As someone who enjoys unique antique finds and getting goodies in the mail, last week was a banner week! I received several highly anticipated packages (I’ll share about those in other posts) and I made a trip to one of my favorite local consignment shops to pick up a vintage pond yacht I spotted and reserved on their Instagram stories. Of course, while I was in the shop, I needed to take a look around and just a few steps in the door, I knew I was leaving with more than just the pond yacht when I spotted this amazing antique post office register…
I had a silent dialogue with myself of how I didn’t really need this piece and I wasn’t even sure if I had room for it in my studio. But, the price was so good for such a unique, quality piece ($228) and all of the drawers and dividers are perfect for art supplies. I had that moment where I knew I would regret it if I didn’t just go for it. So, I pulled the tag off of the antique post office register and carried it with me as I looked through the store.
Of course, the minute I decide to buy something, I immediately become paranoid that someone else is going to buy it.
And yes, I was wearing my furry Crocs. I was just planning on running in and picking up the little sailboat, remember. I ended up finding a few other things I couldn’t pass up as well, but I’ll share them in another post.
When I got home, I sent Jeff a text, warning him that I would need a little bit of help carrying a piece into the house and putting casters on it. Me bringing furniture home and needing help unloading used to be a very regular occurrence, but now that rarely happens, so I feel like it’s best to give him a little bit of notice of what he’s coming home to!
Fortunately, I had a set of casters that were perfect for this piece. They’re not vintage or antique, which would’ve looked cooler, but these rubber wheels would be much better for rolling the heavy piece without damaging the floor. Since I want to have the flexibility to move pieces around in my studio as needed, I want most pieces to be on sliders or casters. The bottom is solid oak, so we were easily able to secure the casters with screws.
Now, I had the task of figuring out where to put the antique-post-office-register-turned-art-supply-cabinet. I rolled it into the middle of the studio, sat in a chair, and stared at everything for a good long while, rearranging in my head.
I had to find a little amusement in the fact that Jeff told me about three pieces of furniture ago that I already maxed out the studio with furniture. He walked into the studio and watched me sitting in the chair, deep in contemplation. “Oh, I’m going to make it work. It’ll work.”
“I have no doubt that you will.”
While I’m not amazing at spatial awareness or estimating the sizes of things in general, I seem to have a keen eye for knowing exactly what will fit in my van without a measuring tape. In addition, I also have a good sense of what will fit into a room and what won’t. I knew this piece would fit, it was just a matter of figuring out where it would fit and function the best. And, of course, I also care about how it looks in its final spot. It’s okay for the room to look filled, but I don’t want it to look cramped. For some of you, I passed that point three pieces of furniture ago!
I had some possible ideas, so I started rolling and scooting the furniture. Most of them ended up looking awkward and not really being functional. I finally swapped the drafting table and easel and that was the ticket to making room for the antique post office register.
My easel actually started out in this corner and I like it here even better than by the window. The light is a little softer in this spot as well. And having this new cabinet next to the easel is perfect. I can move the brush tote and set up a still life on top to paint and, naturally, I can fill the drawers with supplies.
And, let’s talk about these drawers. They were the greatest selling point, after all. Had this just been a little chest of drawers, I could’ve easily passed it up…
But the top three drawers are register drawers, so they each have a till for bills and smaller cubbies for coins, stamps, and other little supplies.
All of the trays lift out giving me endless organizational options.
Most of the cubbies are sized perfectly for art supplies and it’s even better that I can lift out a tray to take it over to my work table.
I haven’t fully filled and organized it, yet, because I need to really think through what makes the most sense to put in each drawer and I don’t want to rush that process. As I work in the newly rearranged studio, it’ll become evident what will make the most sense.
And, the little cabinet is absolutely perfect for storing bottles of oils, solvents, and glues that need to be stored upright. I’ve rearranged it a bit even since this picture was taken.
The bottom drawers are undivided and perfectly sized for holding pads of paper, panels for painting, or art supplies that are too bulky for register drawers. I’ll share how the rest of the studio shaped up in another post but isn’t this antique post office register just the perfect find for an art studio?
Oh, and as a side note, I am calling it an antique “post office register” because that’s what the consignment shop called it! It was sitting next to a post office desk that, I assume, came from the same place. It’s possible that it’s a register that was used in a place other than a post office, but I’m just going to go with it.
Has anyone ever seen a similar piece?