What's in a Kitchen Cart?
Did you see the recent post about the bureau I converted to a kitchen cart/rolling island? Pretty sure it's fair to say that it was by far, one of the most challenging transformations thus far in the history of Pumpkin Seed Designs. I thought it would be fun to share some photos of the process I used for this transformation, without a road map to tell me how to do it.
The Background: "What could this be?" That was the thought as I looked at the sad oak bureau that once had such a vibrant glow about it. This piece had warped veneer on the sides from what looked to be water damage, the bottom drawer was missing a bottom ENTIRELY, and the drawer above that had a huge hole in the bottom part of the drawer. The mirror and harp were in *ok* condition, but it just didn't seem fit to be a bureau anymore. Even one of the top, smaller drawers needed to be rebuilt in order to function properly. Somewhere along my Pinterest scrolls I had seen a really pretty kitchen server, by Colorful Home Designs and thought to myself- "Now THAT is somethin'!"
"What if I just...?" In our house, we have a phrase that my husband, Eric, pretty much dreads. It usually starts with "What if I just..." or "What if we just..." and typically ends in a rather lengthy DIY/home improvement project that I almost always need his help for. HOWEVER- some of the best projects and ideas we have had have started with "What if we just...". So, I looked at Eric and I said something like, "What if I just turn it into a kitchen cart?" I think he thought that I was off my rocker for real this time. So one day, while Eric was working inside (he's remote because of COVID like so many people), I went outside and started tearing the bureau apart. I took off the mirror and harp (those will be repurposed at some point), then removed the top of the bureau. Then... I went for it, I removed one of the sides. First, I tried to do it methodically, with the intentions of leaving the top drawer covered. I realized I did it wrong when the entire side fell off. Oops. I ended up temporarily clamping it and eventually gluing and clamping all of the pieces back into place to stabilize it.
A little excited... with both sides off and reglued/clamped, I excitedly bugged Eric to help me drag the skeleton into the house so I could work on the porch. What came next was a series of decisions, made up as I went along- starting with the color of the piece and the hardware because, let's be honest...I tend to get a little ahead of myself. In the photos below, I had put top on but not secured it- several times over because as I added components and features, I wanted to be sure that it all still worked together.
The cup pulls are vintage and were a Habitat for Humanity ReStore find last summer. A little Brasso cleaned them up like a charm! Eric helped me to install shelves- I wanted to leave the original drawer slides on the sides so that this piece was extra unique and paid some homage to its bureau legacy. This made the shelf installation a little trickier, but we figured it out. The top got sanded way down to its natural oak wood grain and sealed with polyurethane. As a final touch, we added a towel/paper towel holder to the side, after reinstalling new sides to cover the top drawers. The most challenging part of the entire project was getting the remaining wood pieces out of the slats on the sides of the drawers. Again, I wanted it to be obvious that this piece used to serve a different purpose.
At some point, we added casters back to the cart. It had casters when I got it, and they were in AWFUL condition. Thankfully, I had some backups kicking around- I think they add a nice touch and some great height. So there it is, a piece for the books. I hope you enjoyed seeing more of the process, and if you know anyone who's looking, this piece is available for a new home, too!