Beautiful filing cabinets

in blogland, colours, furniture, home office, inspiration, organisation  2 comments
Jun 1 2015
Vintage filing cabinet with Wooden top, via Country Living

One of the ugliest pieces of furniture is the metal 4 drawer filing cabinet. Know them?

Unloved, unwanted filing cabinets, via Flickr

Unloved, unwanted filing cabinets, via Flickr

Mum was a high school teacher for 25 years and her filing cabinet was filled with paperwork and tests/exams she wrote and set. Even well and truly before I was design savvy, I considered them fugly.

But so necessary. No other office furniture is as robust. No other office furniture can carry so much within those metal pull-out drawers and yet slide smoothly on those runners. No other office furniture allows you to take paperwork, file and forget. Those dark green fugly suspension folders that hang off the metal slats on either side of the drawers allow you to store soooo much! And of course, these things allow you to HIDE a mountain of mess.

We never saw beautiful vintage wooden ones in Malaysia. It’s only now, with the advent of the Internet and blogging that you can now peek into the lives and homes of others on the other side of the globe. It’s only now, that we get to see (and lust) over beautiful wooden antiques.

Beautiful antique wooden filing cabinets, via The Old Cinema

Beautiful antique wooden filing cabinets, via The Old Cinema

Even though I vowed never to have anything to do with the ugly Brownbuilt filing cabinets, at work, I regularly use two four-drawer filing cabinets. Metal, indestructible, formidable pieces of office furniture. Again, super fugly, but so necessary.

Many manufacturers now are looking to create better looking filing cabinets, that can be integrated into living spaces.

Of course, I adore the happy colours and retro styling that the Dulton metal filing cabinets come in… and Officeworks has started carrying some pretty pieces, the Spencer range, which are so hard to walk away from each time I’m there!

But I still balk at installing what clearly looks like a metal filing cabinet as a side table:

Metal filing cabinet as side table, via Foter

Metal filing cabinet as side table, via Foter

Decoupage

Over the years I’d seen industrious DIYers upcycle these ugly things. Decoupage is popular: Most notably was my friend Casapinka, who decoupaged black giant butterflies on her filing cabinet back in 2007.

Pink's decoupaged black and white filing cabinet, via her old blog, Pink Mohair

Pink’s decoupaged black and white filing cabinet, via her old blog, Pink Mohair

Pretty yellow and white decoupaged filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Pretty yellow and white decoupaged filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Wallpaper decoupaged onto filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Wallpaper decoupaged onto filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Completely wallpapered (and pretty) filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Completely wallpapered (and pretty) filing cabinet, via Pinterest

I’m sure if my husband’s office had a filing cabinet, he would love it Mario-flavoured:

Mario styled filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Mario styled filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Painted

In the last two years, with spray painting appearing en masse in the design and upcycle blog world, filing cabinets have been not been spared:

Rainbow shades of drawers in black filing cabinets

Rainbow shades of drawers, via here

Red, white and black filing drawers, nice! via Pinterest

Red, white and black filing drawers, nice! via Pinterest

Great wooden piece TLC-ed, via Park House Love

Great wooden piece TLC-ed, via Park House Love

Ombre-everything has been taking the design world by storm… filing cabinets have not been spared:

The most blogged about is this purple ombre piece by Charlotte over at City Suburb Sanity:

Purple ombre filing cabinet, via City Suburb Sanity

Purple ombre filing cabinet, via City Suburb Sanity

An IKEA Helmer filing cabinet makeover:

Green ombre filing drawers, via Put up your dukes

Green ombre filing drawers, via Put up your dukes

This pretty wooden one deserves a mention because it's ombre, via Design Dearly

This pretty wooden one deserves a mention because it’s ombre, via Design Dearly

Stenciled

Stenciled filing cabinet with flowers, via Pinterest

Stenciled filing cabinet with flowers, via Pinterest

Leaves stenciled onto a filing cabinet, via Pinterest

Leaves stenciled onto a filing cabinet, via Pinterest

But these might make me change my mind

Yesterday I saw some filing cabinets on an unrelated Google image search that have made me changed my mind about them:

Vintage filing cabinet with Wooden top, via Country Living

Vintage filing cabinet with Wooden top, via Country Living

These were filing cabinets from Goodwill. Spray painted and then a wooden top fitted.

What really caught my buzz was the wooden top! Coupled with paint, it really elevates the boring ol’ pieces:

Handy moving butchers block from a low filing cabinet, via Better Homes and Gardens

Handy moving butchers block from a low filing cabinet, via Better Homes and Gardens

Filing drawers with wooden top, via Under the Sycamore

Filing drawers with wooden top, via Under the Sycamore

I think I really love the look. Enough to have a beautiful wooden top fitted onto one of these delicious Spencer drawers. Maybe the navy..

Spencer navy 7-drawer from Officeworks

Spencer navy 7-drawer from Officeworks

Because I need yet another project to add to my already long list. Because the colour. Because the storage.

On an aside

I’m going to have to source/investigate/steal some Pantone paint jars, as seen on Put up your dukes blog:

Pantone has paint jars like these???? via Put up your dukes

Pantone has paint jars like these???? via Put up your dukes

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