I'm sometimes on the sly, lightly listening for gift ideas when talking to friends and family. My MIL gave me the perfect idea as we walked into the hobby store one day after she spotted a shutter cabinet she said she'd like.
They have an old farm house and 100+ year old farmhouse shutters just waiting to be made into something beautiful. I took four and made them into a room divider screen and my FIL made the same. Both are yet waiting to be painted (it's quite a job!) but somehow I convinced him to help me make her a shutter cabinet as a Christmas surprise from all of us.
The idea in my head was something like this.
What actually came out was simpler, but it ended up being just right. He actually made it all ... and I painted the shutters. BUT, I have to say, it was my idea, so I can take the credit for that, right? He just gets the credit for all the hard work. ;-) Either way, it was an idea and labor of love. He had the original hinges sandblasted (they look brand new - amazing) and had some rare wormy chestnut boards planed, joined, and sanded to make the cabinet body. The boards were originally wide baseboards in the farmhouse!! SO cool to reuse and reclaim to make something beautiful.
And here is the final piece. The first pictures show the original color shutters (old green) and the cabinet as she saw it on Christmas morning. We wanted to surprise her but we also wanted her to pick the color - so we didn't paint them until after we gave it to her.
And after painting! She picked the prettiest color - the pictures don't do it justice. It's a greige (Rustoleum's chalk paint color - Pebble) and absolute perfection. You can see the dings and imperfections in the antique shutters - no sanding these, just a fresh coat of paint. They aren't supposed to look perfect and new. My FIL oiled the wood for a natural finish and voila!
An in-kitchen reclaimed shutter cabinet pantry.