antique pine chest in the foyer

by | Nov 3, 2020 | All Things Home, Decorating, My House | 49 comments

I hope you’re all having a wonderful week!  We are having some warm, sunny days this week, so that’s giving me lots of energy to be productive and creative.  I’m also looking forward to traveling east to visit our families (it’s been way too long since we’ve been to PA and NC) and the entire holiday season.  I have some fun Christmas projects I’ll be working on to share over the next few weeks.  Before we get to Christmas, though, I wanted to share about a small change I made in the foyer.  When the antique pine chest was displaced as Jeff’s nightstand, I decided to try it in the foyer.

Right away, both Jeff and my mom said it was too big and I should keep the bench that had been there for a couple of years.  The bench worked…it was okay, but I loved the idea of having a piece that was table-height and offered a little more storage.  I also hated the idea of selling this antique pine chest.   It’s such a sweet piece and it’s a versatile size.

foyer in drawer | antique pine chest | miss mustard seed

Now, I’ll admit that it’s just a few inches deeper than what would be ideal.  If we could just lop a few inches off or move that wall back just a bit, there would be no question.  This antique pine chest is bordering on being just a little bit too big, but it does fit and it doesn’t impede the traffic flow in the space.

So, instead of declaring it too big and moving it out to the garage, I decided to leave it there for a few days to see how it felt and how we used it.  A few days turned into a few weeks and then months and I don’t have any desire to change back to the bench.  I store Sebastian’s leash and harness in the top right drawer, mittens are in the left and we use the bottom two drawers for shoes.  This means we don’t have a large pile of shoes around the bench and it also means they are protected from Sebastian picking them up and carrying them to us as presents.  That part is fine, but then, if you aren’t watching, he’ll carry the shoe off and eat it.  He’s eaten two pairs of my wooly-lined Crocks (which I often kick off by the door) and several pairs of slippers.

foyer | antique pine chest | miss mustard seed

I might mix around what’s in the drawer depending on the season, but I usually forget to grab mittens before taking Sebastian out, so having them readily available right next to the door helps.

mittens | antique pine chest | miss mustard seed

Violet had to check it out, though.  Something was opened that was unexplored.

cat in drawer | antique pine chest | miss mustard seed

cat in drawer | antique pine chest | miss mustard seed

So, the antique pine chest is a tight fit, but it works and is much more functional.  Have you had pieces like that?  You’re willing to put with the downsides because the upsides are greater?


  1. AnnaRae

    Beautiful pine chest. I wouldn’t part with it either. Sometimes a girl has to do what she has to do. Love it.

    • Jen C.

      The pine chest looks great. We can all use precious storage especially at the front door.

  2. Kim

    This seems like the PERFECT piece for that spot to me. It offers much needed storage, a large spot to set things down when you come in, space for some shoes underneath, and it’s cute. It’s also already old and “beaten up” so you don’t have to be ultra careful with it.

  3. Rhonda

    Yes!!! I have a very small farmhouse and had been looking for something to turn into a audio/visual cabinet. It had to fit in this one spot and you had to be able to walk by to get to the other room. I have a pine chest similar to yours that I decided worked well. TV is on top or I could mount it on the wall, the VCR and DVD and stereo are in the drawers. Drilled a hole in the back for wires. The bottom drawers hold videos, dvds and cd’s and other audio/visual items. It works great..and it fits! And I didn’t have to part with it! So unless I find something that works better I consider that job done!

  4. Cabrini Rudnick

    Love it. Sometimes we get bent out of shape for not much of anything. It helps when things in our homes are useful too…it makes our lives easier and who can quarrel with that!!!

  5. Cheri

    I’d definitely keep it there — unless of course, you want to sell to me 🙂
    Loved, “move the wall back” – if I had a dollar for every time I said something like that !

    • Marian Parsons

      Yes, if only it were that easy!! If I ever do sell it, you’ll be the first one I ask.

  6. Judy

    Such a lovely pine chest! No need to put it to bed in the garage! Did you say you were going to visit family and friends ‘back East’ for the whole holiday season? Or did I misunderstand your post? Hopefully you won’t miss a beat with blogging if you are away. I would miss ‘hearing’ from and about your home adventures!

    • Marian Parsons

      No, just for Thanksgiving. Well, that’s the plan right now, but we’re waiting to see how things are going…

  7. Rhonda

    I love your beautiful chest in the foyer!! Now all you need is to place one of your gorgeous paintings over it!

  8. beverlee b lyons

    yes, I have to. Home is small. Drawers always win. Every time…good choice

  9. liz

    The wooden shoes are a perfect touch – is there a story behind them?

    • Marian Parsons

      I actually found them at a consignment store and I thought they would make wonderful, interesting art!

  10. Joyce

    Love the small chest! How did you hang your wooden shoes..??

    • Marian Parsons

      I hung them by screwing D-ring hangers into the heels.

  11. Janice

    I LOVE the pine chest & especially the pictures of your kitty checking out the drawer!
    Such a typical cat behavior! Thanks for including it with your story!

    • Marian Parsons

      It really is typical cat behavior. I getting such a kick of watching her try to squeeze in there.

  12. Sally

    I LOVE it there!

  13. CarlaS

    It looks great and so functional! Violet is a pip! She’s just like my Luna, loves to go into open drawers.

  14. Betsy

    Marian, please don’t think I’m being rude. I so appreciate your blog. You inspire me to think outside the box and to try new things. I had my yearly physical yesterday and when I was finished my doctor spoke to me in earnest about traveling over the next few months, especially over the holidays. He asked me to please put my and my family’s health above all else. I so miss my family in North Carolina and Arizona. It’s just so hard to know the right thing to do.

    • Pat

      I agree with Betsy questioning your plan to travel to other parts of the country during the holidays. I received the same infoRmation from my health care provider recently. We as a nation are not out of the woods in regards to this pandemic. The Midwest is currently experiencing very high positive numbers. Many here in Minnesota are thinking we will probably have another shutdown soon. At least that is the talk where I live. The holidays should not be celebrated as we have in the past. This is a very different scenario in 2020. That in itself breaks my heart and my family all lives nearby! We will not be gathering for holiday meals other than to maybe gather for dessert outdoors … in the winter in Minnesota! Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but we all need to be very careful. I know everyone will do as they see fit for their family and we certainly don’t all see eye to eye as to the severity of Covid. You will have to follow your heart. We all are missing our families. Everyone please stay safe!

      • Marian Parsons

        Pat & Betsy, I really appreciate the comments and we are definitely weighing out the trip. At this point, we are planning to go, but we will certainly change those plans if we feel it would put us, our families, or those we’re in contact with at risk. We haven’t traveled out east in two years (our trip last year was canceled because of my shoulder surgery and this summer because of Covid) and we feel like it’s important to visit our parents if we can do so safely. We’ll continue to assess and seek wisdom.

        • Terry

          We all have to do what is right for us. I’m certain your choice will be informed whatever it is.

    • Kate

      On the other hand, my daughter married about a month ago. We had over 100 people at the church ceremony and the reception. At least half of the guests were family (including my 85yo mother) who had traveled from all over the country. We had perfect autumn weather and it was a joyful celebration – pretty much like normal. Everyone has stayed healthy and no one has gotten covid from the gathering.

  15. Michelle Windham

    I love the bench there! I think it looks great!

  16. Kay

    I love this pine chest! It is beautiful! I am hoping to find something like this when it is ok for us to get out and about. I am wanting to “move a window” now so my antique dresser and mirror would fit where I want it to be. My cat, Sadie, would be in that drawer too. When she was quite young, she got into the clothes dryer without me noticing! I didn’t think that liitle thing could be so loud. (I’m happy to say she wasn’t hurt, just surprised).

  17. Roberta

    I love the chest, but then I love old pine anything. Our cat will eat any felt or yarn he sees, your pretty mittens would be lunch for him. He is 14 and I see no change happening. Thanks for sharing more of your beautiful home.

  18. Bea

    Your pine chest looks perfect there and it means so much to store your needful items in it. Your wooden shoes look so good on the wall above.I never would have thought of hanging wooden shoes; what a great idea!

  19. Irene Kelly

    I always wanted a three or four drawer chest like this but new not old because concerned about smells and I do not want to refinish etc. I saw one a few yrs ago in the Country Curtains catalog and now kicking myself for not purchasing it because they are out of business. So miss them and their stores which I visited in many states including their flagship in Stockbridge MA at The Red Lion Inn where we stayed. Really like your ideas and so looking forward to your new book.

  20. Shirley Graham

    I have a chest by the door too & have always had gloves & hats there. Have a lamp on it & little books full of pics of my grands. It has always made me feel cozy & my husband liked it too. Your kitty is so pretty & looks like she is having fun checking things out!!

  21. Lou E Gipson

    Please may we see a full shot or two of Violet?

  22. Terry

    Love the chest there and so functional a plus. I mentioned on IG I’m so glad you have not painted the shoes (yet) . 🙂

  23. Joyce

    I love the chest there
    And you will love the organization as well .

  24. Diane Hammer

    I love the pine chest by the door. I have a wooden etagere in my foyer, the space is very tiny and it just fits, and its special because it was my in-laws. Still , i wish it had a drawer for small items like yours. Well, we make what we have work!

  25. Teresa

    While I love the beauty of the pine chest, I do feel its a tad too large for the space. However, sometimes things appear different in a photo than in person. The main thing is if you like it there and it works for you that’s all that matters.

    You mentioned traveling back east and I wondered if you were driving or flying? My husbands sister and husband are flying over Thanksgiving from PA to Kansas City and now she is getting worried if its such a good idea. They have a long layover in Chicago.

    • Marian Parsons

      Oh, we are definitely driving. We’ll be packing food and only making necessary stops, avoiding any cities that have an uptick in cases. But, we’re still weighing out whether we’ll go at all…

  26. Mary S

    It looks a “smidge” too big, but I would leave it right where it is. Eventually you’ll all really miss it if it were to be moved. Maybe you could take the back off and cut 3″ off the back. Ha ha ha… no, don’t do that. Just kidding 🙂

    • Marian Parsons

      Yeah, I actually thought about cutting the back down. It’s possible, but I don’t think it’s best for the piece. I am planning on carrying the measurements around with me and if ever I come across a piece that I love that is 2-3″ narrower, then I’ll replace it.

  27. Jane

    I think it’s perfect, although I may be a bit bias. I too, have an antique chest by the door. About 13 years and two different homes. I keep the same as you. Gloves in the same top drawer as well!

  28. Mary M Young

    My parents had the very same nest of trays back in the 1950’s but they were black.

    About travel. My son lives around the corner and we aren’t even going there for Thanksgiving. They (family) quite by accident were exposed to Covid19 and are in quarantine for two weeks. Matthew loves being home moving rocks and playing with his outside toys but he has a big business to run……as well.
    So whatever you do be safe.

  29. J. Wood

    Love the chest your blog. Have followed for years. A BIG question I’d like to ask, how do your handle pet hair with 3 pets inside. I have 1 kitty and its a fully time job. Any tricks to share? What do you do? Thanks!!!

    • Marian Parsons

      I don’t have any big tricks for the pet hair! 🙂 We do get Sebastian the “Furminator” treatment when he’s groomed, which cuts down dramatically on shedding. Otherwise, I just keep up with vacuuming and I’ve learned not to stress about a few hairballs between cleanings. It’s just a part of having pets and the joy they bring outweighs the upkeep.

  30. Jody

    You are inspiring me to move things around in my home. Rather than the mind set of “it’s always been in the X room, it couldn’t possibly work in another room” mentality.

  31. Nancy

    Be careful! If you hear noises in the night, it will be me, sneaking your pine chest out the door. It will fit perfectly in my foyer — its looks almost the same as yours. I even have a cat that likes to crawl into things, too.

  32. Sharon Rexroad

    Have you considered adding little wood wheels to the bottom of the feet? It might change the proportions just enough that it “visually fits” better. But let’s be honest, it could be that I just have a thing for little wood wheels! If I remember right, DLawless has some great vintage looking ones.

  33. Wendy

    God has blessed you with “sew” many unique talents. What blessings you have. I enjoy the book recommendations, I have been reading Gods word daily which made me think of purchasing a prayer bench.

  34. Ashley Bruno

    It’s beautiful! Glad I’m not the only one who wishes to alter my house to make a pretty piece of furniture fit! I dragged home a massive dining table with 8 matching chairs that is just a bit too big for our diningroom. I spent all last summer refinishing the whole thing. It’s so beautiful and well made and the idea of being able to fit my entire family around it just makes me so happy that I can’t bear to part with it for now!

  35. Dawn

    I love the antique chest in that spot. It’s great when old pieces become so functional. I recently placed a small wash stand that has a drawer and lower cupboard by my front door and it works so well. The only issue right now is I’ve found it has an old wood smell and I’ll hold off in using it for hats & mittens. Do you have tips for removing odor from wood pieces?

  36. Vicki

    I inherited one of those trays from my MIL. The bottom of my wooden tray is in need of refinishing, though. It has what appears to be water stains so I am not very confident of a good outcome. I may or may not have kept plants on it for a couple of years. :-\


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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