Friday, August 2, 2013

Why do I love thee, let me count the ways....

You’re elegant, supportive, there when you’re needed and stunningly beautiful.  That’s what these lady’s vanities/desk are to me.  They can be amazingly transformed from dark, scratched and neglected. 

This vanity had some interesting history to it.  During the mid 20th century, many high end department stores would special order their merchandise from the furniture manufacturers.

This lovely piece was made by a manufacturer in Lenoir, North Carolina...the home of many manufacturers over the past century.  It was ordered and delivered to a department store: WG Swartz, in Norfolk.  I grew up in this area and vaguely remember WG Swartz.  It was a high end department store and was eventually purchased by a local chain of stores called Miller and Rhoades.  During WG Swartz's hay day, they catered to a sophisticated retail customer.  They had a tea room where the ladies would gather together, wearing their hats and white gloves for an afternoon tea.  As a matter of fact, as a very young girl, I remember going to another department store’s tea room with my grandmother, and I was all gussied up.  Hat and white gloves stuff!

Here is the before:

Classic mahogany stained piece.

A mix of Provence & Old White, with a light wash of Old White….

The original hardware was gone, so I added some clear knobs and two painted pulls on the center drawer. 

I also applied an applique to the oval detail.  I thought it added bit more detail and character to the piece.  Also, the fluting that rises up from each leg really stands out because of the Old White wash.  

There was some paint leftover and I had a gold oval mirror.  Yep…a little aqua wash on the mirror, letting some of the gold peak through….  

And here she is….in all her glory, ready for new histories to be written. 

And it just so happens that one of my most favorite clients adopted her.  An elegant piece for a very elegant lady.  Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for stopping by…


  1. This is beautiful! I just purchased an old 20's vanity that is amazing, too. Looking forward to it. I am actually keeping it for my daughter :)

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! A 20s vanity? I bet it is fabulous! Looking forward to seeing the finished product. What a lucky daughter!

  2. oooh what a pretty pretty piece! love the colors and hardware- girly glam!!!!

    1. Thanks, Cassie! You are so sweet to stop by...especially since "You say it's your birthday".... :)