For my new baby girl’s nursery, I used all secondhand furniture. I needed a changing table, and my dad made a generous offer: to remake a vintage, heirloom cupboard into something that could be used as a changing table. The cupboard had sentimental value to my family because it was mine as a child, and before that had been passed down to us from family friends. Affectionately known as “the Bunny Cupboard,” it had been enjoyed by multiple families since the 1960s. We loved the idea of saving the old cupboard instead of buying a new changing table, because otherwise it didn’t have much useful life left. Okay, it probably didn’t have any left – I wish I had a “before” picture. The project saved it from ending up as landfill garbage!
By 2020, it was in poor shape! The decals were almost completely rubbed off, the hinges were broken and rusty, and the faux wood veneer had seen better days. To refurbish it was quite the project, but my dad was up to the task! Using oak wood paneling, he upgraded the exterior. Carefully, he was able to save and re-attach the original bunny emblem to the new cupboard door.
Inside, he painted the drawers yellow for a finishing touch. My mom color matched acrylic paint to fix the chipped blue knobs, making them look brand new. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the finished product. It is not just a hand-me-down now, it’s a real heirloom quality piece. The drawers are perfect for storing cloth diapers and outfits. With a changing pad on top, it makes a great changing table. When she is older, it can be used alone as a dresser. Thanks to the magic of tape, the bunny emblem can even be removed for a more mature appearance.
I asked my dad about the creative process of making the cupboard. “I really enjoyed this project, more than I thought I would,” he said. He said he honored the original design of the cupboard, staying true to the lines of the mid-century piece while completely overhauling it to be better and more beautiful.
The nursery was complete just in time for baby girl’s arrival, so it was time to celebrate. By “celebrate,” I mean go to bed at 8pm, then get woken up at 11pm, 1am, 4 am and 7am. Four hours of sleep is the new eight, you know. But at least we will be sleep deprived parents with a wonderful nursery with its signature one-of-a-kind furniture piece.