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Putting the High in Highboy

One of my favorite things about all this is that each piece I have seems to have a story.

I wasn’t sure what to think of this story.

I got a call from an acquaintance who said,

“My ex-husband’s cousin has died and I am in charge of cleaning out his house.  He has some furniture that I thought you might be able to use.”

She didn’t seem terribly broken up about her ex-husband’s cousin’s passing.  And although I was curious about the furniture I was A LOT more curious about why/how she ended up being responsible for the property of such a tenuous relative.  Wouldn’t the former spouse be a more logical choice?  How did her current spouse feel about this?

These questions burned in my head until I actually arrived at the house which was, I am not kidding you, an episode of Horders.

The front lawn was covered with…..lets call them “belongings” and half a boat (half?! How do you end up with half a boat?  I saw Titanic – even if your boat breaks both parts still sink and Leonardo DiCaprio dies – that’s just how the world works).

My friend and her ex-mother-in-law…. (yeah, her ex mother-in-law.  This is one incredibly new-age, super tight post-divorce relationship) had been there for a couple of days and had just managed to clear a path inside the house.

It took them two days to clear a path.

They showed me through the house (down the “path”)  to a back bedroom and a really, really nice highboy dresser which was, inexplicably, in very good shape unlike the wall it was in front of or the floor it sat on or the ceiling it was under.


They left me to examine it and that’s when I found the baggies full of a “mysterious” dry, herb-like substance in the top drawer……..

I wasn’t quite sure what to do.  What is the etiquette in this situation?

Does one just place the baggies on a nearby surface and move along?  Do you tell the clearly not grieving friend that her ex-husband’s cousin seems to have left some “stuff” behind?  And, perhaps even more importantly, do I continue to open drawers?  Might the highboy be in such good shape because it was some sort of, I don’t know, filing system?  Will the subsequent, larger, drawers yield more “supplies”?

I decided it was best to be straightforward and made my way to the kitchen.

My news was met with a sigh and I was directed to “the pile” which consisted of several similar baggies, a lot of cash aaaaaand a gun.


“The police are coming shortly” I was told.  And really, who could argue with that plan?

The rest of the drawers were, happily, empty.  I never quite got the reason why she was stuck with this task and the police did eventually come.  They were very nice and one of them helped me carry the highboy to my car which was thoughtful but made the whole experience just that much more bizarre.

So here is the highboy after being released from custody

See?  It really was in pretty good shape just some trauma along the top and some wonky (empty!) drawers.

And after some sanding and priming here is its angelic, white incarnation (Restoration Hardware Cloud White – it just seemed so appropriate).

I couldn’t even bring myself to distress it as I thought it had probably already been through enough, you know? 
Shall we link?

About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

12 responses »

  1. That looks beautiful! Awesome job!

  2. Maybe you should be auditioning for “Weeds???” 🙂 Only in California…stuff like that just doesn’t happen here in Illinois! 😉 That highboy looks just beautiful now. You made the right decision not distressing it. It looks so fresh and clean.

  3. Absolutely gorgeous!

  4. That white is classically elegant, and your story…WELL…who doesn’t LOVE a great story!?

  5. OH! And I just LOVE those crystal knobs!

  6. Your highboy is fabulous, and gives the moniker a whole new meaning! As lovely as it looks, your storytelling made me laugh out loud. I think I should follow you! I want to hear more AND see more.

  7. I absolutely love the dresser! Where did you find those knobs? Hope to see you at the flea market.

  8. Very pretty! Good for you for not distressing it, it’s gorgeous just the way it is.

  9. The highboy looks fabulous! And the story behind it makes it even more valuable! Great job!

  10. Great story and I love the highboy! I found my way here from the rooster and the hen and am so glad I did!

  11. It’s bee-you-tee-full! Great job.


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