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Storage Cabinet

Just about every cabinet in a house qualifies as a storage cabinet. After all, you store supplies and things in the fancy wood box you call a cabinet. But storage cabinets can come in all sizes, shapes, and sources. Some of the best storage cabinets I've used over the years - and still use to this day - were salvaged from remodeling projects. Yes, the cabinets I use were headed to the dump in a dumpster before I saved them!

In the 1950's and 60's, there was a big trend for metal kitchen storage cabinets. Some of these were works of art. In fact when I saw them, I always pondered how in the world they were manufactured with such precision. I had the good fortune about 17 years ago to remodel a home that had many of these metal cabinets. I salvaged each one, as most of them were in excellent condition. The painted finish on them looked like the day they left the factory.

A few of these cabinets are still in use at my house. They make wonderful storage cabinets in garages and work shops. If you ever have a chance to salvage metal cabinets, do so. They're nearly indestructible.

You can't always use salvaged cabinets for everything. For example, if you desire to showcase your DVD collection or even classic vinyl records in a media storage cabinet that will be in a family room or a living room, you'll not do well taking a castaway cabinet. Then trying to modify it with special shelves and dividers. I'm not saying it can't be done, it's just that you might be better off getting a new cabinet for this purpose.

There is a growing trend of people working from home offices. I do that myself. You can purchase office storage cabinets disguised as stock bathroom vanity cabinets. Yes, these traditional vanity cabinets are not as tall as kitchen cabinets, and when screwed together and covered with a simple laminate top, they can look amazingly like a credenza. What's more, they allow you to really have a well-organized office if you take the time and put your most needed supplies as close to where you sit as possible. That way the things you need are at your fingertips.

It would take supreme skills and magic to create a furniture storage cabinet from either wood or metal salvaged cabinets. Perhaps the only way to pull this off would be if you had a room where painted furniture, or the distressed look, was the theme. In that case, you very likely could discover a tall pantry cabinet that is trimmed with crown molding just might work. My customers in the past paid large sums of money for custom painted cabinets, so you could save lots of cash if you can get creative and pull this off.

If you have a boatload of woodworking tools and equipment, you may be able to cobble together a CD storage cabinet or a DVD storage cabinet. These are indeed custom cabinets that require precision measuring and thin dividers. It takes enormous skill to do this, if you're not used to working with small dimensions. In factories, these cabinets are often made from parts milled on computer-controlled machines. When you start working in tolerances of 1/32nd of an inch on a regular basis, you have to be good. That's what the dividers for CD's and DVD's require.

It may be possible to use a salvaged cabinet in a bathroom. If you have a larger bathroom, and the cabinets are painted, a bathroom storage cabinet might do nicely filling one corner. These are great places for toilet-paper storage, extra towels, all of the electric hair tools, and the abundance of personal care products the average person seems to accumulate.

In years past, I often hung a standard kitchen wall cabinet that was 24-inches tall over the toilet. When you add simple crown molding to this cabinet, it can look like a piece of custom furniture. This is a common cabinet used in many kitchens. You may discover a remodeler who has one.

My all-time favorite though are garage storage cabinets. Every single cabinet in my garage is a salvaged one. My most cherished cabinet is a 100-year-old built-in cabinet with glass doors that I took out of a house we remodeled twenty years ago. This solid-wood cabinet is going with me to my barn in New Hampshire. It's a classic cabinet that will always remind me of what it took to get to where I am now.

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