Quandaries -the buffet- update

photo 5 buffetwp-image-1860516203jpg.jpg








So, I dredged up the photo above-left-, which is the only photo I had of the QB (Quandary Buffet) taken when we bought it. Surrounded by stuff. Next time we saw it was delivered and shoved under something in the cave.Now I study the old photo I can see the lifted veneer on those top doors. HA! serves me right for not going over it at time of purchase in my usual forensic style.

So, it needs a new marble top to replace the cheap and nasty temporary top it came to us with. Trev says that to make it stable and to take it back to something approaching it’s original construction we need quite a bit of the same or very similar wood (fruitwood, unidentifiable, probably impossible) and the amount of work to get it right is both colossal and uneconomical for what we could sell it on for.

The base/footing is in a terrible state & is going to the dump anyway

As it’s already been semi-wrecked by another, my conscience is clear. I am now looking at how we can best upcycle this piece . Trev says “Are you sure that you are happy for me to take this apart and use bits elsewhere? Are you going to fret about dismantling and repurposing an antique? Are you going to regret this? What about the inherent integrity of this piece”

Well, he’s got me sussed alright. And the answer is 1) yes 2) no 3) no 4) some other git trashed it..so?!

I got the tape measure out. It’s obviously meant to be. We have a few more things we need to source to finish the house and this buffet could furnish four of those needs, with  a little tweaking.

We need a closed door storage cupboard in the kitchen- of the four base cupboards, the two end ones mirror each other and can be fitted together with a sympathetic new/old top. I just happen to have an Art Nouveau washstand top in the workshop that fits.

We need cupboard doors for under the sink where Trevor must build something to inset the new ceramic sink top. The centre two door lower cupboard with carved panel above fits the gap perfectly, and these two doors appear to be solid , rather than veneer, so suitable for this area with the right treatment. Any spare pieces can be utilised for the wall cupboard around the boiler. So I get my solid wood kitchen with very little additional expense.

I want a cabinet on legs with doors under my Chinese washbasin in shower room. I measure the two curved side cupboards on gorgeous legs currently forming the top part of the buffet and these, plus one of the carved panels alongside, fill the existing space up there perfectly.I’ll work out what to do about the damaged veneer later.

I wanted Trev to make a small, mirror backed, glass fronted corner cabinet from old wood for some special family pieces. Oooh, look what we will have left………….


About coteetcampagne

Artist, period home maker, renovator, restorer, Francophile. My mission is to save the old stuff, one beautiful piece at a time
This entry was posted in Antique and Vintage finds, Art, design and inspiration blog, Renovation and restoration diary- France and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Quandaries -the buffet- update

  1. How wonderful that you are going to spread it’s love into other projects. Nice to meet you. I look forward to following your projects. Pamela

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Niki HMcN says:

    What a gorgeous piece of furniture, and so many uses for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. bizzyella says:

    Perfect! Not everything is worthy of museum-quality restoration. Sounds like a whole series of great solutions.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. gabriele says:

    Speaking of repurposing, I suggest we repurpose the expression “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts” and amend it to “The sum of its parts can be greater than the whole”.
    What you’re going to do with the buffet will live on in more useful, more enjoyable ways and be enjoyed as much for their original history as for the future you create with them.
    Think of the original buffet as a mother hen (gone to the great hen yard in the sky) and all the various pieces as little chicks who will live on and on. Cheep! not cheap.

    Am I cynical to think the buffet had been encumbered with so many items by the seller so the prospective buyer wouldn’t look closer? A seller to approach with reserve when considering
    other items in the future, unless it was a one-time vide grenier…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like your train of thought!

      Yes, clearly that was the idea in crowding it . I buy and sell too, but I always point out faults.
      They have since moved to another location and although they have some nice pieces I won’t buy from them again.
      I forgive because it’s good for the soul, but I don’t forget.


  5. Ellen A. says:

    “I just happen to have an Art Nouveau washstand top in the workshop that fits.” LOL. Only you!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m all for you taking this piece apart and using its components where they suit you – especially since the integrity of the piece is pretty much destroyed. And around here traditional furniture has depreciated so much that you can get great piece for nothing. It’s been weird for my mom seeing her dream furniture on Craigslist at sub-IKEA prices. I assume that the UK and France are similar to here if not more so.

    And I read somewhere that veneering isn’t that hard, but I wouldn’t know.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think Trev has just about reached saturation point for this year, as far as learning new skills is involved..


      • Pfft, make it function now and fix the doors in 2020

        Liked by 1 person

      • Are you picking up that this project will go on and on and on?


      • Totally. It’s something we have in common. My parents spent 11 years getting their first house just the way they wanted it, then moved and started all over again. I called my dad to discuss porch columns in between final exams at Uni (I’ll use your lingo for clarity.) And then I took 3 years just to get mine habitable and anticipate another solid 3 to get it the way I want it, and I have a crippling fear that 3 more years will be just enough for me to meet someone who wants a garage and/or children and start over again. And to think before I bought it I said I wanted to make my life simpler than my parents’.

        Liked by 2 people

      • And I have temporary open bathroom shelves too. Mine are a little oak-topped metal kitchen cart on casters. The kind that every college student has stocked with liquor bottles and a microwave. I put square baskets on it to sorta camouflage the cleaning supplies and toiletries.


  7. Osyth says:

    Clearly this was meant to be …. what a lucky piece to be procreating so many new pieces that really will be loved and fit in your house. I look forward to the next instalment(s) with breath a-baited 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just a thought, but Emmaus often have cupboards from the same era – you may find the necessary wood/marble parts you need there. Sounds like Trev has a lot on his plate!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s