Sometimes a piece of furniture or accessory just speaks to you and you have to buy it. If your husband asks why you "needed" it, there is no answer. You just know...you know that it's special...that is is absolutely perfect. And sometimes you have no idea where this perfect piece will fit into your design scheme. But when you get it home, you'll walk through the house, examining the rooms...and that perfect spot for that perfect piece will present itself.
This happened to me last weekend. I was on one of my tag-sale excursions when I found this...
At first glance, it's downright ugly, right? The face is a little creepy, and the material it is made of (fake wood/resin something-or-other) is pretty bad. I picked it up and turned it over and around a few times. And I contemplated. I almost set it back down and walked away. But something about it just really intrigued me, and I knew I could do something with it. Also, at 50 cents, what did I have to lose?
Since the whole world seems to be having a love affair with gold lately (including me) I whipped out my Design Master Antique Gold spray paint and transformed this mask.
The back of the mask was equipped with a chain hanger. So I looped it onto the doorknob of our inherited antique china hutch from my late mother-in-law. She used to display her collection of teacups and saucers in here. The piece isn't in pristine condition, but it's very sentimental, and I like its clean-lined, masculine design.
Obviously, I am using it to display cherished family photos.
The placement of the mask could be interpreted wrongly. Does this make it look like I'm "making a face" at my family or poking fun at their precious faces? Haha...I'm totally not! In fact, the main reason I chose to hang it here is that it is right next to this antique chair (with a face!)
I found this treasure at an estate sale last summer and had to have it. I could imagine it staying with us for many years and transitioning to our future retirement home.
Once it found a spot in our living room, I set out to do a little research on its history. If I am interpreting the information accurately, this design is known as "North Wind" or "Old Man North" and the chair was probably produced in the Gothic Revival period during the late 1800's or early 1900's. The face, also known as a grotesque or gargoyle, was said to have blown evil spirits away. Typically carved out of oak, these chairs were often used as decorative pieces in parlors.
There is your furniture history lesson for the day :)
My design style doesn't generally incorporate lots of antique pieces, but I definitely enjoy a good eclectic mix of styles blended together. I really like the heavy carving and drama that this piece brings to my room.
Do you use unusual, conversation pieces to enliven your rooms? I'd love to hear about it!
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