06 December 2011

The Artistic Life

I think that artists infuse every aspect of their lives with art, every choice affecting design and color is informed by an artist's eye and aesthetic - from furniture to clothing to the dishes on the dinner table. I'm endlessly fascinated with design, in all its many permutations. I follow lots of design blogs, am addicted to HGTV and am an unrepentant DIY-er. How about you?

I decided to start posting some of my home dec projects and before-and-afters here from time to time and I'd like to begin with this one. So far, I'm only on the "before" (yet eagerly anticipating the "after"). We have a small vestibule at the front of our house between the double glass doors that open onto the front porch and the interior door that opens into the front hall. I've been on the lookout for a small table or dresser for this space since we moved in late last year. Nearly every Sunday all spring, summer and fall, Sam and I scoured the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford CT looking for such a creature. The criteria was that it had to have good lines, be solid, sturdy and in reasonably good shape, and most importantly, be cheap (er, affordable). Over the months we saw a few that were too big, too small or perfect but way too expensive. In September we finally hit the jackpot. And look at how well it fits the space! There's about 2" clearance on each side.

It's a solid oak 1920s dresser with a couple of minor defects. The top is ever-so-slightly warped in one spot, which I think is fixable with wood glue and a strong clamp, and one of the drawers doesn't close perfectly, which you can only notice from a certain angle so I decided it doesn't bother me, since the angle involves some contortions.
My plan is to paint it a fun color. Gasp! I know that is upsetting to some people, but that's what I've wanted to do with a piece of furniture for eons and this isn't an heirloom, so I'm going for it. I love the juxtaposition between a fairly classic looking piece of furniture and unexpected color and modern touches.
I ordered some mercury glass melon knobs from Anthropologie to replace the too-small wooden knobs currently on the dresser.

I had a quart of Benjamin Moore's Advance paint mixed in a lovely tealy blue shade called Seaside (which I think will go really well with the red tile floor). I've heard so many good things about this paint - in particular that it has leveling properties that makes it ideal for painting furniture and cabinets.

Today I took advantage of the last warm day for a while (60 degrees in December, in New England - crazy!) and dragged the dresser out onto the porch and sanded that puppy down. Now it's ready for color. Or maybe I need to prime it first? I also need to look for some gorgeous paper to line the drawers. Any suggestions of places to search?

Anyway, stay tuned for part two!


Sewfun said...

I love the blue you decided to paint the bureau with. The knobs are great, too! Can't wait to see the finished product. it's so much fun to do things over.

Natalya Aikens said...

can't wait to see it!!! it's gonna be fab!

norma said...

I'm glad to see you're blogging again. This is going to be gorgeous! I love that color and the knobs. Be sure to post when you're done.

Angelique said...

Just wondering if you know who made the bureau because I'm pretty sure I have the tallboy version of this? It has the same brass keyholes and it's even on wheels. Do you have a key for it?