What Would You Do… With This?

I am turning the tables on you in my post today… instead of me posting an idea for you, I need a little creative help from you.


Do you remember the hutch that used to be in the dining room of my previous house?

See it on the back wall with the white pitchers on it?  It was a hand-me-down that I painted and lined with book pages. I posted about that, here.  It was made of knotty pine. It was not really my style, but I made it work and liked the way it filled the wall space in the room. My favorite part of it was the large crown molding top.

Use what you have decorating by repurposing furniture and using it for purposes other than it was intended for.

Well, in my new house there is no dining room and no space for a large hutch.  In my efforts to streamline, declutter, and use what I have before buying something new, I found a use for the bottom section. It makes a nice dresser in one of the bedrooms and for guests to put their stuff.

furniture repurposing idea for a dining room hutch

We put the hutch top in the garage to see if we could donate it, but no one wanted it. :-(    I told Ed he could take it apart so we could throw it out, but to save the beautiful crown molding section on the top.  It was just too nice to break apart and perhaps I could find a use for it. It was simply screwed onto the the body of the hutch and came off in one piece.

furniture repurposing idea

This is where it has been hanging out for the past two weeks. I thought about using it to make a mantel for the fireplace. It would fit across nicely, but only as a shelf style mantel. It is too short to top the mantel I wrote about in this post. 

I also thought it would be a nice topper for a double window or that it could be included in the banquette we plan to build in the kitchen.

I haven’t decided where to hang my clock yet either.  I bought it here.

Furniture repurposing idea

As you can see it has nice detailing and is well made.

Furniture repurposing idea

What would you do with this?  Do you have any ideas?

XO Hope you have a sweet Valentine’s Day weekend. XO

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  1. Janet Friend says:

    Always luv ledges, simple idea but would find a place for it

  2. Its new year’s weekend, 2019, i havnt looked throu all the replies and dates. It’s 4am ,iv been online, going throu 2 phones batteries! Trying to figure out how in the world to decorate my tiny new Apt. (2 months, but still not unpacked!) Brain fart in here. So, ironically one of the very things im looking into diy-ng ,is what i think that top is cool for. A huge stand up ,wall leaning mirror.

  3. Make it into a hanging light fixture.

  4. I would put a piece of plywood in it and paint it with chalkboard paint. Lean it against a wall and write your annual goals or “to-do” list using pretty lettering, etc. You could also just write inspirational quotes but I would make it more functional and I would lean it against a wall in the kitchen or entryway where I see it every day reminding me what I want to accomplish for the year (or season).

  5. Michelle Friesen says:

    I would open a spot between the studs in the wall then add shelves and use this as the frame. Maybe mirror behind with glass shelves

  6. Jan lockett says:

    Shadowbox, add glass, hang on wall or on top of coffee table

  7. For the mantel piece, i’d put a mirror inside the frame. Close it in with a piece of wood add hinges &another piece of wood to form sort of a door and hang it on the back of my bedroom or closet door. Add some hooks etc and make it into a jewelry or tie closet.

  8. Helen Royal says:

    I’m an artist, so I think it would be a beautiful frame for a floral painting, used horizontally, or maybe a tall landscape used vertically if wall space is an issue.

  9. I would put a piece of wood along the open part and paint it white. I would then sign write some meaningful words and use it as a wall hanger to either welcome people to your home or simply to pass on a lovely message

    1. You can either put a piece of wood in the open part and add decorative hooks and use as a coat rack, or add a mirror and use it on a long hallway wall.

  10. Melissa S says:

    So fun! I like the console table idea. Also I could see it hung vertically in a bath with maybe antique mirror for the back and glass shelves. Or if the dimensions are right – cut in half lengthwise and used over Windows as a cornice/ valance.

    As for the hutch, it seems like this could totally be reworked. I can’t tell the dimensions/scale but maybe add some bun feet and a marble top for a narrow storage piece. Heck I’d hang it on the wall in my garage before I trashed it. If you really want it gone, have you tried listing it for free on Craig’s list?

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with. I know it will be great.

  11. I would use it as a frame for your clock above the mantelpiece kind a like a picture frame.

  12. First thought was to turn it into a planter. The crisp white would look beautiful with some lovely green. If you poly coated it it could be used inside or outside.

  13. I can see it hung from the ceiling over a bed with flowy guazy white curtains. I think they’re called a bed crown??
    Good luck and glad you kept it… can’t wait to see what you do with it.


  14. First thing came to mind was floating shelf. depending on the size of the wall. Love, love love banquettes. Can’t wait to see that.

  15. Floating Shelves for the bath area
    cut in half and add towel bar at the bottom

  16. I like it as a wall hung shelf, someplace you need a small surface, like in an entry hall with a mirror above. I hope you kept the rest of the hutch … it could be fabulous storage in a bathroom or studi-office or wall hung in a walk in closet holding purses and accessories.

  17. If u have an. Island Iin you kitchen you could put wire from side to side and hang it from the ceiling then hang pans, utensils, or hanging house plants.

  18. Don’t you need a mantel? Looks like a good start to me.

  19. Too bad about the hutch, anchored to a picnic table, that would have made an awesome workshop area for a craft room or garage. But the decorative trim could adorn a planter (you’d need a miter saw to re-cut) or make a terrific window valance. Mounted on top of a plain bathroom mirror it would be a great place to hide a lighting fixture to give indirect lighting. I like the ideas about using it as a catering/buffet station too. Love your new house!

  20. Laura Dennison says:

    I can see it having a piece of stained glass in it. It looks deep enough that you could put a light source behind it and hang it on the wall.

  21. Christy Falkoff says:

    I would make it into a table riser to use for holiday gatherings or parties. I would stand it up on the wider part and make a DYI mercury glass top. I have been in catering for years and believe nothing adds to a buffet like displaying items at varying heights. You could use it on an island, a counter, a table…. Given you don’t have a dining room in the new house, chances are you will be become the queen of buffets.

  22. We have a shelf in our living room similar to this. Add a board to the top and one to the bottom, then cut off one long side so it will be flush with the wall and make it a shelf.

  23. Judy sullivan says:

    How about on your headboard?whatever you design it could be the crown moulding n the top?

  24. Bring an indoor architectural element outside by perhaps using it in your future outdoor shower. Cut in half, miter to wrap a corner as a shelf with waterproof (marble? tile?) top.

  25. Kathy Barte says:

    I also thought of using it as the base of a table and then use legs and a stone top, it would be a narrow console table for a tight entry.
    You could also mount it to a wall and fit small shelves on the inside. A type of shadow box effect. It would work in a bedroom or possibly in the master bath for all of the small items that get used over and over.
    If the kitchen has a place for it you can put all your spices on the shelves for a pretty decorative element.

  26. Some type of wall hanging with coat hooks for entry or mudroom. Add a flat side for the hooks.

    Sofa table

  27. CJ Hackbarth says:

    Make a small entry way table with it as the moulding around the top.

  28. It could be used as a mirror frame…

  29. Ali @ RedFoxInteriors says:

    A picture ledge! Sorry, I was holding my 1yrar old how very squirmy!

  30. Ali @ RedFoxInteriors says:

    It could be used as a picture lwsge, if you cut back the depth some. Then it could be hung over a bed or sofa to hold decorative plates, frames, trinkets, etc. Good luck and can’t wait to see its transformation!

  31. I would turn it into a tester for over a bed with curtains fanning out from inside.

  32. Beverly Davis says:

    I can see it used as a sofa table. A honed limestone top would be perfect for you lake house, casual elegance that wears well. Legs could be made on the order of your coffee table. Looking forward to your final design.

  33. Remove the white covered vinyl shelving in the room where you have the top component stored, and mount it on the wall in its place, for more tasteful, and less HomeDepot-esque, shelving!

  34. Joanne B. says:

    What a great bunch of friends you have who come to your rescue! Isn’t this just fabulous! I have nothing original to offer butI love ALL the great ideas presented here. After reading all of them (which I didn’t think I would want do, but I did!) I think you should definitely keep it! At the very least put it back together and hang it in the garage. What a lovely way to store gardening supplies! It’s a part of your history- you can always get rid of it later, but you can never get it back! Happy Blessings in your new home!

  35. I would have removed that white wire fencing from the wall in your photo, (which appears to be a laundry room?) and mounted the whole top shelving part on the wall for a shelving upgrade.

  36. Loretta Shuck says:

    Make it into a hall console table?

  37. What about about hanging the hutch portion in your office. My friend did this and it looks awesome.

  38. I see a beautiful mantle like shelf. Put a top on it and hang on “L” brackets from underneath.

  39. How about a frame for a large mirror hung vertically? Very dramatic and enlarges a space

  40. If you didn’t find a place for the bottom half it would be so cute in laundry room for extra towels and such. The top would be fun over a window, no curtains needed. Others had the same ideas as I did. Both pieces are fabulous.

  41. That top w/crown molding would make a neat sofa table. Add a solid piece to the bottom, attach legs, then add another solid piece to the top – stain it a dark brown, or paint it white, and place behind a couch or even use for a table in a narrow space – such as a hall, etc. Don’t throw the other part away, either You may think of something divine for it!

  42. millie torres says:

    Your hutch top is gorgeous. I would make it a menu board with chalk paint. It may look great in the kitchen and you can write your daily menu for dinner. Hope this helps…Millie


  43. I would put the molding back on the hutch top and hang it in your studioffice over a work table to store supplies and look interesting. I’d love something like that for storage — and those cute drawers at the bottom are wonderful! I’m sure whatever you do it will be amazing as always!

  44. How fun….I haven’t read the other comments…….but I used the top of a buffet, added coat hooks and hung it in the entry way.. You could make it a shelf and add hooks to hang things off the bottom???? I’ll try to send photo’s. B

  45. Michelle Washburn says:

    Hi Diane

    Wow it’s so pretty. You could repaint in your color of choice and also paint inside. Add foam board and fabric to use for seasonal pinboard. Or have a glass panel custom made and use removeable vinyl letters that you can change up. Chalkboard paint would be cute on a back panel also! OR do all of these and switch it up!

  46. HI Diane, Is the crown moulding piece as wide or wider than your guest bed? You could create a canopy by mounting it high on the wall above the head of the bed. Attach a gathered stripe fabric, print or sheers to the back and both sides. Hang a valance length piece along the front edge. I would sew the gathered lengths to a flat fabric band which could be pulled up and onto the flat top edge for stapling. Cover a slab of foamcore board or thin styrofoam with matching or contrast fabric to close up the top.

  47. Angela W. says:

    What about using it to create a faux canopy over the bed in the guest bedroom (same room where the hutch is located)? I remember in your old house you had some curtains hanging on the wall behind the bed.

  48. Sheryll $ Critters. says:

    Gosh, between your and other previous suggestions, I am at a loss. I am so wanting to know if you left the fabulous 3 D Gallery wall in the guest bedroom? That is my all time favorite in the world. And that letter dresser. LOVE……. so much about that room ….. also the shim mirror you made.

  49. THE TOP HALF IS BEAUTIFUL!!! Put the crown molding back on the piece and hang it on a garage wall for beautiful storage or as a potting table storage or in the laundry room. Don’t get rid of it, you’ll regret it.

  50. Gloria gawa says:

    For the frame, could you use it to frame a board to hang jewelry. Will keep thinking! Or even better put a mirror in it and use for floor mirror.

  51. L Lawrence says:

    I think it should be in the same room with the original hutch. What is currently being used for a head board? Could you possibly make a fabric back piece and frame it with the upper board piece or pieces. This would tie in together if the fabric were a blue, white and possibly your smaller third colour of a softer blue or ivory.

  52. Gloria gawa says:

    I’m going thru the same thing after moving. Nothing seems to work in. How about putting clock on wall of cabinets that you don’t like in kitchen that block the flow. As far as the hutch could it go under clock and be used for a beverage center by putting a top on and if not tall enough building it up with/ 2x4s and some molding. I don’t know how deep the cabinet is but could wine fit laying down, also could put baskets underneath.. The piece you wanted to cut up for a mantel, maybe cut it horizontal , put top on and hang as a picture ledge. That way you would have 2 shelves. Also could use over towel rack in bathroom. As good as you are you probably thought of this already. Could use also on wall behind a couch. I did this in a sunroom in PA.

  53. You could cut it in half lengthwise, add a piece of wood on top and bottom then hang each piece as a wall shelf. If the hutch is real wood keep those pieces for future projects. You could make lots of things from the shelves and side pieces: frames, boxes, coathook base, etc.

  54. The bottom of the hutch that no one wanted would probably be so welcome in a classroom as a bookshelf to hold manipulatives and different size literature books. I’m now retired but loved having cast-off, but useful and attractive, furniture that my elementary kids could reach and use.
    The top would make a lovely shelf. Enjoy reading your helpful hints!! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  55. I think if you attached a mirror on the edge where it used to attach to the hutch, with the top of the crown molding on the wall, it would make a dimensional wall piece. You could even inset the mirror a bit and put more decorative trim/molding to add to it’s interest.

  56. I think it would make a beautiful planter centerpiece for your kitchen or dining table or anywhere. Place a bottom on it and put in flowers, real or faux. You could even put it on the dresser in your spare room. Kind of neat since it was originally with that piece anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t cut it apart. I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  57. Christy Altman says:

    Use the pieces to frame a bathroom mirror.
    I’ve also seen hutch tops repurposed as sofa tables behind a floating sofa, and near an entry door to catch keys, purses, kids’ stuff, etc. Just add a flat top to make it a table. The narrow silhouette leaves plenty of room to get by, but you have shelves and a tabletop for display.

  58. ?put a top on it and make a sofa table?

  59. Add a board where it used to attach to the hutch and paint that with chalkboard paint to make a unique oversized chalkboard with dimension. I’d suggest putting it in your studioffice (which I love and have one as well) but you already have one there! If you didn’t find a spot for it your home I bet it would sell quickly on Craigslist. Maybe also add some hooks at the bottom to make it perfect for an entry way command center. :)

  60. Make it into a shelf hung horizontally.

  61. I love your blog. Could you hang it vertically and put shelves in it?

  62. I’m enjoying reading everyone else’s comments today. You certainly have a lot of creative readers. I don’t have anything else to add for uses for the molding, but I love the small drawers at the bottom of the hutch and could see cutting that section off and using them as a shelf with drawers underneath.

  63. Susan Linguist says:

    I would use it as art. You could hang it either vertical or horizontal. I’d back it with either burlap or muslin, glass the front then place a collection of items in it. It is deep, so yould place the backing closer toward the front so that your collection is more visible. The collection could be items from nature, or even fun letters! I’ll be anxious to see what you decide to do!

  64. Diane, I have a table that is built with molding like. It’s a console type table that could go against a wall or behind a couch. I even had it in my entry way at one point. If you could use that molding as the outline of the top of the table and add a base and legs it would be gorgeous. I usually raise the things that are sitting on the table with books and it’s really pretty. I’ve also thought of putting glass across the top and using it as a curio type table but have never done that.

  65. Susan Linguist says:

    I would turn it into art. Use it either vertical or horizontal. Would be fun to back it with burlap or muslin and then place a collection of items in it and glass the front. It’s deep, so you could put the backing closer toward the front of the moulding so your collection doesn’t get lost. A collection could be items from nature, or it could even be a message with fun letters. I’ll be anxious to see what you do with it!

  66. I have two similar things on long hallways in my house where I needed something, but not a lot of pieces that would make it look cluttered. One is a shadow box with my dad’s WWII memorabilia…medals, dog tags, foreign coins letters, etc. and the other is a long picture of my favorite place….Golden Gate Bridge. I found an antique copy of the construction plan of the bridge that was perfect.

  67. Ellen Bornstein says:

    You could hang it over the bed in the guest room that has the bottom and install overhead lights and gauzy side drape panels.

  68. Suc my a nice piece – I would put a piece of wood in the top and bottom and use it as a shelf in a wall – maybe over the guest bed?? I would put a few pictures, maybe a vase with dried flowers. Hope it finds a new life in your new home!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – I love the piece and am determined to find a place for it. Thanks for the idea.

    2. Lisa Allen says:

      I would try it as a topper on the ceiling above bed with drapes cascading down from it on either side of headboard. Or if you had a daybed you could apply same concept.

  69. what about a pedestal for something?

  70. I would have used the top as a top for a potting bench.

  71. Charisse Andrews at WHG says:

    I think I would put it back on the hutch top, and hang the whole piece by itself on a wall and use for display items, books, etc. It is a lovely piece in and by itself, or maybe modify it a tad. I have done this a couple of times, and, placing it on the wall, on top of a thick, well detailed “shelf”. I attach the top to the wall for stability.

  72. Judy Yannello says:

    I agree with Will…turn it into a canopy to hold drapes above guest room bed as it ties in nicely with the repurposed hutch bottom!

  73. Karen Dunlap says:

    How about making an extra large tray out of it? Of course you’d have to finish the inside in some way. White, faux marble, or? Would make a stunning centerpiece if you have a long enough table. Fill with books, candles, plants. Or, would it work as a tray on the original base in that bedroom, making a vignette of the entire dresser top? Another idea would be to use it for a grand frame, perhaps filling it with fabric to match your decor. Don’t know if you have a spot for that, but it could sure be dramatic!

  74. Jennifer @ Decorated Chaos says:

    You could use it as a shelf (put a piece of wood in the middle) and hang it up on the wall as a shelf/ledge, or you could attach it to the wall above your bed to create a canopy and drape tulle over it, attach rope or chain to it and hang it over a kitchen island as a pot rack, or another idea is to us it a base for a planter box.

  75. I would legs and a top of some sort, perhaps ceramic or stone tiles, mirrors, or mosaic, and make it a hall, entry, or sofa table.

  76. How about using it as a frame? Is there wall space where you could hang it and then hang something on the wall inside.

  77. Hi Diane! A couple of thoughts – add a mirror or chalkboard and hang vertically , separate into pieces and hang different lengths of molding as shelves to hold framed photos – I have similar shelves from Pottery Barn hanging in my upstairs hallway. Your guest room looks great!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Toni – I MISS YOU!! Looking forward to you coming and using the guest room. Thanks for the ideas. A chalkboard one would look fab in my studioffice. XOXO

  78. It might work to turn it into a hall/foyer stand by adding a flat top and two legs underneath at the front. It would be attached to the wall. Could also work outside or in a garden shed.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Great ideas Alexis. I love the one about using it attached to the wall to use for gardening. We have a lot of flowers and planters to take care of. I can see this working perfectly. :-)

  79. Attach to the wall with a glass top, two legs on the front, to make a console table or hang over a bed with fabric to create a canopy.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Over a bed… that would look awesome. The console table would work too and not take up too much room. Thanks for the excellent ideas Teresea.

  80. Will (aka Bill) Bellis says:

    I would use it as a coronet over the bed in same room as bottom of hutch…maybe some filmy “curtains” attached or,M with a bottom added, just a nice architectural feature.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Bill – How are you? So nice to see your name pop up in my comments. The coronet would look wonderful. You are so smart and it would be fun to use the piece in the same room as the bottom. Love your designer’s eye. Reminds me of the Showhouse room you did that made the cover of Trad Home. Hope all is going well for you. XO

  81. I have never met a hutch I didn’t love………..so I would never have disassembled it and i was looking for a hutch top to put in my new kitchen, so I would have saved the whole top to reuse, but I can see why you held on to the moulding

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Sandy – It was not easy having to dissemble the hutch. It took me a few weeks to give Ed the go ahead when we realized we just didn’t have a place for it, even for storage in the garage. Wish you lived closer, I would have happily given it to you.

  82. I was recently at a friend’s house and they had a nifty shelf along the entire top of one of their double wall closets. It was a kid’s room, so it was a great place for all kinds of random kiddo nicknacks. If you have a high enough ceiling, it could work for that purpose, or as a base for a shelf elsewhere…maybe even above some windows.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cathleen – That would add nice architectural interest to a room, too Thanks for the idea.

  83. Linda Pawlak says:

    I would suggest attaching it to the ceiling and inserting some type of pendant lights. Maybe something like individual lights in mason jars at different lengths above a kitchen island or above the kitchen table? Of course you would have to add a piece of wood to the bottom and string the lights through it, but I would LOVE something like that above my island!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Linda – Cool idea! I could even cut it in half and attach the two cut ends together to make a crown molding square for the ceiling to hang a light from or even pots and pans. Thanks for helping me to see all its potential.

  84. I would hang it on a wall as an empty frame then put pictures in it, either small framed ones, or strings across with little clothes pins to hold photos.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Cathy – I have many photos I don’t know what to do with yet. This idea could be the way. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Catherine – I like this idea since we have a pretty shed on the side yard, it would be perfect to hang there to make a window box. Thanks for the idea.

  85. Deb Brennan says:

    How about making it into a beautiful shadowbox ( to hang vertically perhaps) or horizontally to display treasures that need a lot of depth…ie large shells, even unique and special small china pieces..a collection of something…it would take some custom trimming,glass insert or door. If you wanted the beautiful moulding to go all the way around…then getting that milled and added I guess would be costly. But I see it ” housing” something special…

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Deb – A shadowbox…that would be very pretty. I could even put lights in it so it would add ambience at night. Thanks for the idea.

      1. Deborah Brennan says:

        That would be really lovely!

  86. Melissa Leach says:

    Have Ed put a bottom on it and use it as a shelf? I have also taken apart my 2 pc hutch. We just don’t have the space in our apartment like we did in our house. We are currently using our hutch base as the television stand and storage in our living room.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Melissa – You don’t realize just how big a 2-pc hutch can be until you don’t have a place for it. :-) Smart repurposing idea to use the bottom of yours as a TV stand.

  87. Faux fireplace mantle? Enclose the top and bottom and make a shelf?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Mary – A fireplace mantel is my #1 idea so far, I would just need to alter my plans for a full mantle. I like your idea about enclosing the top and bottom to create a shelf. It would look nice with all my white pitchers. :-)

  88. Wish I lived closer! I would have taken that piece in a heartbeat and made it into a small bookshelf! The only thing I see at a glance is a wall mounted shelf for the remaining piece. It would also make a nice plant stand (mount the top on a simple bookcase type bottom and fill with artificial greenery. The top is recessed perfectly for foam blocks for the greenery.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi LaFawne – I wish you lived closer too as I would have loved to give it to someone who would have did something useful with it. :-) Would have never thought about the plant stand – very clever!

  89. Connie Nikiforoff Designs says:

    I’d say to wait awhile until you see more of the rooms come together. Then you’ll find a perfect use/spot for it.

    We had a salvaged piano part (the front part called the music panel) for many months. I knew I wanted to do something with it but just had no idea. Until we did a little mini-redo in our guest room. Then I found a purpose– a wall hanging for towels, coats, etc.

    The point is, wait for your inspiration….You always get them Diane, and then the ‘redo’ is perfect! :-)

    Well, here’s one idea— Put a bottom on it, mount it as a floating shelf in some area where you want to display things…. such as a wall mounted planter (yes, faux foliage would probably have to be used). But you could also put a shelf on the top part to decorate it with other things seasonally too. Maybe the top shelf could be removable for more options :-)

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Connie – Very good advise. I remember my mom always telling my siblings and I just that…to just wait for inspiration, it will come. :-) Thanks for the ideas. I knew my readers would have many good ones to share.