Vintage Singer Sewing Cabinet

About 10 years ago I received a hand-me down sewing desk with a 1970’s Singer included.  The Singer sewing machine was a beauty but I didnt feel like I  was the right person to invest in its resurrection, so I chucked it.  But I’ve hung on to the sewing desk.  Its been used in several of our homes usually as an entry piece because of its small size.   It came to me in very good condition as a solid wood piece in a hickory stain and although I adore natural wood we recently decided that we would like to paint it gray.  It turned out to be an excellent idea that I dont regret it at all.  We used an oil base Benjamin Moore, color #1483 – Cos Cob Stonewall, its a cool medium gray with green undertones.  It was the same paint that I used to match an Ikea Hack to Hudson’s Oeuf Sparrow Crib.

I don’t have any pictures of how my cabinet looked before we painted it but I do have the manual that had some other models pictured on the back.  When I thought about sharing my DIY of this cabinet I did a little research to find another existing cabinet like mine without much luck.  I did find two similar models just like the ones pictured on the back of my instruction manual.  One is in the excellent shape that mine is in and is going for $300 on ebay in Phoenix and the other not so great shape for $50 at a thrift store in Mesa, AZ. Both with the same type Singer Machine that I chucked.

When we moved into our Brooklyn apartment we stretched the limits of our imagination to repurposed this vintage beauty yet again. I affixed waffled dish towels with a staple gun to serve as an apron with inverted pleats.  This apron allowed us concealed storage underneath,  but you wont believe what we put under there……the kitty litter box!  We had no hiding spot for the cat box in this loft style apartment and by coincidence our size box just happen to fit.  I’ll spare you the gorry details but I promise its under that curtain and yes from one angle it can be seen but wrapping the entire cabinet was not ideal for kitty entry and ventilation.

We have been so pleased with the way our cabinet fits right into our changing style, its been a chameleon of sorts and I suppose I’ll always make it work for us.  I believe thats what a piece of  furniture with good bones does, its always in style and it can be updated with just a change of accessories or a coat of paint.  In fact I am already working on restyling this piece with new objects d’art  I received for Christmas: a Dwell Studio Urchin and a CB2 Neville House.  I was especially excited to match up the Urchin’s bronze coloring to the existing pulls on the Singer cabinet because for a while I considered replacing them with something modern.  Nope, they are complimented perfectly now and I’ve made the first step in adding bronze as metal accent to my home.  Our CB2 Ada lamp stays, (it’s another perpetual piece in the Berry residence) but I am in the market for new art.  Any ideas  anyone?

Dwell Studio Urchin & CB2 Neville House on a refurbished vintage Singer Sewing Cabinet



Filed under NBID, Paper + Fabric

6 responses to “Vintage Singer Sewing Cabinet

  1. Jes

    Can I get instructions on how to DIY :D ?

  2. Laine

    Nikki, I am so excited to find your blog. I have spent half a day trying to find any history on my new yard sale find – year/style, etc. And here I find your identical Singer sewing cabinet already painted in my choice color! Yours is lovely and I can’t wait to get started. I thought to use an acrylic primer and paint, but wondered why you chose to use oil base – is there a benefit of oil base on furniture? I look forward to perusing your site – I really like your style and its easy flow. Oh, I love that you incorporated the Hatch Show Print – l also am from middle Tennessee (Murfreesboro). Well thanks for your post! And any advice on the paint project is appreciated.

    • Hi Laine, thats great that you have found your vintage sewing desk twin! Mine too came from the middle tn area, im sure there must be others just waiting to be rescued. I choose oil paint because as an interior designer I know that it is the choice of furniture professionals. I have minimal experience DIY painting myself and this was my first try with oil. It is said to have its pros and cons, just as latex does. Its self leveling during painting, thickness of the coating and durability is what won for me. As with any project and good dose of online research and other blogs with hands on experience can help you make a decision. Good luck and I’d love to see how yours turns out! email me a pic

  3. John

    FYI if you are still interested: That’s a Singer “Venice” Mediteranian style desk in butternut-veneered hardwood Model 691. Made circa 1970.

  4. John

    Sorry. I misspelled Mediterranean.