Upcycling old linen cabinet into a modern bar cabinet

My wife and I inherited an old linen cabinet from her Mom a few years ago and it wasn’t really our style so I decided to do a full upcycle. I love projects like these because you have to work with what is already there. For me, this way of working is refreshing because it comes organically as you work with the piece. I saw this and thought, “Well, I don’t like the doors so those are the first to go.” Or “maybe I can alter the legs to be more mid-century modern?” Also, a little bit of demolition is a plus( I had to cut and hammer the shelves to get them out.)

The original cabinet had raised panel doors with painted fruit on the front. Inside there were four shelves and a middle divider piece. There was a moulded trim around the top and rounded legs as well. Thinking about the use of this piece in our home, we didn’t have a lot of use for linen storage, so we decided to make it into a bar storage cabinet to hold our wine bottles, wine glasses and cocktail ingredients and utensils.

The first step was to remove everything I didn’t like. My furniture style is very minimalist mid century modern, so the moulding at the top and doors were the first thing to go. I removed the top trim with a hammer and routed/sanded the edges smooth. I also cut the legs at the bottom at an angle instead of the rounded profile they had originally.

On the inside, I removed three of the four shelves and put in a divider piece at the bottom and some cypress drawers. The top section wasn’t quite wide enough for bottle and glass storage so I had to come up with a unique way to store the wine bottles at a slight angle to make everything fit. I really loved the contrast between the navy blue and natural cypress wood.

Inside the cabinet, I made a few drawers, wine bottle and glass racks and compartments


I scraped the fruit doors and cut some new ones out of mdf. I reused the hinges and closing hardware and reattached. Going with the organic workflow I decided to do some gold line work on the doors. I primed and painted them with gold spray paint and used masking tape to make a random line pattern. I them painted the whole thing blue and unmasked the tape for the final finish.

I’m very happy with the finished product, it adds a nice flair of color to our dining room and entry area. Hope you enjoyed this post, are there any upcycle projects you’re excited about?