Monday, February 01, 2010

Ask Design Mom — File Cabinets

Ask Design Mom Question:

I was wondering if you could recommend some websites that sell attractive file cabinets. Specifically, I am looking for a vertical 4 drawer unit that will be visible from my open family room. We live in a condo. Maybe something silvery and retro? Many thanks — Elissa

Design Mom Answer:

Hi Elissa. Thanks for the question! Here are a few ideas. If you're looking for silvery and retro, ebay or college surplus sales are a good place to start. In fact, one of the pieces of furniture we left behind in New York was an old-school, Steelcase, 4-drawer filing cabinet that I picked up at a university surplus sale for $10. Woot! And then spray painted black. (We've since switched to file boxes stored in a closet — in case you're curious.)

If I was to do it again, after hunting down an older file cabinet, instead of painting it, I would take it to a metal shop and have it stripped and polished to look like one of the beauties from The Old Cinema pictured above.

Want something new? I think the Precision Kurve cabinets from Metalon are very good-looking.

Feeling a DIY moment coming on? You could buy a standard cabinet from Staples and customize. Decoupage? Huge shipping stencils?
Giant magnets?

What about you, Dear Readers? Seen any good-looking file cabinets lately? How do you like this wall of extra-tall file drawers — as seen in Jill Brown's store. Lovely, no?

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Blogger Allison said...

We got a great 4 drawer vertical retro deep moss green one at a second hand office furniture store in Chicago. Very inexpensive.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 2:03:00 PM EST  
Blogger The Yellow Door Paperie said...

Beautiful! I have so many more ideas now.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 2:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger Design Mom said...

Allison - Nice find! I bet the deep moss is lovely.

Yellow Door - Aren't those polished pieces gorgeous? I have such a fondness for industrial-looking pieces in my home.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 2:12:00 PM EST  
Blogger Allison said...

I second the college surplus sale idea. The university nearest me has one every few Fridays, but I know some universities have a "store" that's open every day. You're sure to find file cabinets... plus a lot of other random, wacky stuff. Band uniforms, anyone?

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 2:25:00 PM EST  
Blogger Katherine said...

As another person who has a filing cabinet in one's living room thanks to living in a condo, this was a perfect entry for me. Love the ideas. Have hopes of transforming mine.

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 3:02:00 PM EST  
Blogger mrs boo radley said...


I LOVE these ideas. Yay Jill Brown!

We usually just hide filing cabinets away in closets...but I would totally want to keep these out in the middle of a room!

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 4:15:00 PM EST  
Blogger sfgirlbybay said...

wow! these are gorgeous. makes me want to file something!

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 7:48:00 PM EST  
Blogger eugenia said...

I would like to see how people have "done up" their filing cabinet finds!

Monday, February 1, 2010 at 9:58:00 PM EST  
Blogger Autumn said...

What total awesomeness. I want to redo our cabinet!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 4:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger mrs. c said...

Lovely, I just love the mix of industrial with "homey"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 8:31:00 PM EST  
Blogger heidi said...

i have 2 file cabinets, one at home and one at work. both were bought from garage sales. one was 5 dollars, and the other 3. i used scrapbook paper and modge-podge to decopage them. they turned out pretty good.
this is a link to a pic of one of them:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 at 11:11:00 PM EST  
Anonymous elissa said...

Designmom, this is exactly the kind of inspiration I was looking for! Thanks for answering my question!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 10:42:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Blueprints of a Southern Belle said...

way cool.

look what I made!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010 at 1:55:00 AM EST  

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