Let’s take a moment and praise the hoosier cabinet. The decor item combines the aesthetics of cabinetry, countertops, and storage. Today, the all-purpose freestanding unit is an American classic.
Hoosier cabinets are no longer mass-produced. In the late 30s, demand for the cabinet style dropped as American kitchens shifted to layouts with built in cabinets. To help preserve its American legacy, the Hoosier Cabinet Museum was established.
What Is A Hoosier Cabinet?
As a durable all-in-one mobile shelving unit, the Hoosier cabinet was a valuable kitchen asset.
A Hoosier cabinet is offers lower and upper storage. The early designs featured multiple top drawers for spices, a wooden work surface, a possum-belly bin drawers underneath for flour and sugar,
Other Hoosier models featured a natural oak finish and a zinc or aluminum work surface. It’s also a countertop and all-in-one piece of kitchen furniture. The units had cupboards with blind front or glass doors. Some models had a deep bottom for extra flour storage.
Modern Hoosier Cabinet
Although a vintage Hoosier cabinet would come in handy, original models are rare and expensive. Today, you can find cabinets inspired by the original Hoosier design.
Available in four colors. You can get it in white or one of the three wood grains available. The wood grains look more authentic while the white looks more modern.
The Greyston takes its cue from the Hoosier cabinets of the early 1900s. It’s narrow but the structure is the same. The vintage feel of the grain that looks distressed adds to the character.
The unit also doubles as a console table or a foyer table.
- Multiple storage options
The Blanken kitchen pantry has plenty of storage space. If you’re planning on cutting down on standard cabinets in favor of a Hoosier cabinet, this option should suit you. It comes in one color, but white is versatile.
- Adjustable metal legs
- Hidden storage options
- Not easy to assemble
- Too fragile
Rushden Bar Cabinet is a versatile unit. Double doors grace the top and bottom cabinetry. Cabinet door knobs allow for quick and easy access to important items.
Cabinet slat details enhance the pantry’s design. You can store your high-priced bottles of wine in one of four top cabinet slots.
The bottom cabinet features four storage compartments with a built-in wine rack for five bottles. The fixture below the top cabinet allows you to display wine glasses. Take advantage of the open shelf to showcase high-end liquor bottles or use reserve the space for a microwave.
- Adjustable metal legs
- Hidden storage options
- Not easy to assemble
- Too fragile
The HOMCOM Freestanding Cabinet is an all-in-one tour de force. Made of engineered wood and available in an oak or charcoal gray color. The unit offers room for a microwave or espresso machine.
The pantry features five cubbies, three pull out drawers, and two cabinets. It also has an anti-tilt device that keep it securely attached to your wall.
- Anti-tilt technology
- Engineered wood
- Assembly instructions hard to understand
- Weak drawers
The Schuetz Kitchen Pantry is one way to add a coffee station to your home. Its faux marble countertop provides a hard surface for a work station. The cross beams offer a rustic vibe.
- Marble countertop
- Large storage options
The Cierrah cabinet features flat doors with a vintage flair. It is the ideal middle ground cabinet. Elegant cabinet doors offer a stylish look. For a contemporary vibe, this cabinet is ideal.
- Large drawer space
- Extra storage options
Why Were Hoosier Cabinets So Popular?
When Hoosier cabinets emerged, similar cabinet styles were already available. Hoosier Manufacturing Company in Indiana started mass-producing them, and the name stuck. It’s unknown if the cabinets were named after the company or the state as Indiana’s nickname is the “Hoosier State.”
“Your kitchen! – furnished as completely and tastefully as any other room – how can you have it so with little trouble and expense,” an ad suggested. It also states a home-loving woman wants a “dainty, fresh, and inviting” kitchen.
Vintage Hoosier Cabinet
Vintage Hoosier cabinets are antiques. When you find one, it might be difficult to tell if it’s authentic. Here are a few ways to tell if a Hoosier cabinet is a real.
A Hoosier has three areas. A deep lower cabinet, a workspace, and shallow upper cabinets. If the counter space is wooden, it could still be real. But the most authentic ones had porcelain or enamel counters.
Traditional Hoosier cabinets featured drawers lined with tin. They were made to store bread. If the original tin is intact, the cabinet is in great condition and authentic. While tin is long-lasting, other additions were hard to preserve.
Most Hoosier cabinets had a flour bin and sifter in the left upper cabinet. It would be difficult to find one with the flour bin still in it, but if you do, keep it. One with the original flour bin is worth a lot.
Measurements And Charts
The original Hoosier cabinets had charts in their doors. They would include measurements, conversions, and have a place to write down what you need. Some even had recipes.
Older cabinets and furniture had date stamps. There should be a stamp with the manufacturer’s name and date. If it’s pre-1940, it’s authentic.
Ask An Appraiser
You can ask an official appraiser if your Hoosier cabinet is real. You can contact someone online and send pictures to them.
Hoosier Cabinet Alternatives
If you can’t find a Hoosier cabinet set, there are alternatives that work as well and offer the same character. Since new manufactures can’t use the term “Hoosier,” as many use these words instead.
A kitchen hutch is like a Hoosier cabinet. Hutches are furniture for any room, sometimes appearing as a vanity. The hutch and Hoosier cabinet have become one and the same.
Before Hoosier cabinets, there were hutches. The word is also more forgiving as you’re not talking about a brand or an era. It is a cabinet of a certain style that can be used anywhere.
Pie safes are seen in diners that display pies. They look like wood cabinets and have large glass panels. Pie safes were traditionally used to store pies, meats, or other perishables. They add a diner or bakery feel to your kitchen.
Because pie safes date back to German immigrants in the US, the first pie safes were made by the Amish. The Pennsylvania Dutch community makes pie safes to this day, and they are the few remaining authentic pie safes in the country.
A china cabinet has a solid bottom, often with doors, and a glass top. The glass top displays china and other knick-knacks. Homes with antiques use these cabinets to keep their valuable items safe.
China cabinets are not from China. Their original purpose was to display china dishes. Porcelain is fragile, so people wanted a special storage place where they could showcase their china collection.
A Welsh dresser is like a china cabinet but has optional glass. The top is open shelving, separating it from the traditional Hoosier cabinet. A china hutch is a Welsh dresser.
The Welsh dresser is from Wales, hence the name. The cabinets were popular throughout Europe, but Wales took on the term that we use to this day. They are kitchen cabinets, but can be used as wardrobe and general storage units.
Kitchen Buffet Combo
A kitchen buffet is the bottom part of a Hoosier cabinet. To turn one into a Hoosier cabinet, you just need to add a top cabinet. You can even have one converted and customized, which is much cheaper than buying a Hoosier cabinet outright.
If you have someone build onto the buffet, you can save on material costs. All you need are small upper cabinets and something to secure them to the bottom cabinets. For cheaper version, use open shelving.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
How Difficult Is Hoosier Cabinet Restoration?
If you have an original Hoosier cabinet in need of restoration, it will require work and a budget. In the long-run, you’ll be glad you made the effort. Hoosier cabinets are antiques. The cabinets are a piece of US history and worthy of preservation.
Before you begin, figure out if your Hoosier cabinet is worth restoring. The cabinets were factory painted. At some point, an owner would repaint their cabinets. If your Hoosier was factory painted, do not strip the paint. The wood used to make the cabinets was of low quality. If you strip the paint, you’ll damage the wood.
Can A Hoosier Cabinet Fit In A Tiny Home?
Mini-Hoosier cabinets are available for tiny homes. You can have a cabinet tailor made for your tiny home. If you have an original cabinet, it will depend on your tiny home’s layout. It will either fit, or it won’t.
Do They Make 3D Printable Hoosier Cabinets?
Yes, they do. And not only are they available, but 3D printable Hoosier cabinets are cheap. If you’re looking for a fun DIY project, then making a Hoosier cabinet would be a fun thing to do.
Hoosier Cabinet Conclusion
The Hoosier cabinet is America’s contribution to kitchen design and decor. The cabinet design changed they way Americans lived. If you have an original Hoosier, preserve it. An original cabinet in great condition is worth $2,000 among furniture and antique collectors.
If you’re in the market for a new Hoosier cabinet. don’t be afraid to experiment. The cabinets are traditional, but that doesn’t mean their appearance has to follow formal standards.