Message in a Buffet

This is the special story of how we left a message in a buffet.

Buffet finished using Milk Paint


Half the fun of our job is in finding the pieces that we paint.  Sometimes we come by items easily and other times we really have to dig and hunt for the treasures we bring back to Bungalow 47.  This particular buffet was from one of our “digging” excursions.

Truckload of treasure
Truckload of treasure


Picking for Vintage

A few weeks ago Jill and I received a call from one of our pickers, who said he was working a house that was full of stuff he thought we would like.  The key words there were “full” and “stuff.”  We were out the door like a shot!  As soon as we arrived, we realized that this was going to take a while and that yes, we were indeed going to get our hands dirty.  We cruised the main floor first and found a few nice pieces of furniture then headed to the basement.

Boxes of letters
Boxes of letters


Finding Something Special

WOW!  So much to go through, and even with all of the layers of dirt it was still fun picking through treasures from a time gone by.  After we had made our piles and were getting ready to head out, I came across a couple of boxes full of letters. They were letters from a husband to his wife while serving in the army.  Suddenly all of the “stuff” we had just piled up came to life for me.  

I’m always aware that the things we acquire for the store have already lived another life, that’s part of the beauty in them. However, after seeing this house and then finding these letters, the history of those items became more real than ever before.  What fun it was going to be to revive these treasures for their next life.

Message in a buffet


Painting the Buffet

First things first, I starting washing the pieces. After getting through the years of dirt and grime, I decided that milk paint would be an excellent option to work with on this buffet.  Milk paint without the bonder would peel so nicely, giving it a beautiful time worn romantic chippy peely look.  

I selected a couple of colors and got to work.  Milk paint is the perfect touch to allow the original finish to bleed and peek through, merging the old and new in this romantic chippy peely effect.

I love you sweetie! I love you too sweetie!


Making it Meaningful

Then, keeping true to the romantic theme of the buffet I pulled out a few of the letters from the box and used them to line the drawers.  The body of the letters are of simple every day things.  Lists of things needed and details of what was going on there on the base.  Drawings of the coffee pot with instructions of how to use it, pay stubs, etc.  

While each one varied, the thing that always remained consistent was his “I love you sweetie. With love, Loran XXXXX.”  They were just your average everyday love letters, but written so sweetly. It only seemed right that those letters and a piece of this couple who shared their lives together should remain inside the buffet as a permanent part of where it came from.

PicMonkey Collage
More shots of the finished piece along with a final poem that will forever be a part of the buffet.


I decoupaged letters in each of the drawers, adding to the history of this buffet. This poem that he wrote about her in the late 1960’s is now a permanent lining of one of the drawers.  What a treasure!

I saw a girl in a park one day, then in a dream.
I know what I’ll do, I’ll make her my queen.
Now that was a long time ago,
You’ll have to believe me because it’s so.
This girl I saw, oh what a sight,
Her eyes were so blue and they sparkle so bright.
I’ll tell you if I may,
That girl is my wife to this very day.

This is one of those things that really brings meaning to the things Jill and I do. Honoring history for furniture, and homes where others have lived their life is important. Check out this post that Jill wrote about that. 

Thanks for stopping by,




  1. Love the idea of lining the drawers with those love letters – it seems only right that they be together! I’ll be featuring you this week at Knick of Time Tuesday!

  2. WOW! That is SO cool! Thanks for sharing at Give Me the Goods Monday!

    Just so you know you are going to be featured Sunday on our link our features cause I think this is awesome!

    Hope to have you join us again next week!

    ~Chelsea @ Married Filing Jointly

  3. What fun! Love the buffet and all it’s chippiness! What a great idea to use his letters! Thank you for linking this up with Rustic Restorations Weekend!

  4. Bungalow 47 says:

    Thank you Jamie. Following everyone in your party. What fun! Chantelle

  5. That is such a sweet story. I love that you made the letters part of the buffet. I’m sure wherever Loran and his Queen are, they’re pleased.

  6. Bungalow 47 says:

    Thank you Leslie, it was so much fun creating this. Chantelle

  7. Bungalow 47 says:

    Thank you so much Denise. Chantelle

  8. I LOVE IT!!! what a fabulous find, the buffet is great but adding the love letters was genius and so touching! This would be a great piece for a wedding reception. We used a similar one at my daughters last spring to hold the dessert buffet and now it’s in her new house.

  9. What a wonderful idea…beautiful inside & out!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.