Friday, August 19, 2011

Vintage brass cornices in living room

These cornices are made out of thin brass,
 stamped with a floral and leaf pattern
 with a scroll top and tassel fringe pattern. 
They caught my eye this summer in the back of an antique shop.
There they stood, leaning up in a corner, waiting for another life.
Anytime I see anything to do with old window treatments, I am interested.
I happen to go crazy for metal stuff too~so this was a great combination.
The price tag was $195, but I offered $125 
and they called the seller to see if he would accept.
I was happy to say he did, and that price is in line 
with a decent curtain rod or two...
My plan was to use them in either the dining room 
or the living room with the white panels.
All the metal cornices were actually made in sections and they overlapped each other.
So they were carefully removed and numbered. 
You can see the small holes where tiny brads were used 
to mount the metal pieces to the boards. I would be reusing all the holes and brads.
 You can also see the shiny gold brass finish under the grey paint job. 
I will say I loved how they looked as is,
 and hoped I could keep the original finish.
 But that was yet to be determined...
 I built a simple cornice frame with angle irons
With any job, the right tools can make your life much easier!
I needed a pair of tin snips and a tack hammer to do this job,
luckily Mr. MD has every tool one can think of.
After attaching the metal to the boards 
I hung one in place and knew it had to be white.
I painted them with Old White chalk paint.
The beautiful finish they had was too dark for this room. 
Trust me.

I will be fine tuning how I mounted the smocked panels underneath. 
They need to have "returns", which means 
they go around the corners to hide the gap.
 I decided to distress it so that some of the golden brass color came through.
The pattern of roses and scrollwork with the tassel bottom is really pretty.
Afterwards I had the taste of metal in my nose and mouth! Yuck!
Wear a mask if you are going to do this, I know I will next time.
The cornices play off the carved element above the fireplace too.
They are more interesting than curtain rods, don't you think?
Before~with old gold 2" wood poles
After~with vintage white metal cornices
Now I can't wait to get my white chandy up!

linking to 
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Friday
My Romantic Home Show and Tell Friday


  1. So pretty,your home is so serene and romantic! XO Christie

  2. So pretty and elegant looking. I love them. Hugs, Marty

  3. The cornices are very pretty. They look beautiful in the room.

  4. Love them, Amy! I'm glad you did a wider shot of them. I was thinking they worked well with the fireplace ~ that worked out!

  5. Amy, I love them. They could not be any more perfect for your room.

  6. What a wonderful find at a great price. The cornices are perfect in your space and agree that they work particularly well with the carved element above the fireplace. Nice Job!

  7. They are beautiful and perfect for your room. I love the way that you decorate.

  8. Stunning! I have never seen anything like this!!

  9. Amy just beautiful. What a gorgeous way to enhance the beauty that is already there, such vision. Fabulous job!!

  10. Your home is so very beautiful - love it!

  11. Amy, they are wonderful. Your living room is so pretty. Beautiful, yet comfortable. The perfect combination. Have a great weekend.

  12. Amy, they are wonderful. Your living room is so pretty. Beautiful, yet comfortable. The perfect combination. Have a great weekend.

  13. Amy, they are wonderful. Your living room is so pretty. Beautiful, yet comfortable. The perfect combination. Have a great weekend.

  14. What a great find! Better yet, what a great idea you had to use them as cornices!!

  15. I just love how they turned out. Absolutely beautiful.

  16. Beautiful, Amy! They look like they were meant to be white!

  17. They are gorgeous!I need to keep my eyes peeled for some old tin ceiling cornice..not brass but workable.Your home is beautiful!

  18. They are gorgeous!I need to keep my eyes peeled for some old tin ceiling cornice..not brass but workable.Your home is beautiful!

  19. Takes my breath away! Gorgeous!

  20. Amy, Those cornices are so pretty! They are perfect in your living room. I also love all the books on the coffee table and the pillows on the sofa. I'm kinda glad to see you left the ruffles on the sofa for now. I think they're so pretty and seem to be 'you'!

    Have a great weekend, friend!


  21. Love em! Your paint treatment brings out the beautiful details. Meant to be.

  22. What a fabulous find! They are absolutely perfect for your room. I adore the smocking in the curtains, what a beautiful touch!

  23. Wow beautiful Amy, What a great addition to your room!

  24. WHAT a find! I have never seen anything like them. And you did a great job with the paint. I think they look much better in the chalk white but the distressing was a great way to finish them. Perfect!
    They just really finish the room off, don't they? xo Diana

  25. Those look so unique and interesting...they are perfect. I'm always so impressed by how you are constantly finding new treasures and improving that room

  26. Oh...they look fabulous, don't they? I usually don't like cornices no matter what but these I like and yes they look good with your fireplace embellishment. I love the chippy white paint on them.

  27. Amazing how they pull the room together like the cherry on top of a sundae!

  28. Wow Amy, those are wonderful. 50 million times better than curtain rods. They really finish the room and work with the awesome piece over your mantel. The detail on them is so so pretty painted white with the distressing...


  29. Amy!
    They are esquisite!
    Love them so much.
    They make the room.

  30. Very pretty. They look like they belong to the house and akways were there.

  31. Absolutely, positively GORGEOUS, Amy! And yes, I think they are way more exciting than the curtain rods. What a find and you did a fabulous job fixing them up.

  32. The cornices are stunning, Amy. It is amazing how the right accessories can make a room. What a fantastic find! Your home makes me smile.

  33. I can't believe the difference these have made! They're fabulous. I don't think I've seen anything like these before. You did a great job making them work for you. They really set those smocked curtains off beautifully! Thanks for linking up today, so glad you joined in. Hope you will each week!
    xo Debra

  34. It looks just stunning!

  35. So very, very pretty! Visiting from SNS :) Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  36. Stunning windows AND room! So very gorgeous Amy!

    Happy to feature you this weekend on FJI Facebook for SNS 101. :)


  37. Wow! These are so perfect for that room! Honestly, I don't think I even would have known what they were for if I saw them at an antique shop leaning against the wall like that. Great find!

  38. I think I could spend hours looking at this post. I absolutely love the cornices. They are perfect for where you used them and your style... Oh my goodness...your beautiful style!


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