I inherited this antique buffet sideboard from my parent's after evaluating that I needed storage space for serving platters and an area to serve drinks when we entertain. Considering they had 3 sideboards in their house, I asked if they wouldn't mind giving one to me - I remember many years ago my Mom saying she was saving one a piece for each of her 3 daughters. They have owned it for 30 years and it came all the way from Jackaman's in London, making it about 100 years old, antique enough for me!
So my first instinct was to paint it black, much to my Mom's chagrin. After looking at finishes, I decided a dark espresso would be more appropriate, considering it is an antique and I wanted to keep the integrity of the wood piece alive. My Mom and I embarked on the task of sanding it, applying many coats of dark stain, and sealing it to protect from water damage.
The end result was better than I anticipated! The wood has been brought back to life, it's rich, dark, elegantly rustic, and works perfectly with the rest of my furniture.
I truly believe furniture should be collected over time, not like it was all purchased as a set from one store or from a popular catalog. Mixing the old with the new brings life and personality to one's space and it's the pieces that we pass down from generation to generation that truly make it special and meaningful to enjoy for year's to come.