Friday, June 22, 2012

Have you ever seen a Side by Side?

I had never seen a side by side til this year at auction~I fell in love with it and had to have it for the store. Of course that mentality set me back a few pennies, as another guy wanted it too~for his wife as a gift.  After the auction he tried to buy it from me, but I wouldn't sell...I was dying to breathe new life into it...
But before we get into all that, a Side by Side is a Secretary desk with a bookcase, side by side.  Its a very smart design I think~and would make a perfect piece of furniture for today's world. 
 It has a slant front desk top~perfect for the laptop and
 you can tuck it away when you shut the desk.
 Keep all your business cards and paper clips in here~
 The desk has old world details~and little key holes...they had key holes on everything!! What do you suppose they had to lock up in these old desks?  Its funny to think about...but they are attractive decorative details that speak to another time.
 This side by side has a bow front glass door to the bookcase too~
I lined the back of the desk with the seagreen metallic taupe damask wallpaper.
 The desk itself is done in Old Ochre Chalk Paint™ with a 
French Linen wash followed by a wash with a 
blue green color I mixed up~this piece looks really amazing in person!
Its hard to get the subtle colors across the computer monitor,
so you will have to trust me on this.
 This is carved wood~not an applique stuck on made out of resin or plastic.
I added just a touch of antique gold metallic for
 a slight shimmer on some of the carved areas.
Here is the BEFORE~
Please don't write me and tell me I ruined a piece of nice furniture.
I am into painting furniture and I won't apologize.
You can not paint your furniture and I am cool with that.
When I saw this, I saw it all painted in white...
so I painted it white and it looked blah...
so I came up with the Old Ochre and the washes.
 Can't you see this desk in a kitchen or a family room? 
Looking all splendid but really doing double duty.
The bookcases could be filled with BOOKS(!) ~
or grey washed baskets holding hidden supplies.
 It has a pretty beveled mirror that has silver crazing on it 
and a tiny little whatnot shelf to put something special on display.
So you see why I fell in love, right? 
Come into the shop and see for yourself...
Its waiting for a new home...


  1. You won't get any complaints from me about painting furniture! I think it looks so much better in the lighter color anyway. I love the colors you used. That is a unique piece. I've never seen one like it before.

  2. Oh my goodness--I didn't know what a side by side was (other than a refrigerator) and now I know that I love them! That is adorable! Love what you did with it. It looks so fresh now. I bet that sells quick. Love it.

  3. I used to have one almost identical to that about 15 years ago. I displayed Bavarian china on the display side :o) Yours looks so pretty all painted out. Love the wallpaper you used on the back too...gorgeous! Someone will be so happy to give it a new home :o)

  4. It's just gorgeous, Amy. There's just something about a wonderful piece of painted furniture. It just brings out the personality!

  5. That is just the sweetest little secretary!! Laughing at your "Please don't write me and tell me I ruined a piece of nice furniture" comment. My Mom owned an antique store when I was a kid and she almost stroked out the first time I painted a piece! I don't apologize anymore...I just don't let her in my house. Kidding! ;)

  6. I have seen these pieces before and they don't come cheap, so you are so lucky to find such a wonderful treasure.
    I love the color and the wallpaper looks so pretty.

    Great job.


  7. Not only is this piece totally charming with all it's curves and fabulous beveled mirror, but it is also so functional. I can see having a computer there, and decorating books and it being a total design station for a creative person. Plus you can just close up the desk and disguise the tech stuff. Love the finish you put on it too...


  8. It looks beautiful, Amy! I have never seen a piece like this before. I would imagine that, with rooms smaller years ago, pieces like this were popular. Giving a lot of bang for the space. I love the details on it and all the spots to put stuff. I love the glass door for the bookcase portion.

  9. Love the wallpaper, and the paint really brings out the beautiful details.

  10. It's gorgeous, and I've been looking for one for years! Great job!

  11. I use to have one almost identical to this one. They really are fantastic pieces. I sold mine when I moved from Oregon. Yours looks amazing. Hugs, marty

  12. You won't hear me complaining about painted furniture, Amy! Every time I see a piece that's unpainted, I think, "That would look sooo much better with a coat of Annie on it." lol! What a beautiful combination of colors!!! You always leave me so inspired and intrigued and wanting to try more of those beautiful colors together on one piece! Thank you for that! :)

    xoxo laurie

  13. It is so beautiful and you are so creative! I just love it!

  14. It is absolutely beautiful!

  15. This is just a gorgeous piece. There you go, now I NEED a side by side!!!!
    This is beautiful and you took the time to love it back to life. If only I could get there to make it mine:(
    I'd love to have you share it with us at the linky party, it's fantastic!

  16. I do see them in this area. I have to say I never really cared for them. The wood is so dark that they seem rather gloomy and can't see what's behind the glass doors. You certainly gave this piece a whole new look! Very nice! I like how you added the wallpaper.

  17. I don't remember seeing them until I moved to the Midwest. You can find them quite often around here and the prices vary but they are usually quite expensive. I'm sure some gramma is rolling in her grave but I like it painted- xo Diana

  18. When my folks moved to the retirement village, a family side-by-side was auctioned off. If I'd known about Annie Sloan paint then, I'd have kept it, but thought of doing old-fashioned painting or refinishing was something I wasn't up to tackling. Sigh.... Yours is loverly.

  19. No I haven't ever seen one. How pretty. Thanks for sharing.


  20. how funny....i just happened to see one of these lately. i thought it was rather unique...nice did a great job with it....

  21. Hi Amy. Oh what a beautiful piece! I don't think I've ever seen a piece like this and love your nice paint job!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  22. We actually have two of these floating around in my family. We've always called them Secretaries. My aunt has my great-grandfather's, which is nearly identical to yours, and my mom has a slightly small one in which the glass is not curved. They would lecture on messing with the original finish, but I like it painted....if they ever see that I won't be inheriting. LOL

  23. My great grandfather had one exactly like this...before the painted finish of course ;-) It was a treasured item in their parlor. Seeing this one brought back memories....

    I always wanted it someday but it got sold :-(

    What did they lock in these pieces of furniture? Well, remember, they kept all their papers actually on paper back then. No computer filing. Many important documents were kept in these pieces of furniture (as well as in dresser drawers with locks). And because pieces such as this were meant to be in the "front room/parlor" it was a very valued item. They kept it as pristine as possible because it was in a room designated as a "company room".

    When furniture got too shabby for "company rooms" it would get relegated to use in other private rooms in the house...such as a bedroom or a family room used only by family. They never "shabbied up" their furniture on purpose. It always amazes me how today our idea of nice is "deliberately shabby". Our grand parents would have rolled their eyes! LOL!

  24. Amy,
    What a transformation.LOVE that color!!! Yes I have seen these before.They are gorgeous pieces.

  25. Amy, so so cool in the white.
    The before looked like it belonged to the Addams Family. Your painting skills are aweaome. Love how you are doing undertones etc..

  26. Amy,
    Love this!!! It is perfect. Would you consider selling and shipping to Illinois? Not sure I can afford it bit I love it and it would be perfect for me.

  27. Amy it looks beautiful!
    You have given this piece just much more by painting it,love the paint finish!
    I have a side by side that Steve bought me for my birthday a few years ago and it has claw feet and arched glass door,they are really pretty pieces of furniture,i am getting a lap top next time around and i think it would be perfect to blog from xx

  28. I think the piece is gorgeous, Amy!
    Love all the distressing and extra work you did on the desk.
    I'm sure it will be worth every penny you invested in it.


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