardware....But, even Hubby went along .....twice. It had to be taken home in two pieces as Only one would fit the SUV at a time! Why did we break the rule?? It was only $15!!! Really! And they gave me plants too! They were moving and needed that thing out....lucky me! It's getting painted for my daughter's new idea....

    1. I had to send my husband to pick it up ;) It actually took 3 of us to move it from the driveway into the house- it is heavy and yes, just one very large piece to move.
      $15 is an awesome price and it sounds like your cabinet is going to be absolutely perfect for working some magic on! Enjoy!!

  14. We have a built in hutch almost identical to that one in our house. It was one of the things that sold me on this house. I love it!
    What a great Craigslist find, Courtney! A find like that doesn't come along every day, and I'm sure that hutch looks right at home at your place!

    1. They are such a great feature of older homes aren't they? I absolutely love this one and can imagine how gorgeous one like it is built in. Does yours have that sliding door for passing food through from the kitchen? So neat!!

  15. Envy! I have been searching for such a piece as must be thrilled! It is beautiful and it makes me happy just looking at it.

  16. I read this with such excitement because I know the EXACT feeling. The summer of 2014 I found a cupboard in a shop my niece frequents on Long Island. She wrote me about this old cupboard that was in a corner and it was something I had described to her for a LONG time. I decided that when I visited and it was still there it just might be the ONE. 2 months later with breath held, I visited from Seattle and there it was! Cobwebs, dirt and alone in all it's glory. I knew I could get it back here and I hunted down shipping companies and today it is sitting in my house truly loved! The owner of the shop even contacted me to ask how he could refer other clients to the shipper because I made it look so easy. Happy doesn't begin to describe what this old cupboard ( about the same size as your's) does for me. I wish I could post you a picture! Enjoy this wonderful feeling!

    1. Oh that is so exciting Mary!! And it definitely sounds like it was meant to be yours!! You can share a photo on my facebook page if you would like- would love to see it!!

  17. Courtney this is marvellous, I love the cabinet and the fact that it fits. I searched and waited for years for the ÖNE" a 1920-1930's chaise, just the right size for my study, in red leather and chippy white painted timber along with a carved water lily design. To this day, everytime I walk into the study I can't help but smile. It really is worth the wait. xx

  18. I had been looking for the "perfect" piece to fit in my dinning room...informal, next to my kitchen. I knew it had to be tall and "old"...well I had stopped at a Jiffy store to get a frosty, when I looked over and saw "IT" in the back of a truck bed with lots of "junk" you my palms got sweaty, my heart started beating and I could barely ask the old man if it was for sale...he said actually he was taking it to the dump, but if I wanted it I could have it for $50...I said yes, yes I do, but that I'd have to go home and get the money AND my husband and his truck. He said he'd wait on me. I didn't live too far. The rest is history, it was so perfect and I loved it. Then life happened and we went separate ways and I never saw it again...:-( I'm always searching for one thing or another...when I see it I'll know it! Always buy what you love and you'll find the perfect place for it! Beverly Poag

  19. Courtney, several years back, I restored an old 1910 four square in Mobile, AL I brought in furniture to use in the kitchen and I bought a cabinet almost exactly like yours out of an old house that was being torn down. I loved it and it gave my kitchen the character I was looking for. You will love yours. I have a much smaller house now and it's not old, but I still enjoy looking for pieces with "character". Enjoyed your post and I enjoyed remembering my cabinet. Have fun decorating this holiday!

  20. You are a little tease, Courtney. I can't wait to see the cupboard in its entirety. I also have a kitchen cupboard that was removed from an old house. We got it back in the day when it was quite fashionable to have all your big pieces of furniture stripped and stained in the natural wood, and I couldn't wait to get rid of that chippy white paint!!! OMG, stupid or what? Anyway, I have been debating to paint it over now, but have been dragging my feet. This might just push me in the right direction. Can't wait for next week to see it in all its beauty...Happy Sunday..Judy

  21. I love it but would like to see it in the room how you have it all arranged. will you be posting more pictures?

  22. Years ago I was looking for a curvy, carved "Frenchy" headboard for a guest room I was going to make over in a Country French style. Using my $350 I had gotten from selling my grown son's old bedroom set, I was determined to redo the room on that money. I went to a charity resell shop and found a gorgeous John Stuart carved headboard for $29!!! I cleaned it up & it is gorgeous. I even saw the same headboard in a Chrles Faudree book. So THAT headboard did NOT get away!

  23. We bought a 100-year-old house, and the kitchen desperately needed to be re-done. There was a space about 60" long and only 12" deep that was just crying out for a built-in cupboard. I figured we'd have to buy some upper cabinets and lumber and build something custom to fit the space. There just isn't much being made to those dimensions that isn't particle board these days, and even the "cheap" furniture is expensive. And then one day, we walked into the ReStore and found the perfect cabinet for that spot, for $75.