Antique Breakfront

For as long as I’ve known my husband, he has made reference to the breakfront that his father had in his home. I’d never even heard of a breakfront until I met Tyson and over the course of our marriage, I’ve come to find that this piece of furniture has been the benchmark by which many décor decisions have been made by my husband.

He appreciates the ornate detail and beautiful design of this antique piece.

Antique Sideboard |

When Frank passed away at the beginning of this year, Tyson’s step-mom asked if we would want the breakfront as she didn’t have a place for it in her new home.

Of course, we said “yes”!

We’ve always admired this piece from afar, but it wasn’t until we brought it into our own home that we discovered the true treasures of it. You know the saying, “they don’t make them like they used to”? It’s absolutely true!

Let me explain…

Antique Breakfront |

Neither one of us realized that this embellished panel is actually a cabinet door. What can I say… we weren’t getting into things during our visits to their home.

Breakfront Cabinet |

Inside, Frank had added hooks and a shelf. Although we will never paint this antique, I’m hoping to clean it up and turn this into a mini bar of sorts.

Custom Breakfront Cabinet |

Another surprise we discovered is that the sides pull out for additional serving surface.

Antique Server |

How cool is that?! They are leather lined and in need of some serious TLC, but they will be perfect for entertaining.

The base has two drawers for linens and serving utensils.

Antique Buffet |

The utensil drawer is in desperate need of repair, but I like that there are some remnants of the original lining fabric still visible. Hopefully it can be salvaged for a secret project I have planned.

Antique Utensil Drawer |

When we opened the cabinet, we discovered this gorgeous antique latch.

Antique Door Latch |

The base cabinet is wide and open and Frank also added a shelf to this area. This is the actual cabinet that stored the chess set we inherited several years ago.

Vintage Breakfront Cabinet |

Currently we have Tyson’s grandmother’s silver serving set stored here, but I’m hoping that we can customize this space for better storage too.

The breakfront is one example of why I started this blog… to capture the meaningful story behind a piece. Unfortunately now that Frank is gone, there are parts to this story we may never know; like the fact that there are little nubs that are missing off the upper shelves. Was there decorative trim there that no longer exists?

Breakfront Details |

Why are there modern brackets holding in this piece of wood and what is that small antique knob for? Were the sides of the base cabinet made out of something else?

Interior Antique Breakfront |

There are also notches in the back of both cabinets for adjustable shelves, but Frank installed very different ones for storage. What led him to make this decision?

Vintage Sideboard |

They definitely don’t make them like this any more. Although I love some modern furniture, you just don’t find pieces made with this much detail and forethought in mind today.

Once cleaned up, I’m looking forward to enjoying this treasured antique… especially during our holiday entertaining.

Antique Breakfront |

Have you heard of a breakfront? Do you use an antique serving station for entertaining this time of year? What is your favorite piece that they just don’t make like this any more?


  1. Chloe Crabtree says:

    What a lovely story about a beautiful piece…and there you have it, Storypiece. Interesting, I hope to inherit a beautiful antique pie safe that I remember from my grandparents home that now resides with my parents. I hope to showcase it in a post like this someday. I love your blog and all you feature, would you be interested in co-hosting my Celebrate it Sunday Link Party. I would be willing to change the name or the day of week it posts if that would suit you better. I look forward to hearing from you!

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