Do you call it retro? Vintage? Shabby chic? Whatever the current fashionable term, it’s become a lot more popular over the last few years. If you want something with the style and quality of previous generations, it’s never been easier. But the clamour for everything older means it’s also getting increasingly difficult to find a bargain. Like this retro kitchen cabinet needing work – it’s one of the few items on ebay at the moment which isn’t already in triple figures.
It’s in Walkern in Hampshire, UK, and listed for free collection in person with a seller boasting 99.1% positive feedback with 1150 responses. Which is the good news. And it’s also listed on ebay until the last day in March, so there’s a bit of time to think about it (and arrange a van, if you need one!).
Unfortunately it also obviously needs plenty of work, and the back board appeared to have fallen (and also has a hole in it at the bottom of the top section). There is also some warping on one part of shelving. All of that is fairly easy to fix, and par for the course if you’re buying vintage furniture which hasn’t already been restored (and therefore costs as much as new furniture, if not more). The seller also warns some of the joints are coming loose.
But it’s all original paintwork, and the work required to get it back into good, functional condition would be closer to a weekend than a longterm project. So it’s worth keeping an eye on the price over the next couple of weeks as it gets closer to the listing ending.
For comparison, something similar in style from the 1950s in slightly better condition would set you back £60 for this kitchenette larder unit/pantry cabinet. Or £75 for this kitchen cabinet in nice condition. The first example has a few days left to sell, while the second is on a ‘Buy It Now’ option.
Either way, it pays to consider transport. And also price up the paint, sandpaper and any other tools or supplies you might not have yet. Unless you’re regularly indulging in DIY, you might need to stock up on decent secondhand woodworking tools and practise your painting before getting into an upcycling project for your kitchen. One tip I’m following is to start looking out for free ‘throwaway’ furniture to practice on before tackling items I really want to keep.