Sophisticated Whimsey

This mahogany Serpentine from the 1940s tested us. We knew it needed work when we bought it, but we had no idea how much.

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David has written about his woodworking efforts on this piece here and here. Remember her Before photo? Sturdy, but unassuming.

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Four of the handles didn’t match the original brass hardware. I pored over vintage hardware websites and finally found a good match in Canada, our friendly, frozen neighbor. FYI, I found a disconnect between web listings and the in-stock product. More than once I heard, “Oh, that set has been sold. We need to update our webpage.”

This sophisticated beauty is now ready. Her drawers glide so smoothly thanks to David beeswaxing all the runners.

She looks elegant. Here she is in a different vignette, and yes — azaleas are blooming in northern Florida. If you were here, I’d give you a bouquet of azaleas!

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We handpainted her with Annie Sloan Paris Grey. I outlined the upper drawer trim in Old White and painted the twelve handles. Annie Sloan’s Clear Wax covers the exterior. Louis Blue, on the drawers’ interiors, gives a lovely pop of color.

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As I  eased into the homestretch I received a free Lotus stencil (African Protea Flower) from Royal Design Studio. It looked  delightful and I needed to use it . . . immediately. I surveyed our in-progress projects and landed on the Louis Blue drawers.

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Using Royal Design’s Antique Gold  and Orange Ice cremes, and Annie Sloan’s Antibes Green, I stenciled a lotus on each side panel and waxed them. They offer a bit of whimsey.

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This Serpentine lovely has emerged from her spa treatment rejuvenated and looking more radiant than ever. She’ll be on sale at the Rustapalooza Spring Market at the end of the month, our very first market.

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Wishing you bunches of azaleas,

Ann Marie and David
Featured at:
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29 thoughts on “Sophisticated Whimsey

    • I understand how you feel about old furniture. I make my decision to paint based on several factors, such as condition and age. If it’s vintage, I have no problem with painting. Is the piece pretty beat up? Can repair and painting only improve the life of the piece? Go for it. Paint can always be stripped off if this trend shifts in the future. In the meantime, I’ve got a sturdy. renovated piece. On the other hand, I’ve purchased a couple of pieces in good condition and later learned that they are antiques — which is wonderful, but that poses further reflection. For instance, my previous post examines Victorian chairs I bought which were made in the 1860s. They’ve survived over 150 years because of good care provided by others. I’m inclined to take up that stewardship and watch over these pieces as historical heirlooms.

  1. Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. says:

    What a beauty! You really put in the extra effort on this one! … And I can’t wait till we see azaleas blooming again!

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    • Thanks so much, Melanie. My husband and I are mad hatters as we try to get ready for the first market. Congratulations on your reupholstered chair being recognized — pretty much everywhere. You did a great job on it. I had to laugh yesterday when I read your post about the dollhouse / birdhouse / bathouse / whatever. I had no suggestions. Have a super week.

    • Kim, thanks for calling my attention to this. I tried to fix it, tried again and again, all while our big male cat meowed impatiently at me. Finally I brought my son into the mix and he fixed it immediately.

    • Kim. The button was still giving us trouble. It was linking us back to your masthead page with a message that it won’t go farther. I solved that by linking to a printed “Wow Us Wednesday.” Ann Marie

  3. Gorgeous! Such an amazing transformation, and I love the colors you chose! Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY…
    Blessings,
    Cindy

  4. Hi Anne Marie, thanks so much for leaving me a sweet comment on my blog Little Brags (the front porch post with the moss accents). I tried to reply to your comment directly but you came up as a non reply blogger (Google glitch). . Love your transformation here, wonderful job! Christine

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  6. Just Gorgeous – and worth all the hard work if this was the end result !
    Hugs from a FROZEN NEIGHBOR in Montreal – although you’ve got a lot
    of freezing fellow countrymen right now too LOL
    XOXO

    • Suzan, thanks so much for your kind words. They mean a lot because I know you do beautiful work. In fact, I just signed up for your blogs via email. Have a super week!

  7. dadriscoll says:

    So pretty! I love the surprise color inside too along with the RDS stencil. I’ve had really good luck with D. Lawless Hardware too!

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  10. This is amazing! I particularly love the inside of the drawers 🙂 I’ve mentioned your transformation on my blog (lavendertimes.wordpress.com) this morning as part of my ‘Weekend Inspiration’ post – I hope that is OK! I look forward to seeing your future makeovers! 🙂

    • Helen, thanks so much for mentioning the Iris Abbey Serpentine. I am so grateful for your kind words, and I will check out the other beautiful pieces you posted. I will now be following your post — I see some similarities in us. I worked with university students for many years, teaching and in administration, and did (do) some writing. I look forward to hearing about your adventures, big and small.

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