Well how about that snow, Northeast peeps?! God is just a magnificent Creator, isn't He. The kids will probably be out of school until March so if you've got any favorite indoor activities to share, send them forward! :)
Right before the holidays this past Fall I came home with a piece that wasn't really my particular cup of tea. And it definitely wasn't what I was looking for. What I really had a hankering for was to refinish a credenza or a china cabinet, like this, or this. But everyone's got an Achilles heel of some sort and mine happens to be long and low pieces that are less than $100. These days that's a hard find to come by. But my budget is important and something I do my best not to bend too much because my intention is to produce beautiful, affordable furniture for those looking to fill their homes on a slim budget. With prices on used pieces rising significantly, I've realized I need to bend my expectations of what I'll find in my price range, rather than my price range. And if I'm going to take on pieces that aren't my style wheel house, well then I just need to work extra hard to bring them up to speed!
What really bothered me about this piece originally was this decorative ivy. I mean, why?? I just didn't understand why it was there or how it added anything to this piece that already seemed to have a lot going on, (fancy legs, chunky hardware, freckled wood). My first step was going to be sanding it down and getting the surface smooth and ready for paint. But then something strange happened.
Not only did I not even try to hide the ivy, I went to painstaking measures to carve it out during 3 sittings in freezing cold temperatures in my garage shop! Maybe it was brain freeze, but I suddenly wanted to see the ivy carved through white paint, accented with aged brass hardware.
I think it was the desire for a challenge that lead me to maintain the original look of this piece but in a really cool bohemian chic way. And I knew that to pull this plan off it would come down to the styling. Because a white piece of furniture with carved ivy and brass pulls is still just a white piece of furniture with carved ivy and brass pulls. Are you with me?
I styled the sweet thing two different ways; one more clean and edited, and one care free and over the top. Here's a looksie!
I used my favorite earthy palette of rich browns and rust tones to bring out the sophistication of the piece. The hardware was a critical choice and I went through three different options before deciding on this set. I wanted the aged brass to stand out and the rich colors styled with the piece here do that well, I think.
A chunky woven tray from Target containing clay potted plants and wooden candle sticks still speaks that laid back boho language, but with subtle formality. Like with a British accent.
I didn't over-distress this piece as I've been doing more recently, but rather focused on the edges and corners to highlight the unique details and shape of the piece. Still, I love a well worn surface so I took a little extra off the top just for fun. I really should read Jane Eyre. I use it for styling enough.
Since pieces like this are sought out for their versatility I didn't do anything to alter the interior! The storage makes this a fantastic piece to be used as a dresser or dining room buffet, while the center compartments also add the option to place shelves where the drawers are and use the piece as a media center!
The second way I styled this piece was really for me. Hah! If I ever have a dining room buffet, whether in our current house or a future one, I'd use it just like this: An in-home greenhouse.
Man, watering would be SO much easier if I kept all these guys together regularly!
The carved ivy just fits right in with the real ivy cascading out of the drawer. :)
This piece was a really wonderful learning experience for me in taking something I wouldn't normally refinish and putting my style into it. It's a more feminine and sweet piece than I'm normally into, but feminine with a dash of daring is just smashing.
I absolutely adore this ivy. Who would ever consider covering it up?? ;)
Piece now available
73.5"L x 30.5"H x 18"D
Thank you all so much for coming by!