current craving : vintage lockers

Hello all you wonderful readers! I hope you guys had a relaxing weekend! I’m back, and ready to hit the ground running this Monday, bringing some fun inspiration to you this week. In the meantime, I wanted to start out with a super simple post…


They’ve been all the rage for a while, but I think they definitely bring an interesting angle to lots of spaces, and in a versatile way. And I consider them a classic storage staple, when used in the right way.

viaviaThese lockers combine two trends at once…

I spied these when perusing the Nashville Flea market, a year ago. At the time, I had nowhere for them, and now, I’m kind of wishing I’d snatched them up. Kind of.


I’ve always hesitated, and wondered what the correct treatment would be for some old, dented rusty ones if I was to find them…I wanted some, but wanted to do it right. It seems the only way to score a good deal might be to venture into a haunted high school and grab some up for youself, whilst barely escaping murderous creepy ghosts of janitors past. And zombie students. Just sayin. Scary stuff, this locker harvesting process.

If they were the wrong color…I’m not sure straight spray paint would be the right treatment…and sometimes rust icks me out. I also think stripping them down might be a nice option. Then I realized that anyone who works at a body shop would be able to restore them, or at least guide us in the right direction on that little project. {Welderman to the rescue!}

Even though sometimes a little rust can be charming…I like the idea of sprucing them up, or changing their color. That broadens my locker search a little if I know what the possibilities are. If the size/shape/price is right…

I also love the idea of vintage wooden ones. Talk about one of a kind finds…


This certainly belongs in my one of a kind future studio plans.

So does this. {One of these days, Pure sign. One of these days. I’m coming for you. Yes, I am still searching.}


This is from the same home with that awesome staircaseswoon! I’m coming to live with these fun fearless people.


I’ve really got a hankering for a series of these…in a nice pop of red. Yep. these are probably my personal faves. I’m thinking of simple storage in red.



These gorgeous antique coast guard lockers can be found online…but I can’t help thinking they’d be fun to recreate, as well.

I love the idea of a challenge of using these in a variety of ways to spruce a space…and shove mass quantities of unsightlies out of sight organize all at the same time!

So spill it: which style is your fave? Do you think these are totally trendy, maybe even overdone at this point? Or that you can make them classic with the right look? I’m shooting for classic…and I’m thinking the vintage metal ones can be quite the rarity. I don’t really see myself throwing a nice vintage find out on the curb for craigslist anytime soon…

Which reminds me…I’m off to search craigslist. Happy hunting, everyone!

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Responses to current craving : vintage lockers

  1. LOVE the vintage lockers! I added the new potterybarn vintage lockers to my list to try & make! We’ll see what I can come up with :)

  2. Catherine says:

    Yes, just a simple post, with eye candy all over the place. Drool. So worthwhile a look as far as I’m concerned. When does storage ever go out of style? And if you paint or incorporate them into your home and your look, I don’t think you’d have to worry. You could always call me if you get sick of them!

    These vintage items are lovely. I work in a high school, and trust me, the new lockers don’t look like this…

  3. Tiffini says:

    what just get me is – years ago I had a set of 4 lockers. Back then there weren’t even blogs so who knew! I threw them away! ugh!:)

  4. Emily says:

    I think they’re classics, not overdone! And I love ALL the ones you showed! My parents have a set of classic high-school lockers in their basement- they got them when the local highschool was being renovated back in the early 80’s I think and we used them to store all of our sports gear….. Might have to ask if they’re still being used or if maybe they can make a trip to my house!

  5. Terri J. says:

    Hmm… They are tearing down and rebuilding the Middle school where I grew up and rebuilding it now. I wonder where my old locker went? Check your area out to see if any towns are having surplus equipment sales!
    When they renovated the elementary school, they put all of the old wooden desks and chairs out on the lawn and sold them all for $3 a piece! I bought 3 of them. My two daughters loved to play school so I turned their playroom into a classroom. That was almost 20 years ago! So guess what my oldest daughter does? You guessed it… Elementary School Teacher!!

  6. jillian says:

    Love all the pictures! I bought some lockers from a guy on Craigslist a few months ago. He started super high ($250) but I ended up waiting him out and got them for $50. They were like the red ones with the diamond pattern vents, only taller. I did use regular spray paint on them, starting with Rustoleum’s rusty metal primer and finishing with a glossy white. It took six cans of each. But, I love them so much and it really answered the storage problem that we have on our first floor. They are part of our living room now. A few people (everyone who saw me painting them) doubted my idea, but now I can say, “Ashley says it is cool”.

  7. Teegan says:

    I LOVE the vintage locker look. I have them on my vision board for my 7 month old boys room re-do. I’m going to go with metal and depending on the quality, will either completely re-work or rough up. I think the creation of wooden lockers would be a perfect tutorial. I think anyone could incorporate them in their space in different stains/finishes. Not many people would even think of this Ashley. Maybe that’s why you’re a fav fav fav of mine. 😉

  8. Emelyn says:

    Lockers would work so well in my small entryway as a catch all/storage for my kids’s school and winter stuff, summer stuff. I love this post. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. Those yellow lockers are awesome! They are the exact ones we had in high school. I do not EVER want to re-live high school, but I’d love to decorate some lockers with something other than an magnetic mirror, folding locker shelf and taped pictures! Ugh!

  10. Jenn says:

    Love the grays and steely blues in some of these sets. You’ve now given me the itch to find a set and shove (he he) my girls unsightly after school “dump” of coats, shoes and bags into them. What’s the famous saying… out of sight, out of mind? :-)

  11. Randi says:

    I love lockers but I hate that as they become trendier, they become way more expensive. Three years ago, I found a set of lockers at our local thrift store for $30. They’re banged up and not the greatest color … and it just about killed us trying to get them into the house … but I love them. They’re in my son’s room and they’re one of my favorite things in the house. I’m so glad I went with my gut feeling and snatched them up. You can see them here:

  12. The metal ones wouldn’t really fit in with my house, but I desperately love those wooden ones with all the different size drawers and doors. Too bad something like that would probably cost a cajillion dollars. Alas, I think I’ll be sticking with Ikea bookshelves for now.

  13. Melissa says:

    It pains me to admit this: about a year ago I was helping a friend who was downsizing move. He had a set of lockers he couldn’t take with him. They looked like the lockers in the second picture. He said, “You can have them if you want them.” I wanted them so badly, but I really have no place for them, and I think taking things you don’t need is how hoarders are made, so I said no thank you.

    Yeah, I still regret that.

  14. Stacy Wimsatt says:

    I have recently purchased a set of 8 for my little boys room….thought that would make a super cool dresser – however….I am having trouble figuring out how to use the inside. I bought locker shelves and baskets & labeled the baskets pajamas and socks, etc. But I am not sure I am making the most of the space. Can you help with ideas as to how to use the inside once you have the cool look on the outside?

  15. Katie says:

    I just recently scored a set of lockers with a butcher block top like the island pic you have. I am still pinching myself that I got them for $25. I am debating on spray painting them but our son loves green right now and wanted them to stay how they are. They are currently in his room filled with toys and books, great storage!! Love your pics! Maybe some day I can make them into an island…swoon!!!

  16. Jody says:

    We inherited a set from my dad last year. We sanded them down using steel wool and painted them with oil based paint in a sprayer. You could get the same affect with rustoleum spray paint. Ours were a little rusty to begin with and we’ve had no problems just spraying over the rust. We love them! They are excellent storage for our hats, coats, keys, shoes, diaper bag, and my purse. Basically anything we use on a daily basis. Much easier than hanging in a closet and it keeps things organized by person which I love. Mine were free, but I would have paid decent money for them given how usefull they’ve been to us. Ours looked exactly like the picture you took of the green lockers at the flea market.

  17. Oooh that’s a fabulous round-up of vintage lockers! I love the look too so when I do get my hands on one, it will be in my house somewhere! I have this linked to my lockers post too today, for inspiration!

  18. Bliss says:

    Hello. I clicked over from a click over to see your locker post. I have some that I just don’t know what to do with. The idea I got reading your page is to remove the doors and have my husband make some interesting wood ones in place, or just open shelves with some baskets. It is a set of four. Guess time will tell, but they have been sprayed shiny black for 15 years and that just isn’t doing it for me anymore!


  19. Jeff says:

    I would love to know where I can contact the person with the Coast Guard lockers for use in a historic station. Can anyone help?

  20. Wes says:

    Bravo on you’re collection of gorgeous lockers! About 3 years ago I left my position as a creative director & head photographer over 3 magazines & started a small business of buying and selling vintage lockers, mid century modern (colorful) furniture & unique steel pieces that are upcycled & refurbished from old school lockers.

    Ive definitely seen my share of old haunted warehouses, but I’ve kept my eyes on the task at hand. There’s definitely been a couple times I had help “from beyond” in getting these massive bulky steel boxes into my truck & back to the workshop!

    Keep up the great work & don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need suggestions on how to refurb your lockers~

    Best wishes

  21. Annabelle Price says:

    just picked up some lockers that were about to go in a skip outside my school! The frame is grey and there is a column of blue, square lockers.The colour scheme of my bedroom is red, gold and black and i would like them to look vintage-Any ideas? Thanks for the post x

  22. Pamela says:

    Love this posting. I just bought some vintage lockers and will be repurposing them into my bathroom.