Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Slant Front Desk in Crimson

This desk was the perfect candidate for painting. The surface was absolutely shot, but the structure was sound, and the form spectacular. Even better- the client went bold with color.
          I don't always agree with client's color choices. I bite my tongue since at the end of the day, I will see the piece, and the color, for a week maybe two. The client will live with it for years, and tastes differ, thank god. If we all liked precisely the same thing, this would be a boring old world indeed, and my job would be unrelentingly dry. Without clients to surprise me and challenge me with their choices, I'd paint everything green, and we'd all be sick of it well before now.
          That being said- I was on board with these design choices from the word go. I WOULD NOT HAVE EVEN CONSIDERED THIS COLOR. Rhubarb, by Benjamin Moore- the interior is also Ben's- Smoke Embers. I wouldn't. Not because I don't love a coral (I do!), but because it's never the first color to pop into my head. As soon as the client suggested it, however, I thought "Yep, that's perfect, abso-f*cking-lutely perfect" (my internal monologue would make a sailor puke, then faint...then maybe go to confessional. Either way, the sailor would be traumatized).
          Rhubarb, Smoke Embers, and we opted to refinish the teensy drawers in the fitted interior in mahogany. Fun fact though, where as the rest of this desk, which was made c.1940 by the Maddox Furniture Company, is mahogany or mahogany veneer, those little drawers are poplar! Charming and cheeky. I kept the original pulls on the interior, they're gold painted turned wood, not brass (I see you maddox, cutting corners you thought no one would spot), as well as the Chippendale escutcheon plate on the lid, and sourced a set of eight bail brass pulls with a matching patina to the escutcheon plate. The client choose to do no distressing, which let me tell you, ups the difficulty level by about 99%, but also looks mighty fine on this desk. And finally I sealed the whole shebang with my homemade dark wax.
        The desk is staged with a collection of vintage and antique brass objects including a mortar and pestal, a pair of wick trimmers, and an ash tray. The wine glass is antique, and the book open on the desk is a bound lady's magazine with hand colored prints and dated 1809. The portrait over the desk is one of my very favorites, an unknown sitter, but is signed "Lois Taylor 1956". I snagged it for $35 about ten years ago, at a flea market in Plainville, CT. Someday I hope to find the young lady sitter, and give her back her portrait.