The Masculine Desk

About 6 months ago I painted two desks.  The first one was a classic mahogany double pedestal style that was well-made and had a completely finished back so it didn’t need to be placed against a wall.  It did have one unusual feature, however; the top was laminate made to look like mahogany.  I painted it in Annie Sloan Old White and put some gilding on the edges.  It was the first thing that I had painted in a true shabby style because I only had enough paint for 2 coats, so any wood peeking through or brush strokes were going to show.  The end result was a decidedly feminine desk and it probably is the piece that most people comment on when they see my photos.  Here it is:

IMG_0566IMG_0576IMG_0572

The second desk had a solid mahogany top but peeling veneer on the drawers which I was able to remove easily.  I refinished the top, painted the body in French Linen and Old White and added copper gilding to the brass Chippendale handles. I also distressed the molding on the edges of the desk and used dark wax on it.   It is a bit more masculine than the white desk but still appealing to females.  The copper really worked well with the mahogany stain.  Both of these desks were bought by women.

IMG_0605IMG_0602

And now I come to what I term the masculine desk.  Let me start by saying that in general, painted furniture does not appeal to a lot of men.  Many of them feel that it is sacrilegious to paint over wood, even if it is orangey honey oak.  They seem to think that there is also something un-masculine about coloured paint.  My husband has gotten used to it and actually likes the things that I paint but I think he is more the exception than the rule.  My male Facebook friends are all former colleagues and they politely like things I post but I know they are just humouring me.  I painted a lovely secretary desk at her request for my sister-in-law in AS Provence and her husband keeps calling it “that blue thing”.  I have grown a thick skin about it.

So, the desk.  It is vintage oak. probably about 40-50 years old judging by the knobs.  I knew when I saw it that I wasn’t going to paint it white or a colour because it has straight masculine lines.  I have gone for a bit of an industrial look that will appeal equally to men and women.  I refinished the top and the knobs and used a mixture of walnut and ebony stain so that it would be dark but not black.  The body is AS Graphite and I think it totally suits its look.  We’ll see who ends up buying it.

DSC_0002(14)DSC_0006(5)DSC_0004(9)DSC_0007(6)DSC_0008(5)

http://www.notjustahousewife.net/


http://www.mamabzz.com/


Ivy and Elephants


startathome
http://katherinescorner.com/


http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.ca/2013/11/feathered-nest-friday_27.html#more
http://www.thestylesisters.blogspot.ca/

House on the Way


http://www.greenwillowpond.com/2013/11/what-we-accomplished-wednesday-33.html

Craft Dictator

The Shabby Nest

Liz Marie Blog
The Humble Brag Link Party

http://www.commonground-do.com/
http://tatertotsandjello.com/2013/11/link-party-palooza-three-amazing-giveaways.html#more-57468
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2013/11/party-junk-215-christmas-junk-ornaments.html







Three Mango Seeds
By Stephanie Lynn

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/12/01/diy-party-show-diy-home/#6pSTAZpLZQ0QEAG3.99
Boogieboard Cottage


Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home

http://www.astrollthrulife.net/2013/12/193rd-inspire-me-tuesday.html#more
Mod Vintage Life

Elizabeth and Co.

http://thenymelrosefamily.com/2013/12/whimsy-wednesdays-92.html
http://www.ladybehindthecurtain.com/cast-party-wednesday-119/
125x125

Advertisements

Confessions of a blog hopper

I am amazed at all the wonderful blogs about furniture and painting that one can visit.  It’s obvious that there is a real boom in furniture painting and refinishing.  Like all fashion, it won’t last for more than a few years but I am going to enjoy it while it’s here.  I have seen so many great pieces in the last few weeks that I can’t help but share some of them and bring some recognition to the talented people who have created them.

Katrina Barclay owns Malenka Originals in Ottawa where I live.  She is the only retailer for Annie Sloan in the area and she has turned a little shop into a successful business.  Katrina’s customers love her because she is so helpful, down-to earth and interesting to talk to.  On top of that, she is a wonderful painter and stylist; all of her furniture is beautiful.  This is one of her recent pieces; it is a 50’s-60’s dresser that was painted in a mix of Greek Blue and Florence.  You can read about it here.  It also has lovely knobs.  It’s just a great example of a terrific transformation.

Malenka.ca

Malenka.ca

Malenka.ca

Malenka.ca

Another painter, Suzan, from Simply Vintageous is a prolific blogger and well-known to a lot of people.  She writes funny blogs about herself and her husband, she takes readers on house tours of Montreal( which are all fabulous by the way) and she paints great furniture.  She seems to specialize in white and white/grey combos.  There is something very sophisticated about her work , like this wonderful dresser.  I often visit her before and afters when I am looking for inspiration.

Simply Vintageous

Simply Vintageous

I have also recently come across the blog Orphans with Makeup which showcases the work of another Montrealer, Mary Vitullo.  I love the variety in her work and the definite creativity.  This pink dresser painted in AS Antoinette is perfect.  I love the fact that she chose to make the top a light oak colour since everyone, including myself, is staining things dark.  It really compliments the softness of the piece.  You can read about it here.

Orphans with Make Up

Orphans with Make Up

I have written about Martha Leone before in previous posts.  Martha brings an artist’s eye and sensibility  to her work and she has many pieces that I admire but none more so than her waterfall dresser.  I didn’t like waterfalls until I saw this and I have to say it is iconic.  She really created a work of art with it.

Martha Leone Design

Martha Leone Design

I have also been hopping around Facebook pages and I want to mention a few of the great things that I have seen:

Look at these wonderful birds from Paint it Shabby.  I believe they were done with Miss Mustard Seed colours.

paint it shabby birds

And this antique dresser from Vintage Ground.  His furniture is incredible, especially what he does with Mid-Century Modern.

Vintage Ground

Vintage Ground

I also love this red table from Lark.  I don’t know what she did to it but it is wonderful.

Lark

Lark

125x125

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

The Shabby Nest
<img class=”aligncenter size-thumbnail wp-image-5308″ title=”Show Off Friday Button” src=”http://what-about.co/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Show-Off-Friday-Button-150×150135.jpg”
Tickled Pink at 504 Main
http://www.findingfabulousblog.com/</a


http://www.commonground-do.com/2013/11/be-inspired-164.html
http://tatertotsandjello.com/2013/11/link-party-palooza-lightheaded-bed-giveaway.html#more-56970


div align=”center”>The 36th Avenue

Three Mango Seeds

http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2013/11/salvaged-junk-bathroom-vanities.html
BWS tips button


http://www.twiggstudios.com/

Boogieboard Cottage
div align=”center”>Heavens Garden

Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home
a href=”http://www.bystephanielynn.com”&gt;By Stephanie Lynn
http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/2013/11/project-inspired-week-41/
Mod Vintage Life

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

http://www.notjustahousewife.net/

Elizabeth and Co.
House on the Way


http://thestylesisters.blogspot.ca/

The revolving door of kitchen tables

This is what our kitchen table used to look like DSC_0048

Then it changed to this when  we began  our kitchen reno and we decided that it was too big for the room.

Pine table with Pure White

Pine table with Pure White

I have written a post about the refinishing here.  We sold this table and decided to buy a smaller round table to open up the room a bit.  I bought this round table for $20.  It’s not actually wood.  The base is metal and top is something like MDF made to look like wood.   I stripped the top as best I could-MDF doesn’t really strip well and I stained it with an ebony stain.  You can still see highlights of the old golden oak colour mixed in with the black/brown.  I painted the base in AS Provence.

DSC_0021(2)DSC_0025(2)DSC_0026

It looks very pretty and the colour combination works well.  We painted the accent wall in the kitchen a deep turquoise to go with it and I bought some cane back chairs which I painted white.  The coverings which are a lovely leaf print are a perfect match.DSC_0072

The problem was that we didn’t really like the round table.  I guess all those years of having a larger table had conditioned us to a bigger surface.  It’s all a little too pretty as well.  So, onto table #3.

This one was a bit of a mess when I bought it.  The previous owner had refinished it in a shiny pine colour but he had taken a layer of veneer off the top before he did that.  Consequently, it has holes, gouges and dents.  It used to have a stretcher bar across the bottom but for some reason that was removed as well.  My husband thought I was nuts but I liked the size and the older look.  I filled in a lot of holes but really couldn’t make the surface perfect and that’s ok with me.  And I went for a completely different colour.  I had half a can of AS Chateau Grey on hand.  If you are familiar with this, it’s not really grey at all but almost olive green with a grey undertone.  It’s not a colour that I am attracted to but it really works well in the room ( there is some green in the back splash) and co-ordinates well the turquoise.  I put a white wash on it for a couple of reasons.  It softens the colour, it ties in with the chairs and it highlights the imperfections rather than disguises them.  I am very happy with the result.  If you have ever painted over a shiny surface like verathane or varnish, you will notice that once it is waxed, the shine will come through.  It’s much shinier than a regular surface.

DSC_0004(5)DSC_0002(11)DSC_0007(4)DSC_0006(3)

One more thing( if you are still reading this) I bought 2 table and chair sets and one single table in order to get a table and 4 chairs for our kitchen.  I sold the round one, sold a set of press back chairs and I still have a refinished table with 2 cane back chairs to sell.  Once they are gone, I will have paid for all my purchases and made a profit.   Not the easiest way to acquire a table but I actually enjoyed it. Of course, in retrospect, I could have kept the original table.  Here’s the final set to be sold ( minus the press back chairs).DSC_0018(1)DSC_0001(8)

DIY Show Off

Read more at http://diyshowoff.com/2013/11/10/that-diy-party-42/#YIDv3WxlKxfwIGZd.99
a href=”http://niftythriftythings.com&#8221; target=”_blank”>

http://www.twiggstudios.com/
By Stephanie Lynn

Making the World Cuter

a border=”0″ href=”http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”>
Boogieboard Cottage

http://cupcakesandcrinoline.com/2013/11/project-inspired-countdown-thanksgiving-week-40/

Elizabeth and Co.
The DIY Dreamer

Savvy Southern Style

http://thestylesisters.blogspot.ca/

http://www.yellowblissroad.com/inspiration-exchange-25-weekly-recap/

House on the Way

http://www.thethriftyhome.com/

http://bloomdesignsonline.com/2013/11/4009.html

http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.ca/2013/11/feathered-nest-friday_14.html#more

125x125

Victorian/Edwardian furniture

dresser,Victorian

This is a typical piece of Victorian furniture.  It is walnut or mahogany, there is ornate carving and it is large and substantial.  The Victorians favoured heavy ornamented pieces because they suggested wealth and the fact that machinery was introduced in the 19th century to mass produce furniture meant that the middle class could have the same looking furniture as the wealthy.  Victorian design used plush, dark coloured fabrics, busy wallpaper and covered the surfaces of everything with ornaments and acquisitions.  They loved tassels and fringes on carpets, lamps and pillows as well as lace antimacassars.

This is a contemporary B&B that has a Victorian theme.  Note the mixture of patterns, colours and the collection of knick-knacks on the surfaces.  Victorians rooms were overstuffed with furniture and things, all designed to create a sense of opulence and wealth.

Curving lines, ovals and ellipticals were very popular.  Chair backs and legs on furniture were usually curved as can be be seen in this Victorian lady’s chair with its spoon back and elaborately carved legs.  Lady’s chairs were often armless in order to accommodate their voluminous skirts.

Queen Victoria’s death in 1901 ushered in the Edwardian era.  Although not remarkably different from the previous era, there was a movement towards more simplicity in design and a desire for a lighter look.

The dresser that I painted is about 100 years old and definitely Edwardian.  It is solid mahogany and heavy but its plain drawers, elegant bun feet and graceful back piece make it a simpler design.  I painted it in a soft cream colour.  I puchased 4 Anthropologie knobs on sale because they are actually missing crystals and I added gilding to the remaining 2 knobs to tie them in together.  I painted the bottom of the drawers a mid-blue.  The piece would look lovely in a baby’s room and similar dressers are being sold at places like Pottery Barn.

DSC_0001(10)DSC_0002(10)DSC_0003(4)DSC_0005(3)

http://sweethaute.blogspot.ca

http://thestylesisters.blogspot.ca/

The DIY Dreamer

a href=”http://romantichome.blogspot.com/”&gt;

125x125

The Shabby Nest

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Tickled Pink at 504 Main

//www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/2013/11/salvaged-junk-storage.html