North American furniture companies began introducing a line of Mediterranean style furniture in the late 1960’s. It was a contrasting style to the clean lines and spare look of Mid-Century Modern and Scandinavian design that had taken hold in the 50’s. Mediterranean or Spanish Revival furniture is characterized by elaborate carving, wrought iron elements and a heavy solid look. Some of it has a definite gothic design in its detail. There is a lot of this furniture available in thrift stores and online because it has lost its appeal and has a retro-look that is not popular at the moment. Reputable furniture companies such as Drexel made high quality furniture pieces that were modern reproductions of Spanish style such as this credenza from their Esperanto line:
But there are a lot of other pieces around that are not nearly as attractive as this and not very sellable. Large bedroom armoires, china cabinets and elaborate headboards have little appeal to today’s buyer except when they have been painted. Painting these pieces brings out the detail and makes them look less heavy and dated. Look at this lovely dresser from Nancy’s Creations. It has great carving and may have looked good in its original state but it is fantastic in the light green:
Junque’s raspberry hexagonal table ( a dead giveaway for the age of the piece) is another example of a true transformation:
I found the picture of this piece on a Pinterest page which is titled: Painting Furniture Ugly Tables. It has photos of faux Mediterranean style.
Here is the table that I recently painted. It had a medium brown stain and is veneer rather than solid wood. It doesn’t have a lot of carving but the legs certainly have a gothic look to them-they remind me of turrets on a castle. I used AS Pure White; the handles and carving is a layering of Graphite and White. The table has a definite shabby chic look now and would look nice in a bedroom. The inside of the drawer is red which provides a sharp contrast.
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