August 6, 2009

the drawing board

This wall unit has been in my family for as long as I can remember.

Honestly, it may only be as old as I am, but it's held up remarkably as in my short 25 years I'm coming up on my fourteenth move--and that wall unit has made everyone of them! Aside from a small broken piece, some chips and scratches, it's in perfect condition. I'll be painting it a nice semi-gloss black color to match our coffee table. But my true challenge is trying to make it a little less plain. My idea is to use wood appliques and onlays, but it's proving to be a rather expensive makeover.

This lovely lion's head onlay has a pretty old-world feel to it. However, at a mere 12-inches tall, it will be a drop in the bucket on the side of my six-foot-plus wall unit. It's also $51 for those mere 12-inches (and how far does that lion's head stick out?).

At 35-inches tall, this onlay reminds both Jason and me of the crowns worn buy the Romans in Caesar's time. Its size is much better than the previous onlay, especially as I could probably space them out to cover the entire side of the unit without looking too busy. It runs $57 for one.

Either way, I'm looking at a minimum of $100 to do something with the sides. That's not even considering anything for the front; ideally, I'd love some scrolls right on the top with something in the center. Maybe something like these little leaf scrolls or just the bouquet in the middle? Seeing how they're both under $5, they wouldn't break the bank or be too gaudy in what little space I have on the front.

But I'm having even more fun envisioning what will go on the unit once it's finished. I've already decided on a set of fleur de lis books ends in a creamy white, and I have my heart set on a nice marble-like statue of some sort for that tall skinny cubby-hole on the right hand side. Right now I have statues of Aphrodite, Venus de Milo, Mars and Venus, and Botticelli bookmarked. But, they're all coming up rather short at only a foot tall. A foot and a half to two feet would be ideal to fill that space (are we noticing a common problem with this wall unit?). And we're hoping to put a new TV in the main cubby-hole, if only our claim agent would quit dragging his feet and making us jump through hoops! I digress; we'll go into that on another day!

Either way it's a project I cannot wait to start, even if it will be more expensive than some of my others. I don't want to let this piece go, so I'm determined to update it and make it mesh with the rest of our house.


  1. You have some really good choices so far. Another thing to consider to add some flair is ceiling medallions. They are usually pretty big, very decorative, add depth, paintable and your can attach them really easily. (Not all of the them have holes in the center) They also cost a bit less.

  2. Excellent, excellent idea Gwen! I didn't even think of ceiling tiles or medallions!


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