Working File Cabinets Into Your Decor

Working File Cabinets Into Your Decor

Leah Moss
Mar 17, 2010

File cabinets never occupied a minute of thought until I got married. But then came kids, and a house, — and PAPER!— and it became an essential. When we brought the first one home I felt like I had just thrown a bit of my aesthetic sensibility out the window, and ever since I've been seeking out options for subduing these visual space-hoggers.

Thankfully, there seem to be a lot of awesome ideas for either making these puppies blend in or making them into focal points— in the good way....

Mari Eriksson, Swedish lifestyle photographer and blogger, has one of my favorite — and easiest!&mdash solutions: industrial style incorporation. I really never thought a plain jane metal file cabinet had the potential to look good in someone's home until I spotted Mari's beautiful craft room, decked out in industrial schoolhouse style and bright floors and walls. It looks so....purposeful! Check out the rest of Mari's gorgeous home here.
• 2., 3. A simple paint job can do wonders for turning ho-hum cabinets into part of the decor. I've used rustoleum's spray paint to great effect. Choose a color that matches of provides a nice contrast with the rest of your decor. In picture 2, vintage style hardware was also purchased on ebay to update the look of the cabinets, and placing a few side by side gives them a more establishes, less office-y look. They also make a great base for a desktop (picture 3).
• 4. design*sponge featured one of my favorite before and afters of all times: Casey's wallpaper sample face lift. Using the remnant, mod-podge, and new modern pulls, Casey completely updated the look of this office staple by papering the cabinet fronts. Check out the full tutorial here.
• 5. Design*Sponge reader Abha took the concept a step further, papering the entire cabinet using gift wrap! Check out her post here.
• 6. Or you could apply the same concept using fabric, like Christi Weber of Waste Not Work Shop.
• 7.OR, you could employ Mary McDonald's famously (infamously?) clever trick of photo-copying wallpaper and gluing it on a mundane cabinet.

What tricks have you found for fitting these bulky beasts into your decor?

PS- I have yet to visit a Goodwill or thrift store that didn't have a file cabinet for pennies, so before you go spend a ton on a new one, it's worth it to look for a secondhand option first.

(Images: 1: Mari Eriksson for angel at my table, 2: Better Homes and Gardens, 3: Country Living, 4: Casey for Design*Sponge, 5: Abha for Design*Sponge, 6: Christi Weber, 7: Domino)

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