Awhile back, as in a few years ago, I happened upon an awesome mid-century Lane cedar chest while out thrift shopping one day with my husband. Chances are your mother or grandmother had a cedar hope chest that she received as a graduation or other special occasion gift before she was married. At first glance I thought it was a dresser and then realized it had faux drawers. This particular model was made in 1957 according to the serial number stamped on the back. It even still had the original hang tag and labels inside.
I'd never seen a cedar chest quite like it. I immediately fell in love with its sleek lines, but it had definitely seen better days. Its yellowed and grungy blond finish was pretty hideous, with stains and water marks. I had absolutely no place to put it in my little house. I could see its potential but I was ready to be firm and walk away. That's when my husband said those magic words: "Get it. If you don't you know you'll regret it. And if you come back it'll probably be gone." Well, what's a girl to do? A willing partner, the brawn to help move it and we just happened to have the van with us. Sold!
|Original finish ready for stripping.|
|Stripped, lightly sanded and ready for finishing.|
Once we moved the computer out of our bedroom there was finally a place for it too. It would be great storage for our winter sweaters and my yarn stash. It would be, except it's full of my Etsy inventory instead. I needed a safe place to keep the more fragile items until I figure out something else, a cupboard in the basement perhaps.
Oh, and one important safety note. Some years back the Lane company had a recall on the latches for their cedar chests and trunk. If a child were to climb inside, and the lid be closed, the lid would latch shut and couldn't be opened from the inside. Since the chests are made with an "aroma-tite" seal there was a very real risk of suffocation. I was able to order a free replacement latch and lock through Lane's website.
That crochet afghan on top of the chest is another one of my favorite thrift store finds. Whoever made it had a great eye for color. I love how the colors really pop against the black. It's very modern looking for a granny afghan and it's even made of wool yarn instead of the usual acrylic stuff.
Here's a gratuitous close-up shot for you.