There may still be a few attics left untouched for decades, housing treasures from the past. One of the most useful items from past centuries is the tea cart. These carts were once used for formal teas, holding the delights of dainty sandwiches and pretty desserts along with the afternoon pick-me-up pot of tea, served in delicate bone china cups.
You see, carts on wheels aren’t new; we have just found many more uses for this utilitarian throw back piece of furniture. Young married couples from the forties, fifties and sixties found the enameled kitchen cart most useful in kitchens lacking storage space. Finally relegated to the garage and then the landfill, oh my, they were just screaming, “rescue me!” A fresh coat of outdoor paint and this once discarded utility cart makes a great garden cart or display cart for brightly colored pots of herbs near the kitchen door or simply pretty potted flowers.
Look at IKEA to find mobile islands and carts on wheels, many will have locking casters to stay put when you need them to and wheels to move them where you need them most. Plain carts can be painted and accessorized to meet your personal needs. For instance, a plain bathroom can be brightened up with a flash of color on a newly painted cart holding bath accessories and towels.
Granny’s old tea cart can take on new life as a bedside table, holding not only the necessary bedside lamp, but lots of books, reading glasses, tissues for sad stories and a clock to wake you to a new morning. If the old tea cart is in good shape and suits you in its original form, great; but if not, paint it to suit you. If it’s not a museum–quality piece, have some fun with paint; even the most staid piece is fun in apple green or poppy red, set against a subdued colored wall.
Tea carts can find a home in any room with the space. Dining rooms are the expected place for such a piece, but I like to shake it up a bit. An entry is another good place for a tea cart, to hold the mail, your keys and a welcoming vase of garden fresh flowers.
A wheeled cart makes a great home office piece for the computer printer and paper and even files held in brightly colored boxes.
Naturally, the cart on wheels makes perfect sense outside by the pool to hold towels on the bottom shelf and a pitcher of iced lemonade, tea or whatever suits your pallet on the top shelf. For safety’s sake, be sure to use a sturdy plastic pitcher and glasses for the pool area.