The Bar

by Liz Dowling

Years ago, when we lived in Los Angeles, our favorite store was “Civilization” on Venice Blvd.  Judson was our personal sales guy and we bought every piece of furniture we could cram into our small Manhattan Beach apartment from him.  It was a lot of fun because studios shopped at Civilization and you frequently saw pieces from TV and movie sets while you were wandering the floor.  Ok, maybe we were a little star struck.   We do still have our “Mad About You” bed frame…  Since this was the early 90’s, I was fully steeped in my oversized furniture phase.  So when Judson showed us a fabulous Pine Hutch to hold our deep, 100 pound TV and any other stereo equipment we owned, I had to have it.

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It barely fit in our apartment and the doors never really stayed open when we watched TV, but I was unusually attached to this  hutch.  It moved with us to each new home until, about 8 years ago, it almost got pitched.  It is 24″ D, 42″ W and 76″ H.  Yes, huge!  I was dialing 1-800-Junk when my neighbor had a great idea.  Use it as a bar.  Nail the sliding shelf where the TV sits shut, paint the whole thing and make it a bar.

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Brilliant.  I painted the outside of the hutch and two inside shelves a matte black.   The rest got a coat of Benjamin Moore “Wyeth Blue” that was in the living room at the time.  We also added a small lamp in the back of the bar.  Easy because we had the pre-existing hole for the TV plug out the back!

inside of original "Wyeth Blue" bar

inside of original “Wyeth Blue” bar

Since then, we have painted our living room Farrow and Ball “Tallow” and the trim “Pointing” so I repainted the inside of the bar Tallow and voila!  The Pine Hutch got to stay and now we have a fabulous bar for all of our parties.


the wry home

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Ivy Becker February 8, 2014 - 2:20 pm

What a great idea! I absolutely love it…of coarse I love almost any bar 😉 But seriously it’s chic, inviting and the light creates a lovely little space. Brilliant!

Elizabeth Dowling February 8, 2014 - 2:37 pm

Thank you Ivy. It was a way to keep the giant hutch and get a good cocktail out of the deal!

Kathleen Perkal February 14, 2014 - 4:01 pm

Love this idea for the old TV hutches! Have a pine one I am eyeing right now (circa 1979).

Elizabeth Dowling February 14, 2014 - 6:58 pm

1979, a very good year for hutches! Thank you Kathy. Go for it, we love ours.

Amy February 18, 2014 - 9:05 pm

Always wanted one of those very British drinks carts but never seemed practical. Think I remember this hutch from your manhattan beach pad and love its second act reincarnation into a bar! Especially as the doors can be closed. Well done you on this re-use!

Elizabeth Dowling February 19, 2014 - 6:10 pm

Thank you, thank you! I love the British drink carts too, but am not neat enough to have them out all the time. You have seen this hutch 🙂

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