Serpentine Secretary - Juniper Home

Serpentine Secretary


I can’t stop/won’t stop with the Craigslist shopping lately. There are so many great finds here and most everything is so incredibly affordable that it’s hard to pass a lot of it by. Some things need more work than others though and part of me wonders if it’s worth it in those cases.

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Like this secretary I recently picked up from a Craigslist seller. I am so in love with the scalloped, serpentine drawer, but man, does it need some work!

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When I came by the seller’s house to look at it, I was a little disappointed with the condition of the wood. From the photos, it looked like it was in original condition, but I could see right away in person that it had been painted and then (mostly) stripped and that it needed some love. The wood is pretty dry. The seller gave me really great deal on it though and it was hard to pass by since the shape is so unique.

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I think with some cleaning the solid brass flower pulls could be cute. Though maybe on a different piece?
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Check out the carved curve of the drawer

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I also love the unique leg shape that’s so slim from the front and much wider from the side view.
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I love tiger oak, but I think this piece would look better painted. If the wood was in better shape, I’d totally fix it up more and keep the wood stain (you know I’m all for wood furniture), but I think this would look better in a painted finish – either a gloss or a chalk paint.

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I thought I would like it here in the entry, but the curve of the stairs sticks out too much. There’s still several feet of clearance, but I think I’ll keep my eye out for something with a slimmer profile for here – maybe wall-mounted.

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I’ve actually been thinking it would look really cool in the landing upstairs by the girls rooms, especially if it was painted.

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I imagine the girls leaving each other fun little notes inside and storing their treasures in the drawers. We’ve been collecting seashells for a few years now from our different travels (and my parents have been bringing some to the girls too – they went to Ireland and Scotland this month and they brought back some beauties for us) and this little secretary seems like a perfect place to keep the shells.
I know I’ll be glad I bought it when I do get around to refinishing the secretary. My threshold lately has been “will I regret not buying this a year from now?” and if I can honestly say yes, I go for it (and then cram it into the garage! ha!). What is your rule?
What did you think?
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61 thoughts on “Serpentine Secretary

  1. The piece is gorgeous! I'm one of the wood lovers, but love the idea Anne suggested. Trying to preserve the nice areas and doing a darker stain or even a paint treatment on the worst areas.

  2. This piece would clean up nicely with furniture wax. It would be such a shame to paint it and destroy that lovely wood grain, especially since you were drawn to it initially.

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  4. love this! I like the wood! I think a combo of paint and wood would be beautiful. it looks like the wood on the drawer is the most interesting maybe you could play up the scallop by doing some interesting taping… paint the top of the drawer and the bottom. sort of a striped paint and stain combo.

  5. Normally, I would be all about the paint but this piece is lovely and restored, it will be lovely.
    Surely, though with your magic touch it will be given the tlc it deserves.

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