Monday, July 10, 2017

My Irish bookcase

Recently (or not so recently), I was inspired by the sweet (and patient) members of Havenly, a wonderful online interior design company, to write about a beloved decor piece and how I highlight it to fit into my home decor.

Well, as most of you can guess, it was a very hard decision.

I'm a sentimental fool and it would be easier to pick a favorite of just about anything else.

Walking around my home for days, I tried to think of a piece that I've had to style differently in order to make it work and I finally decided that my 1800s Irish pine hutch would fit the bill.

"Why did you move my toy basket, mom?!"

I thought it was English all these years until I went to take a picture of the receipt that I've kept all this time and nope, it's Irish!

Until recently, it was used as a dining room china cabinet, since my mom purchased it for me about 25 years ago, for my second home.

It was found at a place in Santa Barbara called the Pine Trader, where it was sitting there sadly without any glass in the top doors. 

I fell in love.

They told me it was originally a library bookcase, but I wanted it for my dining room at the time, so I had them put dividers in the two drawers for my silver. 

For the missing glass in the top doors, I also asked them to mimic the diamond design that was carved in the corners.

I found pictures of it in a few different homes, but it's been in a total of 7 and traveled with me from California, to Virginia, then Ohio, and now it's with me in Arizona.

Sadly, all I have is a glimpse of it, to the far right, in the first house it resided in, circa 1991:

This is me decorating it for Christmas, two houses after that:

Both of those were taken pre- blogging.

Also, can you believe I had white walls?

In two different homes, no less!

But I digress....

Here it is in the my last home:

Today, in this home, it is used as originally intended...

A book case.

A very messy bookcase that has become a catchall, which reminds me that I need to reorganize it.

With a bit of china underneath...

and silver in the drawers ;)

Also messy.

Tsk... tsk...


How do I fit it in to my home decor?

Simply by only loving the things I have and making it work.

I suppose I could have put it in my office with all the other bookshelves, but I wanted it to be the first thing you see when you walk in my front door.

It deserves that kind of honor after traveling here from Ireland and back and forth across the United States, don't you think?

Toy basket replaced, Bubba.

It's seen a lot over the years and I'm sure it could tell quite a few of my secrets.

Thank goodness, the old girl can't talk.

Well, at least about me ;)


I was not compensated for this post.


  1. that's a magnificent piece of furniture!

  2. What a beautiful home, and the Irish cupboard is lovely looking and adds character to the home now and in those old photos. Great post indeed, warm greetings!

  3. It is a lovely piece - such a great place for treasured books and knick knacks!

  4. Your bookcase is a of the prettiest ever!

  5. I would not have thought to use it as a bookcase. It is a very lovely piece and has taken all of the moves well.

  6. Rue, I have always loved that piece. And I enjoyed seeing you--and the bookcase--through the years.

  7. It's gorgeous, just like your home. Fun to see the receipt from Santa Barbara, too. I love that kind of furniture. It looks perfect in your house. My mom used to say that all antiques go together. They don't have to match.

  8. That is a wonderful old piece! I love how you had the window woodwork done, very nice.

    Thanks for sharing ~ FlowerLady

  9. It is a lovely piece! What a treasure!

  10. Oh that cabinet makes my eyes fill with delight and my heart pitter patter. I think a good piece is always timeless and this certainly fills the bill. Truly gorgeous. Just like its owner. :)

  11. A beautiful piece for sure! I would have fallen in love with it too! Versatile too and now it has returned to its original purpose! :)

  12. Nice piece. I am not sure that I could pick out a fav piece. I really think that maybe I would have to go with my antique metal bed. I purchased it years ago at the flea market and I took yrs (yes, it took yrs) for me to strip it and redo it. But I do have other favs also. That is a great solid piece you have there.

  13. Lovely bookcase. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Rue,
    I am swooning. This is so beautiful. Happy New Week.

  15. That piece is a real stunner, Rue. Such a treasured piece! ;)

  16. Dear Miss Rue,
    Its beautiful! No wounded you fell in love with it.
    I could never pick out just one thing in my house as my favorite, as I have told my husband, all of it is my favorite, that's why its in the house. Probably needless to tell you my husband is often very confused, but only when he is talking to me...hmmm
    Blessings to you,

  17. Minnie again,
    Sorry about the typos, my blasted computer incorrectly corrects me all the time, and I of course don't see it until after I hit send.
    Good day,

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Sure enjoyed this post, very interesting! Loved reading all about it's history and where all you've had it....and it's travels! So neat! I have a few pieces similar here and I love them...I have so many knick-knacks and sentimental mementoes in them. I LOVE BOOKS behind glass--it looks so nice! I have one old one in the kitchen even, being used as a pantry, it holds food and actually looks really nice...even if the shelves are cluttered, they look nice behind GLASS. Guess glass is the secret, ha ha ha LOl---to me anyway. I love china closets, that's what they were called in my family growing up. I also hear them called china cabinets. Hutches. All kinds of names. I just think they are ALL NEAT! I have all our good china in one and the fancy glass things, it sure does keep them safer in a house full of animals and grandchild who plays here!

  20. Gorgeous piece of furniture --either as a china cabinet or a bookcase... I love it..... Thanks so much for sharing it with us today... IF that piece could write a book on the experiences it has had since being in your family, I'm sure it would have an interesting story to tell....


  21. Beautiful piece of furniture! I'm so glad you have been able to find a place for it in your home.

  22. What a beautiful piece and I love peeking at your old homes. Every one of them was gorgeous.

  23. Its a fabulous it...and I am the same way...I love the "stuff" and/or "treasures" that I accumulate or have through my lifetime..and tend to keep most everything...(which sometimes is not a good thing, lol)...but of your case..this is a great piece..and love your home..Thanks for sharing..

  24. What a gorgeous piece Rue! And it has lots of great storage too- can't beat that combination. Also, is that a little Morris chair in front?


  25. What a beautiful hutch! I'm sure it's very heavy...I can't imagine moving it around to all those houses!

  26. This is one beautiful cabinet, I love all the detail. It must not have been easy toting that around the country with you so yes, I'd say it's true love! I have an old Hoosier cabinet and in case of a fire, other than my dogs, it would be the first thing I carried out! lol!

    Love your house, so cozy and so YOU. Also read your post on the curtains you made. I can't sew but have thought about making something with fabric webbing and clip rings. I want that sink!

    Happy mid summer!

    Jane x

  27. This is a beautiful piece, Rue. I love your home. My house is much smaller than the previous home we had and because of not having enough room for it, I had to sell the big cabinet we had in the dining room and I've sure missed having it. Have a nice day!

  28. What an amazing piece that is, Rue! I absolutely love it, and obviously you do also! Like you, I would treasure it always and move it from home to home. I have many cherished pieces that have moved with me from home to home, many of them inexpensive finds at garage sales or auctions. They are always my favorites!

  29. I've admired that piece since I first saw it in your other house. It definitely deserves to be the first things people see when they come to front door!


  30. Gorgeous piece and I love that you had the glass made to match the diamonds. You are very clever with decorating.
    Love that you can see it on entering. Just wonderful.

    1. Oh, you mentioned how I tie my Keds. Preppy tie we used in high school but, today I use it because my spine is fused and I cannot bend so, can't tie my own shoes!
      This makes it a bit easier. ;)

  31. Lovely piece, and I'm so glad that you've kept it all these years and obviously it has worked beautifully in each of your homes.

    I smiled when I read about how you had white walls in two houses.
    I have just started painting all the beige walls in our home.... white!
    It feels so good to have clean, fresh, soft white walls again. I think I've been through just about every color on the walls, in one house or another, and classic white is still my favorite :)

    Have a great rest of your week, sweet friend.


  32. Absolutely beautiful!!! I do enjoy visiting (all your homes) you are gifted at finding and sharing charm.
    xx oo

  33. I'm a little late getting here but I'm
    What a GREAT old piece and I love that it is Irish. That was a good decision to mimic the diamond panels for the glass doors. What a wonderful piece your Mom bought for you.

    I have a few pieces that have traveled all over the country with me, too, and, like you, Iam SO GLAD my pieces can't talk!

    Have a wonderful weekend, Rue. xo Diana

  34. What a beautiful hand-crafted book case! They just don't make them with this quality anymore unfortunately. Hope the weather out your way is good this summer. We are having a humid heatwave here in Virginia! ugh.

  35. What a lovely piece! It certainly has travelled around a bit, which makes it all the more special.

  36. Having traveled from Ireland and across the USA, your book shelf is valuable. I like the unique carvings on its wood material that make it look pretty historical.

  37. What a fun post full of history in regards to this lovely book case; a treasure!

  38. I love it! I am so drawn to pieces like that and if I had a bigger home I would love to get my hands on something similar.

  39. That amazing Irish pine wood bookcase cabinet is FABULOUS!

    I sure enjoyed this post, Rue!



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