The little Hoosier started out looking a little rough, as demonstrated here. And even though its reconstruction was a success, I have to admit that it was used primarily as a) pet supply storage underneath and b) clutter collection on top. Stuff that I would bring home from a sale would sit here until I took it upstairs. Sometimes I pretended that it looked OK - the stuff I was bringing home was mostly vintage housewares, after all - but instead of looking eclectic and fun, it mostly looked just jumbled.
When I found a 1950s plate rack at the thrift store last week, it landed, naturally, on the little Hoosier. I had planned to sell it (they're usually worth picking up when you find them, because they're usually inexpensive and usually sell well, and yes, I know I qualified this sentence with an unusual repetition of the word 'usually.') But that 50-cent purchase ended up encouraging me to make better use of the space.
I built the shelf unit for the top all by myself last summer with scrap lumber from the shed, except for the trim piece on top, which I bought because it was a near match to the trim on the original Hoosier. One of the proudest moments in my life occurred last fall when my brother visited and remarked on the Hoosiers. "Did you buy these together, or did you just happen to find ones that matched?" he asked. My brother, who has remarkable do-it-yourself and repair skills, was stunned that I built something.