Salvaged Medicine Cabinet

July 8th, 2009

Originally posted October 2007

Over the course of building our house, I have had a few very minor disagreements with my builder, Dennis.




A few months back, he did not appreciate my decision to leave the pine treads and risers on the steps to the loft unpainted.   I had originally told him that I was going to paint them and with that in mind, he did not choose flawless boards for the treads. Some of the boards have tool marks, and some minor dents and dings, but I don’t mind. I think they look rugged and edgy and cool and I am just going to apply a few coats of polyurethane and call it done.  





Dennis does not agree, and would have chosen perfect boards if he knew they were going to be left exposed to every eyeball that ever looked their way.  






He also does not like this medicine cabinet.

That is to say – he does not like that I am not going to re-finish this medicine cabinet.

When he first saw it, he asked me if I was going to paint it.

“No” I said, “I think I am just going to leave it like it is.”

“With all that peeling paint?”

“Yes – I think it looks cool.”

Dennis shook his head, sighed deeply, rolled his eyes and said, “You are a dingbat.”

I bought this medicine cabinet at Architectural Salvage in Kansas City. I bought it because according to every single home design article I have ever read in Country Living Magazine, This Old House, Country Home, BHG, Popular Science, The New Yorker and National Geographic – if you don’t have a piece of salvage in your house it is not really a house. It is really more like a hovel…or a cave…or a hole in the ground. Desperate to live up to the standards of these style setting tomes, I went out and got me some salvage.






I must say that I do really love this cabinet, and I do really love the peeling paint. I am not just some sort of mindless, catalogue junkie, magazine article directed, bunko playing, ceiling fan watching housewife without a brain. Dingbat is a much more accurate description.





It is pretty ain’t it?


  • caren:

    I love it! I have always loved that look and have always wanted to live on a farm in an old beautiful farmhouse. Restored of course. But now that I live in somewhat of an older home and everythings seems to need repair right after you just fixed something else. I want to live in a new farmhouse that looks like an old farmhouse. Does that make sense?

  • I actually live in an old farmhouse(my kitchen has a big hole in the ceiling right now due to a leak). There is always something to be fixed. And I think we’ve done it all!
    I bought a set of old wooden french doors at an estate sale many years ago and they’re one of the best features of the house(next to the laundry chute I insisted on when we redid one of our rooms)
    So I love your salvaged medicine cabinet!

  • I love it! I’m actually on the look out for something like that right now. Love Architechtural Salvage too.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    “My” builder hasn’t called me a name, at least not to my face.
    We couldn’t find 2 matching salvaged medicine cabinets for our master bath like we wanted, but we did get an awesome newel post for the stairs by the entry. And guess what’s probably going to be the last task for the interior of our house? Probably trying to get the old newel post fitted in with new trim and handrails. I’m sure the builder is thinking a new post would be soooooo much easier. But oh, the character the old pieces add!

    Someday I’ll have to tell you about my romantic Valentine’s weekend in Seattle last year alone with hubby. We spent it going to architectural salvage shops looking for things for our future farmhouse.

  • Brooke Elizabeth:

    100% jealous right now! I love ‘vintage’ items like that (that’s what I call them!) I never thought I’d be an antiquer but I absolutely love the look of that and now I want one for myself!! Finding old treasures like that just make my day!

  • I think it’s pretty cool, and I like the handle a lot!

  • I think its perfect just the way it is.

  • I love love love this post. Dingbat is a bit harsh. I like the weathered look.

  • Kait:

    OH that is great. I have to get me one of those. :) Peeling paint of my favourite colour and everything.