October 18, 2013

Our Old Friend, The Beechwood Sideboard

We've been working slowly but surely to complete the different rooms in our house. We're not in a huge rush since we're planning to be here for the long haul, and want to take our time. That being said, it's nice each time we find or make a piece of furniture that helps complete a room or fill up what's been feeling like an empty space (like our tree stump side table or locker console).

Today we're talking about the new-to-us sideboard we recently added in our dining room:

This room is still a work in progress, but we're one step closer to making it feel a little cozier and put together with this piece of furniture. My mother had been storing it down at the farm and gave it to us. It actually came from the old Beechwood house on the same farm where my grandmother grew up as a child. I can only imagine what it must have been like to dine in that house and see the types of farm dishes resting on the sideboard during a big holiday meal. I find it comforting to know that I'm in a long line of generations that will have gotten to live with this piece and hope we can pass it down to the next when the timing is right. My mom often says that having old family pieces of furniture around makes her feel like she has lots of "old friends" around to keep her company as she thinks back and remembers all the different people that owned or grew up with them. I also like the thought of this.

We brought it to our house in Richmond in two pieces — first the base came in a truck-full of furniture Tim drove home back in August. Later, mom brought the mirrored top to complete the piece.

Yep ladies, that's my husband driving that big truck! We'd brought a bunch of pieces back in one fell swoop, including some of my jewelry studio workbenches and another large dresser similar to the sideboard. The dresser needs some restoration work and is hanging out in storage until we get it together enough to have it worked on and in the house. So, stay tuned on that front!

Getting the sideboard together was a matter of cleaning it up and screwing the top to the base:

We're so excited to have a functional piece of furniture filling up this empty space on the wall in this room now:

The two pewter teapots also came from the same old house at Beechwood. My Aunt Vera (mother's sister) gave them to us as a wedding gift. Since we're not ones to regularly provide "coffee service" we've enjoyed using them as decorative flower vases and also like the idea that they've been reunited with another element from the family:

As you can probably gather, the sideboard has been well loved over the years and needs some work. It's missing two handles and has had some repair wood added to the base and drawers that hasn't been stained. Right now, we're just living with it until we can learn more about preserving the history of the piece the right way before diving into any further restorative work on it.

But just look at all the detailed woodwork here and those curved lines — oh the curved lines!

So far, it's been an incredible storage piece for formal dining pieces like our silver flatware and china place settings we inherited from the same family line this time last year.

It's been nice getting used to it as we walk through this room now and it's quickly becoming like our own "old friend."

So, this room still has a ways to go (a rug and some art on the walls would do us some good), but we're feeling a little closer to the end goal. Have you been adding pieces of furniture or making little progress updates lately? Maybe you have a favorite family heirloom that faithfully catches your eye each time to pass it by? Let us know in the comments section below!


  1. What an absolute beauty and a blessing to have in your home now! For me when it comes to furniture, there is nothing as wonderful than to have pieces that came from generations before you. I have a couple of chairs that belonged to my great grandmother. They really need to be recovered, but they are so beautiful (to me at least).

    1. Thanks Monica and yes family pieces sometimes are beauty in the eye of the beholder. I bet your chairs are beautiful and we are sure you will get around to recovering them!

  2. that sideboard is just so beautiful and looks perfect in the space.
    i have an old sewing cabinet that belonged to my grandmother. i love the handmade, custom details and the familiar 'click' of the double doors. i love that it was hers. it houses hammocks and pet food in our kitchen ~ two things we use regularly.

    1. Yes Catie, some pieces are beautiful and still so useful for storage. Even if that was not the original intention!

  3. What a stunning piece! How wonderful to have something that's been in your family for generations.

  4. Oh my goodness that is so gorgeous!!! I love the old pieces and it makes me sick to see them painted! I have a Chest of Drawers, that belonged to my mother, a camel back trunk, a small side table, and small wooden foot stool that belonged to my (p)grandfather, a small little desk with a drop down 'table' that my (m) grandfather made for my mom, my (m) grandmothers treadle sewing machine which works, just needs a leather belt. A mantle clock, and several old framed portraits that came from my mom's family, and assorted small pieces of glass ware. I have some perfume "decanters" that came from my grandfathers drug store in the early 1900's that people brought in little one ounce bottles to buy perfume in. I would love to know more about them, but everyone I have tried to ask about them has never heard of them.

  5. That piece is beautiful!

    I've always preferred previously owned furniture. My favorites being from my grandparents. It's wonderful to have a bit of them with me where ever I go.

    1. We so agree. We just picked up a beautiful rug that we will highlight later this week!

  6. That piece is really beautiful , i have a big one at our home and was gift too ::)


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