In my spare time over the last few weeks (ie, nap time and when Trent is home to help keep an eye on our son), I have been working on painting the dining room and refinishing a cabinet. The cabinet is my solution to child proofing the cat food & water now that D is allowed into the dining room and kitchen (he’s at the point where the living room alone is like being trapped).
The cat food bowls and water fountain are like a magnet drawing him in. He knows these aren’t for playing with but can not resist the temptation. Thus the idea for a cabinet where they could be closed off from him, but accessible to the cats came about.
I found this cabinet on Craigslist for $20:
It was a good size (36″w x 18″d x 36″h) and overall in good condition. It had expected wears from previous use, but also had great bones. I had a vision that it could be beautiful and functional with a little work.
I sanded it down. Removed the old knobs. Patched the holes. Cut a 6″ x 6″ opening in one side for the cats to enter. Then came paint.
I was momentarily stumped. The other furniture in the room is a dark walnut tone. I wasn’t convinced that I could get a color to match and, honestly, didn’t want it to match. I wanted it to be a fun accent piece.
Searching the room for inspiration, I came to the curtains. In May 2009, I had added a striped top panel to lengthen the curtains after accidentally shrinking them. Looking at the striped fabric, I had my aha! moment – a nice olive green color would be perfect. After a trip to Lowes for supplies and several layers of paint (Valspar #318-6 Shubbery mixed in Olympic semi-gloss no VOC base) later, my vision was starting to come together.
Even my son was joining in on the fun when he could – oh how he loved climbing in and playing hide ‘n seek:
Finally, the dining room was painted and the new knobs I ordered on eBay arrived:
For now only the cat food is in there as we let them adjust to the new location. I’ll eventually place their water fountain on the bottom and cut a hole in the shelf so they can access the food above. And, of course, I had to add locks to keep our son from being able to open the doors.
And in it’s new home:
All in all, I spent less than $50 and ended up with a unique, beautiful piece.