Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Second Chances


"Really, it's not you, it's me."

"Just tell me what I can do."

"Nothing, honestly, we were a perfect fit in the beginning, but I've changed. TVs have changed. It has nothing to do with you, but I think we are through."


"I can change."

"I don't know - can anyone ever really change?"

"Just give me a chance. One chance. I'll do anything. I think you still need me."

"Anything?"

"Anything."


"The thing is, my tastes have evolved. I need something a little more sophisticated. More worldly. Maybe...darker."

"Be honest, is there someone else?"


"It's nothing, nothing really. We're just friends, not even, I've just seen him across a room."


"I have a dark and moody side, I've just never felt like I could share it with you before."

"Oh, my. That little touch of bling is so unexpected from you. Darling, quick, hold my stuff."

I painted this piece in the bathroom as it was far too much trouble to lug it to the basement and back up. Three cans of green beans held the trash bags in place and all the while I kept thinking corn would have been a nicer accent. There is no method to painting the piece gray first; I had gray paint handy. The gold leaf is easy-peasey; I put the sizing on before carpool and applied the leaf while I helped with spelling. It's a piece of cake and don't let anyone tell you differently. It is a horrendous mess.

The only image not mine, Elle Decor, design by Dransfield and Ross, photography by Simon Upton.

70 comments:

David said...

While there was nothing wrong with it before, I can see why you wanted to paint. It's much better black, especially with a little leaf. Good call Mrs. B!

My Interior Life said...

Brilliant. I love it! I've got 2 armoires down in my basement that need to have this "conversation."

Alcira Molina-Ali said...

You're brilliant Blandings,

Surely you broke many hearts along the way.
That piece now looks like one of several pricey antique cabinets I covet from Antiques on Old Plank Road, over at 1stdibs.
Bravo, and yes, perhaps the cans of corn would've looked more comely ;)
Alcira

nerochronicles.com

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, stunning & smart! And I love your clever story line. Tina G., Northern California

Annie Pazoo said...

I have a similar fellow. Not as fine, really, but similar in appearance. We shuffled him off to the garage a year ago when the new television arrived, and he sits there yet, waiting for me to call Amvets or Goodwill. I thought I'd grown tired of how large he was, but am wondering if I'd think differently if he, too, had a new outfit. Hmm.

Toad said...

We have an uglier version of that cabinet my wife has wanted painted for years. I just can't bring myself to do it.

If she sees this my goose is cooked.

Andrea said...

What a lovely transformation!

Jessica said...

I've always wanted to try gold leafing. It added so much. Check you out.

Janette said...

Beautiful AND brilliant! Love it.

Sherri Cassara said...

Hmmmm. Maybe my 'guy' has a chance. I'm inspired!

VoiceTalk said...

Brava! Text and painting both. The color really brings out the dentil molding. no? And the gilt is just the right over the top touch.

Concrete Jungle said...

See anyone can change, Great and amusing post!

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

beautiful result, love it!

Tricia - Avolli said...

What a gorgeous makeover! It made a perfectly good piece spectacular and fresh. It/You are inspiring.

My best,
Tricia

North of 25A said...

And they say people can't change! Impressive transformation, although I am having a hard time believing that it was easy...
Best,
Colleen

pve design said...

How chic.
pve

allison said...

How fun! I love the finished product. We finally got a large flatscreen tv and lugged the antique pine tv cabinet to the basement. I was told that not even the salvation army would pick up entertainment centers anymore. You have inspired me to reinvent my piece.

Style Court said...

Patricia -- So striking! I love it.

Laura Casey Interiors said...

I love your choice to make it black with gold leaf! It looks so smart now.

Anonymous said...

Love it . I agree, it does look so 1st Dibs!

Liked it the gray also. Very smart, gray flannel suitish. Hmm. Edged in gold leaf as well.

Thanks for the inspiration.

tarheel said...

Brilliant!- your writing and your armoire!

teaorwine said...

Lovely new coat for the piece. Will you share the process? I am guessing a good primer followed with an enamel paint? Very nice new look, for sure.

Renee Finberg said...

what a change!!!
this came out beautifully.

i want to see it in it's place though.

xx

linda said...

Wowwee, Mrs B! Great job!

LDMark said...

Bien faît, Madame! The ugly duckling is in fact a beautiful black swan.

Mahala said...

Stunning transformation! I have come to adore black painted pieces. I inherited a mahogany buffet from an elderly aunt. I donated it to Goodwill. This summer I saw an identical piece in an antiques shop in Canada, painted black with stunning brass hardware. I wanted to cry that I had not thought to do the same with mine! You, however, were brilliant enough to do so with your piece!

La Maison Fou said...

I love it when CHANGE is in full swing! What a great way to go...and for the bettah!

I have a seemingly close relationship with what could be a distant relative! He has also been in my heart for many years and is definately the black sheep in the family.Perhaps he too will recieve a reprieve.
Sidenote~ Although the black is so you Ms. B....I am loving that gray finish!
I love happy endings when family squabbles are resolved!
Good Day!
L.

AppleTree said...

Clever you!

Boxwood Terrace said...

What a knockout, Mrs. B. I thought it looked great with the dark gray primer (?) and then scrolled down to realize it got even better with the black and gold leaf. Brava!

Design Elements said...

wonderful & smart!

Vickie H. said...

Absolutely LOVE IT!!! Perfect color choice!!!! Gray is so elegant these days!!! Brava, madame!!!

Topaz said...

Yesterday's TV armoire is today's bar cabinet. Thanks for showing us how it can look on the outside.

Southgate said...

I just love repurposing things like this! Gorgeous final result! (And clever narration!)

Anonymous said...

Every room deserves a dark, handsome man to define all of the lighter elements. You did a great job. Where will you use it? It has great potential for holding linen, or in the kitchen as a wet bar. The possibilities are endless when you are a classic. Good goin' Mrs. B.

Michele from Boston said...

Thanks for the giggle! What a great transformation. M.

Anonymous said...

Yes we need details!, paint colors, how to get started with gold leaf... the more the better.

Ashley said...

Hilarious and informative post! This is my first comment to your blog, but it's been so fun to read through your archives!

The armoire looks fantastic!

mary said...

I love it!!! Every room needs a little black and lots of bling.

Picture of Elegance said...

I love it...great post as usual!

swedecollection said...

Lovely looking now.
Can you tell us what kind/brand of paint you used? Thanks.
Summer for Swede Collection

Karena said...

Patricia it is a gorgeous transformation.

See I knew you had some projects in the works for the new house!!

You have got to stop saying that gold leafing is easy peasy unless you wish to give a class!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

The enchanted home said...

The black is fabulous, what a sophisticated transformation!! I am so into black right now..maybe its the influence from my trip to Paris! I just did a beautiful post on my trip today, hope you will take a look,I think in honor of this lovely black armoire...you will enjoy seeing the pictures. I am new to blogging but loving it. My blog is about our new home that we are building and my love for fine decor and design!

The enchanted home said...

Oops here is the blog

www.theenchantedhome.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Mrs. Blandings! Here's to Love the Second Time Around--and to achieving a longed-for, expensive look for less.

Your success is nudging me to finish my own little project. Smitten by all those pricey C.S. Post-style cocktail tables with gold-leafed metal legs, I bought a $15 flea market table: interesting ogee-curved iron legs, ugly mahogany-veneered round top & shelf. I hope to gild the legs and lacquer the wood pale gray.

One question: What sort of gold leaf do you use? Any recommendations?

C.

JK_in_KC said...

Projects like that require great vision and great patience. What a payoff!

Anonymous said...

Patricia, You always make me smile, if not laugh out loud! I have a very similar piece, but it has a very definite coat of paste wax all over, can't figure out how to get rid of it (the paste wax) and if stripping is the only option....fuhgetaboutit....did you seal/strip yours?

Mrs. Blandings said...

Thank you for all the kind words. Some details - the gray paint is Ben Moore Wrought Iron in flat, the paint is Ben Moore Super Spec Acrylic Low Luster and the leaf is Old World Art, which I think is available at most craft stores. Leafing detail here:
http://mrsblandings.blogspot.com/2008/07/diy-silver-lining.html

Savannah said...

Fabulous. Did you paint inside, too? (Or perhaps line inside with a gorgeous wallpaper?). Love your blog, have lost hours of productivity reading through your archives.

VictoriaArt said...

Dead pan fun! I always give second chances, sometimes it's wrong! You did right! He should stay!!!!

VictoriaArt said...

Dead pan fun! I always give second chances, sometimes it's wrong! You did right! He should stay!!!!

Anonymous said...

However messy or time consuming...the effort was clearly worth it. Just beautiful. Bravo!!
Larry G

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the details!

Emom said...

Wonderful....the black is better....smiles

Nancy said...

Beautiful transformation. I am inspired to start a project I have put off for too long. Thank you!

designchic said...

Love the transformation...it looks amazing!!

LPC said...

Oh my gosh I'm a slapdash houser but you make me really laugh a lot.

Anonymous said...

I have a c 1900 oak one. I have shelves in it and it works as a linen closet in the guest room. Really useful.

kayce hughes said...

So fantastic and now I might need to try gold leaf.
thanks

Lara @ La Plates said...

And I thought you'd just been hanging out at the gym - great work! Think I can turn an old changing table into a bar? I'm just around the corner if you get a DIY inspiration!

Anonymous said...

A Pygmalion moment with a Noel Coward dialogue.

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

Too funny with this, what a wit! But I might have left out the gilding. Not to be bitch though, it's great fun.

Amy Vermillion said...

The color is lovely! New life for the piece. Hooray!

The 5 Bickies said...

That bathroom sure does come in handy! Did you move your chairs out and use the shower?

Where will you use this piece?

linda said...

I'm back again, marveling at that fantastic transformation....
Brava, Mrs B!
-linda

Jeanne-Aelia Desparmet-Hart said...

FANTASTIC!!!!bravo! What vision. and what skill...

Easy and Elegant Life said...

Wow! Sending this Mrs. E.'s way for inspiration. Not sure what will be our victim, but it is inspiring nonetheless.

Nicely done!

The Down East Dilettante said...

Very amusing, and pretty darn cool in results. And clearly 63 viewers at home agree. Home run, Mrs. B.

Nick said...

If only all DIY makeovers turned out like this. Maison Blandings meets Maison Jansen!!

24 Corners said...

It's perfect! You did a fabulous job and kept another heart from breaking...well done!
xo J~

jgrigson said...

I do not know if this will reach you but I have an identical piece with matching book cases. And, it is in a consignment shop that is closing in two days. It is FREE This is in KC, Westport. email caroledmondslarson@gmail.com They are going throw it out and I live in an apartment.