viv the antique wardrobe

Hi, loves.

Update: Click HERE for the AFTER of Viv.

Before I share my latest antique find,
I just want tothank you for reading this blog of mine.
That’s all.
Just athank you!
I have a bunch of little updates for you on my textile line,
zinc countertops,
marble carrera hex tiles, etc.
but I’m just so excited to share the antique wardrobe that I picked up today.
She’s in rough shape right now but she won’t be for long.
Oh, the plans I have for this delicate yet sturdy piece.
I don’t usually name inanimate objects,
but I’ve been calling her Vivian all day (as in Pretty Woman).
Here’s Viv…
She’s a mess but even still, I think it’s a beautiful, antique piece.
It was exactly the style wardrobe I pictured in my mind months ago for Edyn’s room…
shabby chic,
nothing too ornate,
nothing too tall or too small,
something raised,
skinny legs,
drawers inside…
you get the picture.
Chipped veneer, the smell of an ashtray, stains and horribly warped doors
weren’t on the list but I can embrace, fix or work around all of that.
I wasn’t going to let this one get away because
someone responded to my “antique wardrobe wanted” ad on Craiglist
with an actual antique wardrobe.
 I paid fifty dollars for her.
Well, $70 if you include the $20 I gave to my cousin with the truck
that hauled it home for me.
My husband thinks I am certifiably and clinically crazy to have paid $50 for Viv
and threatened to start his own blog about the horrible things I bring home,
thinking I just found the best deal of my life…
…to which I replied, “Well, it was the same situation when I found you
so be grateful that I can see past so many imperfections.”
I kid, of course.
It was said with love and humor.
He laughed.
We love each other.
Enough said.
I mean, how dare he call Viv horrible?
How dare he roll his eyes and nearly refuse to
help me bring her into the house
because he couldn’t believe I paid cash money for this “thing.”
I see nothing but pretty potential.
Really. He should know that by now.
Despite some cosmetic flaws, this wardrobe is as solid as a rock.
You can’t purchase a new wardrobe for fifty dollars
and this one was carefully made of solid wood (walnut?)
with once gorgeous veneer work,
dovetail joints, and pretty details.
It has a story and history.
Sure beats much of today’s particle board and weak butt joints.

I see beyond the two-inch warp of the front, right door panel.
(Okay. He may have a small case building.)
I might embrace the fact that it’s warped and just go with it
(It doesn’t bother me one bit.),
or I might remove the door altogether and open it up.
I plan on making the inside just as pretty as the outside!
I see beyond the chipped veneer.
With the right door gone that only leaves the left side
and I either plan to make a pretty, tufted linen panel to cover it
or I may just repair the damage with wood filler and sand it smooth.
I plan to paint the outside white so you wouldn’t even be able to tell.
I’m sort of leaning toward the tufted panel
because I want this piece to be compact and functional.
The tufted panel would be a great spot for photos, artwork, hair bows, etc.
We’ll see. I sure do love those details on the doors.
A couple more shots because this is a blog…
I cleaned Viv up with a white vinegar and Dawn solution to get rid of the ashtray smell.
Now, I’ll just stare at her for a couple of weeks until I decide exactly what to do!

What say you?

Prosecution or defense?

Team Viv or Team Husband?
{I love my sweet, little wardrobe regardless.}
Have a lovely week!

post signature


  1. I am SO with YOU girl!!! I see so much potential in this little beauty….I’ve had my own antiques store and have transformed many an ugly duckling into a swan and see your vision. I love saving ANYTHING and turning it into something new. I can’t wait to see what your new treasure turns in to…..xxoo, Dawn

  2. Kays Kids says:

    I love it as well. I can see potential.

  3. I think Viv is sweet too. And she sure looks like walnut to me as well.
    She is going to be fabulous! Can’t wait to see her all gussied up.

    PS. Oh and you are welcome.

  4. Deanne says:

    I am sure she will be beautiful once you have had your way with her!

  5. sissie says:

    I would have snatched that up too, love it even with all it’s imperfections and warpiness!

    I’m sure he’ll be saying how wonderful it looks when you transform it.


  6. Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful

  7. It sounds like a great vision for it, Jami! I can’t wait to see her transformation.

  8. I know this is going to turn out like some kind of wonderful!! Hubs will be amazed once again by his wonderkid wife!

  9. I know this is going to turn out like some kind of wonderful!! Hubs will be amazed once again by his wonderkid wife!

  10. Um. Team Viv. Of course. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!! What a perfect thing for you to transform!

  11. Jill Elaine says:

    Team Viv! OF COURSE!! I would so pay $50 for something like that! I need an old armoire to fix up for my sewing room – to stash my unending pile of fabric! You got a gem – good for you!

  12. pballard says:

    Love Viv- please share the finished look. Cant wait..

  13. Team Viv!!! My husband says the saaame thing to me- haha!! Then every time I finish a piece. I say “see… told ya soooo”

  14. My husband and I were once told something by an antiques dealer, that might just benefit you.
    It was a way to remove a warp from wood.
    This dealer would put the antique down on the ground OUTSIDE, and it would gradually get the warp out of the wood. You can do it inside too if you put it in a very sunny area and lay it flat :)
    I know THAT one because it happened to a table of ours!
    Anyway, just a way to get rid of the warp should you decide to keep the doors!

  15. Can’t wait to see the end result! She is a beauty!

  16. Suzanne says:

    Team Viv all the way !! Can’t wait to see the finished piece, I’m sure it will be gorgeous. And I KNOW you won’t tell the hubby, “I told you so…..”


  17. Viv is so darling, can’t wait to see her all done up!

  18. Love the name,think Vivian Leigh,of Gone with the Wind…she
    had a amazing life. So I think the name is perfect.I have a wardrobe to work on and you are so lucky to have one with drawers…can’t wait to see what you do…mine has chipped veneer too..I’ve thought of material or embossed wall paper…but I don’t want to cover the wood…so sanding and paint

  19. Suzy says:

    Are you kidding? No contest! Team Viv all the way, babe! She’s a beauty, just waiting to be revealed. Can’t wait to see what you do to make her into a Pretty Woman!

  20. Serendipity. says:

    Sometimes a “gal” like Viv just needs a little “makeup”. After all, a “woman” of a “certain age” doesn’t always look her best without a little help from an understanding friend. She’s obviously got great legs and fabulous “cheek bones”. I think that she’s lovely and I’ll bet that Edyn will love her new “girlfriend” xo

  21. Jami – that wardrobe looks alot like the one that I bought for $50 about 4 years ago. Pretty legs. Simple design. Badly in need of alot of TLC. But after a couple week’s work – our little lady is now our TV cabinet, and we love her dearly!!! We took out the vertical partition inside and turned it horizontal, and took out all of the drawers, too. Don’t let the husband wriggle his eyebrows at you. You’re going to make Viv gorgeous!!! :)

    xoxo laurie

  22. Team Viv all the way! I see a lot of potential there too. I am sure you will make your husband eat his words…

  23. Robin says:

    Looks like a diamond in the rough! What a beauty. Can’t wait to see it finished!

  24. amy says:

    The warped door concerns me a bit. But your vision for the piece-inspiring.

    I have an armoire in my garage right now that I picked up for free. I was going to use it for display in my shop, but it just isn’t right. It is painted “Paloma” by AS, but still needs “something”.
    After reading this post I’m going to seriously re-evaluate and see what I can do to make this baby work.

  25. You need to get t-shirts made and I’d take a Team Viv for sure!

    My Hubs is the same way – rolls his eyes! But who has the last laugh when we transform them into awesomeness!

    Viv is the definition of a Pretty Woman!

  26. How2home says:

    i’m definitely on your side..there is so much potential in this piece! if you are planning to repaint it (which i definitely) think you should, are you going to sand off everything first; then paint?)

  27. Erin says:

    Well, you know I’m on Team Viv all the way! (Though I did laugh about your husband’s blog idea…smiles) Viv reminds of me a lot of a little armoire I picked up last year. I ended up removing the doors in favor of hanging fabric curtain panels, due to warpage and chipped veneer. I think your idea of tufting the doors sounds fantastic though!

    Carolina Country Living

  28. Yvonne says:

    I just ran across this because I am selling a “Viv” that I bought some time ago from a person who deals in antiques. In better condition – I’m not selling it for $50! My girls actually used it for a dresser while they were at home. It has basically the same design – no warped door, and nice drawers! Should be a nice find for someone!

  29. I love Viv, her lines, her name and now her new color! Di@Cottage-wishes
    Di@Cottage-wishes recently posted..Window ShoppingMy Profile

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