Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Antique Serpentine Chest

You may remember this chest from the antique warehouse on Cape Cod. I wasn't sure it would work in the living room but I loved its lines and for $38, I figured I could use it somewhere in the house. I immediately thought it was a little too large for the space so I took off the wheels which helped a little bit.
I put it in place with a few things on top just to live with it for a little while. Here's my vintage fan that I bought on etsy and a sculpture by Provincetown artist Mike Wright.
But check out the alligatored finish on the chest. And I have the feeling that the pulls are old kitchen cabinet pulls. I'm not sure they're perfect but I don't hate them and I like the dark bronze color.
So now I get to play with this little vignette. Here I've added a few things to bring in some color. I like the addition of color but these things just aren't really working together.
So here's another option that brings in color. My granny smith apples, a little mid-Century collage and a vintage pitcher. I think it's got a nice vintage feel but the sizes are off and I don't just think it's the right feel for this room.
But here's an option that is feeling more like a fit. The vintage fan, an old carved candlestick that I turned into a lamp, a little abstract drawing in an ornate gold frame and little brown speckled vase. I think the variation is sizes, shapes and textures is nice.
I'm happy with this for now so I'll let it stay and see how it feels for a few days. I'm pulling some other artwork together from around the house, having some framed, my convex mirror has arrived, and I'm expecting some new pillow covers and a lamp from Pottery Barn that should go into the room.
I still haven't done anything about getting the roman blinds made but hopefully I can pull everything together over the next few weeks and you can take another look at a more finished room.


  1. Hi Steve!
    Love the dresser, not so sure about the hardware. I think the handles are fine on the flat fronts of the lower drawers, but I feel they take away the flow on the serpentine drawers. I guess I'd prefer a knob of some sort, but it may be a moot point because of the holes that will show. Just my 2 cents worth. What a great piece though-and the price didn't hurt either. Are you going to hang something over the dresser?

  2. Hi Steve,

    Love it. I really love that dresser. Have you considered a large mirror leaning on it? I like the vignette you chose but I have to say I loved the green apples with it. This is the fun part. Can't wait to see the PB purchases.


  3. That's a great dresser and your last vignette is tops. I do love in your other pic the colourful vintage jug and the small painting as the two have the same colours in them. I love it when you can find things like that.

  4. Hi! Right away, I love the mixture of contemporary/traditional with the vintage furniture. The dresser looks fabulous and I LOVE the old black chair next to it!
    Definately I like the all black grouping you chose - there was too much color/pattern competition with the other vignettes. I would, though, put the apples on it as well (in a lower bowl).
    It's going to be magazine ready before long!

  5. Steve . . .

    As usual, you prove what a wonderful eye you have!

    You mention that your convex mirror has arrived.

    Earlier you said that you plan to do a salon grouping. I'm assurming that the convex mirror will take pride of place in the middle of the grouping. Am eager to see the results.

    One idea that you may or may not have heard of:

    First arrange the mirror and the art on the floor. Arrange and rearrange until you're happy with the results. Then transfer the pieces one by one to the wall.

    Have fun!

  6. I understand what you say about the "feel" of the dresser in the living room. Maybe it was not meant to live there, but it still is a beautiful piece, and what price! Let it be. It might grow accustomed to being in the living room, or it might find it's way in a bedroom. you never know... I LOVE your black vignette, however. You are very very talented. congratulations.

  7. The chest is a great find! I like the crackle finish and the pulls don't bother me. I love the black chair next to it too. I think what might help pull it all together is something very large scale, like a leaning mirror as suggested - especially as a focal point when you glimpse through the doorway - though I wonder what it might reflect? All the pieces you've tried with it are beautiful but I think varying the scale of the items will help. I love the pops of orange in one of the art pieces and the pitcher.

    The art sculpture is interesting - would love to see a close up of it though it might deserve it's own space.

    Perhaps adding a big green plant in the corner or a smaller one on the desktop will add in a nice organic element.

  8. What a gorgeous piece - it looks as though it fits so well into your home too! love it....

  9. Hi Steve, What a wonderful find! Love its curved lines and the brightness it adds. And love the vignette you put together with the fan and the gold framed piece. What beautiful colors. Trina