Is there any furniture item more appealing than an antique desk? To me, not really. Especially an antique secretary desk, with little nooks and shelves hidden inside the top…and maybe even a skeleton key to open the drawers! I get so, so excited when I see pieces like that, with scrolly bits and unique woodworking. I think when you paint a nice, new coat of white over all of those antique-y, traditional touches, it creates a perfect blend of traditional meets modern. I was on Ebay the other day and got sucked into a black hole of antique desks:
I LOVE this! Seriously, this is what I’m talking about. Picture this painted in glossy white. Look at all of that cool carving on the front and scrolliness underneath (I wish I knew the proper terms for that stuff, pretty sure it’s not “scrolliness). When do you ever see desks like this? It’s so unique. I don’t hate the wood but I just think with a coat of white paint it would feel like such a perfect juxtaposition of modern and antique. And look closely because THERE ARE KEYS for the drawers. That just kills me.
I. LOVE. THIS. I love that it’s sort of a secretary, love the shelf on top which would be fun to style, love the little cabinets with their mesh fronts, love the little space in the middle, love the curved legs and the curved drawers. (The only thing I hate is the leather top, that would have to go). Seriously, those curved legs are too pretty. Again, coat of white paint and you’re good to go. This is such a unique piece, and it’s only $150.
I would have some serious fun with this. Paint it white (I’m so predictable), style the hell out of those shelves with books, flowers, and accessories, and then find some better draw pulls and a killer modern chair…perfection! I actually had a piece like this growing up, and I’m definitely a fan.
I happen to love this one too. It’s so stately looking! Tons of little drawers and cubbyholes in that thing. Also lots of storage underneath and on the bookshelf up top, too. That cabinet in the middle has a key too, which obviously is clutch. It reminds me of this, which I’ve always loved:
And remember this home tour in Lonny that I write about once before? Well she took a traditional, wooden piece like these (except it was a china hutch, rather than a desk), gave it a coat of shiny white paint, filled it with books, and voila:
PERFECTION! See how well that works?
I think that it’s so important for rooms to be a mix of old and new, traditional and modern…and in this age of seeing the same things over and over (ghost chairs, Parsons desks, Expedits…which I’m totally guilty of too!) isn’t it nice to have at least one item that no one else will have? Old pieces just have such a charm and often are more well-made than new pieces. So don’t be afraid to check Ebay, Craigslist, and antique stores or flea markets for furniture pieces before just buying everything new! With a coat of paint and some new hardware these pieces can be modernized and really lend a unique look to your space.