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The Bonnet Basin

After years trying to dodge my mom’s weekly tag sale stops, a light was lit inside of me. Who would have thought it would create a pure love of hunting, searching and manifesting those perfect cast-off pieces to accessorize and make my own. Flea markets became exhilarating. Each time as I look across the vast outpours of junk, a fueling fire of excitement comes over me …’knowing not yet what I will find’. I never set out with something in mind; that something always seems to find me.

Over the years reusing and recycling furniture became more and more interesting not only because it is important for our environment, but also because it is a guaranteed way to create something no one else has. This notion opened the door to a quaint shop in Andover, CT called Over AndOver, where my husband and I upcycle and repurpose all types of furniture, intercepting them from the path of the landfill. We rework pieces to show their full potential and allow their history to live into the future for another household to enjoy.

When I saw this piece, I knew I had to save it. It was on a truck with numerous other unwanted ones and my heart went out to it. It was old. I mean the paint was barely hanging on, which always makes me think about who originally applied it all those years ago, and the intentions of the builder. While reinforcing screws or taking out old nails, I can’t help but think of the hands who labored in its native state and about the family it went to serve. It looked like a dry sink of sorts, and after a little more research discovered it also to be a place women would store their bonnets and gloves.

Growing up my parents had a “dry sink” in their home (still do) which they used as a mini bar. The top was a great space for entertaining with snacks and glasses and behind the bottom cabinet doors held various aperitifs. It gave me the idea to turn this unit into a wine bar.

The front drawer on the left had been missing when it found its way to me and I actually liked how the open slot could house a mini flat basket or a few bottles of wine on their side. It did come with a little cabinet door on the bottom, but since it was hanging by a thread I took it off and immediately liked the open area even better (more wine storage!). But the best part had to be the flip top. When open the two leveled basin offers fabulous storage for anything, from baskets, books or games to glasses and cork poppers. Closed it provides a nice flat surface for entertaining or showcasing your favorite floral arrangement. Featured here is an old medicine bottle turned vase and beside it are two of my Grandmother’s metal wire flowers serving as funky bookmarks.

There it is: a re-loved, re-beautified piece for any hallway or any living space. You can do this too, it’s truly satisfying to give things a second chance, use your hands to express your artistic self and help save the earth one piece at a time.

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