After deciding that I couldn't pretend to be interested in a classic car display today, I found myself with time to look around some heritage-themed stores. Products ranged from candies and small toys to large pieces of antique furniture. Prices had a large range too and some were over $1000. I bought a notebook.
Before I bought the (rabbit-decorated) notebook, I had been very interested in buying one piece of furniture. It was an old "Hoosier" kitchen cabinet piece with drawers, doors and a counter space. It was fascinating. It was being sold "As Is", was very beat up, and had a broken pane of glass in one display window. Those were the visible problems - it could have had additional problems that were not apparent. These issues were not deterring me though and the "As Is" tag had me thinking that the price was good. I left the store wondering what I should do.
I decided (I think) not to buy it so I will not know if this piece was a good bargain or would fall apart within a few days. Assuming, however, that it was structurally sound, I see two approaches that could be taken with an old piece such as this one.
In the hands of a skilled furniture restorer (like my sister-in-law whose skills would make me really dislike her if she wasn't so nice), this piece could become a beautiful piece of furniture with the stain colour-coordinated to furniture in any room of the house. It would be lovely.
To me, though, this piece of furniture is lovely now. It is beat up, it has been used and one can only hope that it's not infested with bugs. But its use and the visible wear and tear enhance its design. It is interesting to think of how it was used and to imagine the people who used it. While restored furniture can be beautiful, in this case, it might be best for the cabinet to stay "As Is."
I don't think I will go back and buy it. I don't know where I would put it and I'm not looking for ways to spend money. Some time, though, it might be nice to buy an antique and let its story be told through its rich, worn appearance. I'm sure antiques have quite the stories to tell.