DIY: The Hutch

Not long after I closed my business last summer, I started a big DIY project. To be fair, I started a lot of projects during that time. I spent five years in business completely neglecting a number of areas in my life, including my home. If you know me at all, you know that it takes something major for me not to spend time and energy on the spaces in which I spend a lot of time. Looking back, the business was pretty major and naturally consumed every minute of my day and all the enthusiasm I could muster. Anyway, that’s all behind me now. I’ve always loved making my home pretty, livable, and functional. I’m no pro at it; I just like pretty spaces that make me happy.

A few times a month, I swing by our local Salvation Army. I originally started doing it because you never know when you might find a great piece of vintage clothing, but I kept going back because this particular SA has an incredible selection of furniture. Now, being on a budget (who isn’t, really), this was a great way to score a new little something without breaking the bank–even if I did have to repair a seam or buy a can of paint. I’ve been really, really lucky with my finds. Scroll through my Instagram photos and you’ll see a white and blue striped couch in my studio. $90 (and $50 to have it cleaned), Salvation Army. The big gold framed mirror I take pictures in front of? $25, Salvation Army. (Side note: that mirror weighs about 60 pounds, and I’m pretty sure it’s 50+ years old. It was a legit find, you guys. I love that thing.) Add to that countless pieces of clothing (most with the price tags still attached!), knickknacks here and there, an adorable side table I painted and put in the living room, pieces of art, and, of course, The Hutch.

Ty and I are not big drinkers by any means, but we had a basic stock of booze that was slowly outgrowing the one cabinet we were keeping it in. I’ve wanted a bar cart for ages, but never found one that I loved or that was reasonably priced. Enter, The Hutch. I knew the moment I saw it that we were destined for each other. The great part is that the top shelf part wasn’t permanently attached, so I can go back and paint it later, reattach the bolts, and ta-da! We’ll have a hutch. For now, I use the shelf for storage in the garage, and the bottom part for the booze. From start to finish, this project took me about 5 weeks. A lot of that time was waiting for coats to dry, but I spent a good two solid weeks sanding the damn thing. You would not believe how not fun that can be in early fall 90-degree heat in Texas. I’m really, really glad I put in all that effort though, the end result is worth it. Sanding times a million, two coats of primer (three on the top), three coats of paint, new hardware, felt in the drawer, and wallpaper in the interior.

(Please excuse the not pretty pictures and the mess that is our garage.)

Isn’t it darling?! I saw its potential a mile away.



The top shelf. I might paint it to match one day. The thought of sanding it makes my head hurt, so for now it sits in the garage.



After I sanded it, I excitedly ran inside to have Ty come look at what a fantastic job I’d done. Yeah, I had a lot more to go.



I removed all of the old hardware. It wasn’t in great shape, and I knew I was going to replace it.


I filled in the holes with a wood filler and sanded it down before I primed. Worked like a charm.


After two coats of primer, the painting begins. I used Kilz primer and Behr paint in ‘Sparrow’.


After coats and coats of primer and paint, I laid the paper in the drawer and shelves. It was easy but tedious. Lots of measuring and precise cutting to make sure the pattern matched exactly. I found the paper on clearance at JoAnn, and I ended up using two rolls. You can still buy this there (and other craft stores and Home Depot, etc.), but I think this particular pattern is unavailable.




Hardware was a big decision. I knew I wanted brushed nickle or platinum, but it took some time to find drawer pulls that matched. Three of the previous hardware was two-hole hardware that happened to be a very specific width.



New felt for the drawer.


Finished! (And no, we don’t smoke or use those ashtrays. I just think they’re pretty!)




Looking at these pictures again has inspired me to start another project. Salvation Army, here I come!




  1. before and after: the living room – Emily Hallman Designs | 5th Oct 16

    […] the right is the hutch I found at Salvation Army last year and […]

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *