Give Old Furnishings a New Purpose

With a bit of imagination, furniture and found objects can do double-duty in your home.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionStoffer has incorporated many other antiques into her own kitchen and the kitchens of her clients, including a dish dresser that was built around glass cabinetry doors salvaged from her home’s original butler’s pantry, an Eastlake bed frame that she turned into a range hood, doors as refrigerator panels and old art glass windows as cabinet doors.
Pantry Pride

With four teenagers in the house, kitchen designer Jean Stoffer needs lotsof pantry space in her River Forest, Illinois, kitchen. And while she certainly could have had supersized food storage built to match the other kitchen cabinets, she chose, instead, to install a 19th-century French armoire she and her husband found on a 20th-anniversary trip to Carmel, California.

"We were about to start the kitchen remodeling at that time," says Stoffer. "I knew I wanted to find something unique for that spot in the room, to serve as a pantry. This piece was perfect and now it has a great memory attached to it!

Using a freestanding piece like the armoire is fairly easy to do," says Stoffer. "And while integrating old parts and retrofitting whole pieces can be a lot more complicated, it is all very worth it. The result is a one-of-a-kind, totally unique, usually very interesting piece."

Photograph by Mark Samu.