Thursday, November 24, 2011

D.I.Y.: Transforming A Gatsby Era Suitcase Into A Coffee Table With Storage

Painting furniture, or something that will serve as furniture is so much fun.

Above is one project - from my husband's shed. I'm not sure what to call it - a steamer trunk? a huge suitcase? but I do know it has loads of style.

I especially love the four bamboo bands that surround it. (Click to enlarge and you can see those bamboo bands better) I hope you can see that the corners are heavily reinforced with leather and I was delighted that the leather straps/handles are still intact and usuable. This very old piece was found in "patched-up" condition, the work of a previous owner.

It was such an extraordinary treasure that I thought about it a long time before painting a design on it. I didn't want to overwhelm the raw appeal it had as found. To enhance, but not to overwhelm or cutesy it up was my goal. I needed a design that was as unique as the trunk and as classic.

After basecoating and antiquing so all of the distressed and aged areas were highlighted, I decided that I would paint botanical roses, in neutral tones, complete with the Latin names in the different areas. On the top, I alternated the direction of the designs so the top would be pleasing from front or back view. Counting the top surface, the sides and ends, there are nine different botanical rose designs. I truly don't want to admit how long that took me to do.
I'm redoing the interior, so that will require even more downtime. Waiting for adhesive to dry - the devil is in the details. And I'm pondering about a base to elevate it so that it might be used for a table. Little stick legs don't appeal to me. Some sort of neat iron frame would be nice though I don't happen to have one. I guess I will have to talk to my hubby about this and rummage around in his sheds to see if inspiration strikes.

In the meantime, since I've already finished most of the interior pieces for lining this, I can either take a break, or continue where I left off on another project. Eventually, most find their way to completion. *Smile* A coffee breaks sounds appealing.....

So much of art or craft work is spent -

w a i t i n g.
PS. My hubby found four wonderful huge wood BUN feet for it! We measured the height and they are perfect!

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Country French Antiques said...

ooh la la! I love that
I love those colors you chose!
You are obviously very talented.
Now what can I do with that?

celestina marie said...

Hi Devonia, you did a wonderful job on the trunk and I think you did accomplish what you wanted. Just stunning! I am like you. I have to study a piece for awhile, looking over at it while I work on something else. Then, finally, I get a vision and start in. It is a series of processes and lots of thought while waiting. I can so relate! LOL
Loved your post!
La Rea Rose

Devonia said...

Shawn: Thanks so much! I loved the colors too. I'm so glad there are many shades of shabby. It does look like your kind of thing, Shawn - one of a kind.

Celestina Marie It so good to see you. Thank you. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only person who spends as much (or more) time thinking about how I'm going to do something as I do actually doing the work. *smile*

My bests,

The Romantic Portuguese Daughter said...

That is so pretty! I never would have thought to do something like that. Someday I too will have that gift. That ablity to see something and transform it into something wonderful.

The the Lord has blessed you greatly!


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Devonia ~ that is just gorgeous !!! You are sooo talented !