FOR FIVE MONTHS, I’ve been scouring local yard sales and thrift shops for something that would serve as a pantry/additional storage in my Springs, Long Island, cottage kitchen.
I was thinking maybe I’d find a 1920s Hoosier cabinet, or something more modern that I could paint. I knew I wanted closed storage on top and bottom, with an open area in the middle that would be a handy ‘staging area’ for keys, mail, radio, etc., and could be used as a bar or buffet for entertaining.
But nothing had turned up in all this time…until last Saturday. As usual, I bought the East Hampton Star, and one of the yard sale classifieds advertised a “rustic, handmade hutch.” I made a beeline for that sale, and was there before 9 in the morning.
The hutch, located in the basement woodshop of Leo Snyder, a longtime local resident, is a beaut. It even comes with a legend: it’s made of old wood from an 18th century barn in East Hampton that was demolished in the 1970s. At that time, Leo took some of the old pine, which certainly looks like it could be 300 years old, richly colored and gnarly, and made this seven-foot-tall cabinet with leather hinges and handles. He and his wife used it for over 30 years, and now, even though he said it was like “parting with a family member,” they were ready to say goodbye to it.
I paid $500 for it, gladly. Leo and his son-in-law delivered it yesterday, and it absolutely makes my kitchen — elevates the whole house, as a matter of fact.