One of the ugliest pieces of furniture is the metal 4 drawer filing cabinet. Know them?
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.
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:
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.
I’m sure if my husband’s office had a filing cabinet, he would love it Mario-flavoured:
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:
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:
An IKEA Helmer filing cabinet makeover:
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:
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:
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..
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: