This beautiful antique dresser came to me in its previous state by way of a good friend. He lives in an historic, charming building in downtown St. Petersburg with a rather charming custom. Whenever a tenant has an item to sell, he or she can leave it in the basement of the building with a note on it with the price. When my friend saw this great set, he sent me a photo, and I dashed over to see it, not really believing my good fortune. The details! The matching mirror! The matching bed! And all in pretty good condition, just scratched and scraped and missing veneer. All I had to do was leave a check in a little box nearby, and it was mine!
Very large, with very sweet details–carved flourishes, stunning original hardware, elegant mirror, and carved legs! This piece needed a statement color, so I chose this greenish teal color, with white top and trim and distressing. No subtlety, no blending in for this girl–she wants your attention. So here she is now:
She’s in my shop, and if she’s still around in August, she’s going to the Brocante, St. Petersburg’s monthly vintage market, first weekend of every month!
UPDATE 8/2013: Before she could ever get to the Brocante, she was snapped up and shipped to Atlanta, where she now resides!
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Normally, I have somewhat of a plan for a piece of furniture, which is what allows me to start it in the first place. This one was to be very simple, with the emphasis on the inside: a pull-out drawer that becomes a desk top. It evolved into something fairly complex! This is the start–a basic brown dresser, scratched and nicked, and in a little disrepair:
The first color I used, a very bright light blue, looked really odd to me, so I set the piece aside for a while. Then I got another plan and painted over it with a patina green. No, that didn’t look right, either. So, later still, the dresser got a final coat of a soft grey, and that, to me, was kind of boring. Hopeless, I thought. What to do? I thought I would sand it back down to the wood because it just had too much paint on it and was too thick in some places. So as I began sanding, some really neat effects began to show, and I was actually loving the result. I don’t usually distress this heavily, but with this piece, I was able to see the appeal. So I kept going and ended up with this really pretty and interesting dresser:
Coppery colored vintage pulls went really well with the colors, and I highlighted the inside of the hidden desk with light green and turquoise as an additional unexpected element. What began as an exercise in futility resulted in a gorgeous, colorful, appealing piece of useful art!
The nicest aspect of the whole thing is that, even with the too-dark photos, this dresser was in my shop listings for only a day before the buyer snapped it up and drove 7 hours to pick it up! There seemed to be a plan all along…
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