Do you have something in your home that you love so much that you
just want to wrap your arms around it, hug it, and tell it how much
it means to you? I am an unabashed furniture lover and that is just
how I feel about the old white farmhouse style hutch that lives
in our breakfast room.
Now I know that y'all have seen this hutch a zillion times on this
blog, so if I am boring you please feel free to skip this love
letter to a piece of furniture and its contents. Fortunately, or
unfortunately, depending on how you view it, I inherited my gift
of repeating old stories from my grandmother. Nena treasured
her memories so much that she always believed they were worth
repeating to anyone who would listen. So, if you are still here and
want to learn more, make yourself cozy and read on.
I found this old hutch at a garage sale in as I recall, the West
University area of Houston, Texas 28 years ago. It was in early spring,
just a couple of months before David and I were married. I went to
the garage sale with a friend of mine. Kathy was busy eying a 1940
something sedan and I found this hutch in the corner of the garage.
It was filled with old paint cans and some tools and was just not
loved. Despite its unstaged condition, I fell in love with it instantly.
The hutch needed someone to love it, and that someone was me.
Meanwhile, Kathy decided to buy the old sedan as a gift for
her husband. She had fallen in love with it and was already
imagining how wonderful a ride it would make after its restoration.
Since I was living in an apartment at the time and did not have
a safe place to refurbish the hutch without passing out from
solvents and chemical strippers, David and I took the hutch to
his parent's house where they had a shed in the backyard.
David's dad was the proverbial engineer. He looked it over closely
and determined what needed to be done to bring the old piece
back to life. Despite his technical mind, he had the soul of an
artist, and I believe he fell in love with the hutch too. The
best thing about this collaboration was that it was a real bonding
time with my future father-in-law. This is an especially
dear memory for me because John passed away from a very
rapid spread of cancer just six weeks after David and I were
This hutch was once painted blue with a white interior and
Laura Ashley fabric lining the shelves. Movers picked it up
and delivered it to Virginia a few days after our marriage. It
lived in Virginia for four years. During those early years, the
hutch was filled with the delicate blue and white patterned dished
from Mason's that I picked up on a trip to London with Mom and
The hutch was moved to Idaho in 1993 where it would live for
20 years in the kitchen or our 1913 cottage in Boise's North End.
More china was added. I put the antique copper tea kettle from
my Swedish grandfather's family on top. The Laura Ashley fabric
was removed from its shelves and the entire piece was painted white.
It was one of the few times that David did not object to my painting
a piece of furniture white, and I truly believe that the hutch was
thanking me for its latest transformation.
The life of this hutch came full circle when it was moved back to
Texas where its history began. It seems to me that it is the
happiest it has been since coming home with me 28 years ago.
Its shelves are stuffed full now with pieces I have purchased and
treasured inherited pieces from my Mom, Grandmother Nena and my
late mother-in-law, Lee. It's a farmhouse style with the English flare
of a Welsh cupboard full of a mix and match of plates and cups
and serving pieces that all seem to be at home with one another.
I fondly remember the day the hutch came home with me. By the
way, Kathy's car was beautifully restored and her husband Ken
was thrilled with his gift. The four of us got all dressed up one
evening and took it for a spin and then to dinner. Kathy and I
lost touch with one another over the years. I have tried to find her
again but have reached dead ends in my search. If by some
blessing Kathy should see this post, I hope she contacts me.
She holds a place in my treasured memories too.
Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley