Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mini Design Challenge

 Jeanne over at Perfect Imperfections contacted me last week about doing a Mini Design Challenge concerning these great pieces of furniture that she has. Below is the blogpost she did earlier this week. Take a look and see what you think. Say Hi to Jeanne and leave a comment about what you might do.

Here's Jeanne "In her own words..."

I'm not really sure if these two pieces are what's considered Art Deco. But, I believe that's what they are called. I was really excited when I picked these up for a great price. But then I've been stumped as to what to do with them. So I thought I'd put it out there for all my blogland friends to help me with some ideas. I'm not sure how many will actually read this, but it's worth a try. Without further they are:

Lots of great details that will pop with the right treatment!

Just a little close up of some of the details.

This vanity has wood wheels. How cool is that!

Should I try to save the design painted on the drawers?

I was thinking these might be my first Annie Sloan Chalk Paint projects, since I really don't want to sand and prime these babies! What do you think? Also, should I cut the back board off the vanity and leave it as is, or should I put a mirror there? What do you think of the drawers with the design already painted on it? Should I try to preserve that somehow? The details on the trim and legs really need to be highlighted. I'm not sure if just distressing will do the trick, or if I should try some other technique like gold leaf? I'm sure there are other questions I should ask, but that's all I've got for now.

So put on your creative thinking caps and give me some feedback friends! Thanks for your help.


Thanks everyone, let's see if we can give Jeanne some inspiration with these two great pieces of furniture. What would you do?


  1. Hi there. Well you have quite a project. The furniture you have is what is known as Waterfall. Where most of this type of furniture is around 1940's this might be a little earlier. I think it is a bit better quality than most of this style. I am not the biggest fan of painted really good quality furniture, but I think in this case, paint would make it much more exciting. Depending on what room you might want to use this in, I would pick a color to go with that room. Most people think of white,and that would work, but to me it would be just another piece of white furniture. I could see the trim all taped off and the rest painted black. remove the tape and let the trim be natural. The pulls could be high lighted with gold rub and buff, as they are really pretty. If you were using this in a room that red would work in, I would surly paint it red. It would make it look very important and very deco. As far as the back goes, it looks a little unfinished, but I think if yoy remove that back splash it will look even more so. I would suggest painting it and leaving it, and if you are using it for a vanity, just hang a mirror above. A round one would be fun, but one could use a square and hang the bottom right up against the back splash. What every you do I am sure will be fun. And I think the pieces have some good bones and a little excitement that would be enhanced with the right treatment. good luck and I will be waiting to see what you do. Thanks for the time. Richard from my Old Historic House.

  2. Oh I am, the girl who would not paint is almost like the set my mom had...which I don't. I would give it a good oil treatment and let that baby shine. Now I know I probably am the only one...and things are pretty painted...that is just me!

  3. I have a dresser and armoire in a very similar style. I have had them for years and have decided to paint mine as well. I am going to mix down my Annie Sloan blue with a hint of black (craft paint works) to make it more grey and highlight details with the white, then after painting I will distress and add a touch of silver leaf here and there. What is the rest of the room going to look like. I would use that as a guide.

  4. I love the detail and couldn't bear to change the look! I am no help:) Have a blessed day my friend, HUGS!

  5. These are gorgeous! I am for painting most furniture, but covering those details seems like a sin. I think I would live with them for a while and if they don't grow on you, them paint them by all means. If you use chalk paint, you can add the dark wax to bring out some of the details or you can just distress it a bit. I've also used a glazing technique on my furniture (mix a darker paint of your choice with glaze) and paint over the detailed parts. Don't remove the back part of the vanity.

  6. Painting it would give it new life. It seems a shame to paint it but it can live a second life with anew look. Laura Cottage and Broome

  7. Hi Jeanne, my first question would be what kind of space will they be in, where other furniture is painted? They are lovely pieces, the detailed stenciling on the front is gorgeous. I'm going to answer like they are mine, and in that case I'd probably paint them. Maybe even doing some stenciling or free hand painting where the other had been. My advice is live with them for awhile. Then if you still want to paint them, go for it. I've never regreted painting any piece of mine!

  8. I love the carved details on these pieces! I think painting them would be great, and I wouldn't worry at all about covering up the decorative florals on them. Light distressing or glaze would bring out those carvings. I agree that the vanity would look better with a mirror, but I don't think you necessarily need to try to attache one--just find one that complements the style, and hang it on the wall. If you don't already love them as is--yo have nothing to lose by changing them a little!

  9. I think when the piece has a lot of damage and scratches it will look fresher painted and have a new life. Color depends on the rest of the room. Chalk paint is wonderful. Choose a color and then use the clear wax and then dark wax in places to give it an aged look since it is an old piece.

  10. Thank you so much for posting this for me Debra! I will be checking in for more comments and then take a plunge on something!

    There will be a little delay in getting started on this project because I have to travel for work pretty much until December 9. I'll have 2 weeks in November I might be able to tackle it. We'll see.

    Thanks to everyone that has commented so far.

  11. I'm the first one to pull out the paint to improve a piece of furniture (or two) but painting these two pieces feels wrong. Looking at the photos, these look to be really good quality stuff, and I don't see any loose or chipped veneer. We don't see the tops of these pieces, which usually get the most abuse, so I don't know what condition they are in.

    It's getting more and more unusual to find any portions of sets of furniture that are still together. If these pieces were mine, I would freshen them up with Restor-a-Finish and let them shine.

  12. I tend to only paint antiques that are damaged or beyond repairing to their original state, so take my advice with that in mind. If these are pieces that you are keeping for yourself then go ahead and paint them if that will make you happy. If you are trying to make a profit on the pieces and planning on selling them, I would leave them alone. Maybe use a little wax or something to clean them up a bit and then list them on Craigslist as antiques. Just because you bought them for a pittance doesn't mean that is what they are truly worth and you don't want to reduce their value by altering them. Ie, in this case they would be worth much more as is, than painted.

  13. Forgot to mention, I have a waterfall dresser that my husband keeps tools in in the garage. So it's not that all waterfall furniture is awesome, but the detail on this is something I've never seen before. It looks like high end furniture, not your typical waterfall.

  14. I know I am way late to this party but I couldn't resist throwing in my 2 cents.
    My gut feeling is you should follow your instincts on this a do exactly what these pieces are calling out to you to do. They would look stunning in the annie sloan paint that you are considering. You could easily save the original stenciled drawer area by creating an oval around it and paint up the rest. I think the dark wax on al those fabulous details around the edges would make them even more stunning.
    I have to go search now and see if I can find it finished!


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