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Furniture style help

random-adam

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My fiancee and I closed on a 1921 cape cod last November. We're tired of purchasing Ikea stuff, whose cheap-modern design doesn't fit the nature of the house anyway, and will be phasing it out as finances permit -- we'd rather wait a while and spend $600-$1500 on a decent bookshelf than buy another $100 particleboard POS.

I've come into my great-grandmother's secretary desk. It's obviously seen nearly a century of constant use. I believe it's tiger maple veneer, but have no idea what style it is. We like it, so it's as good a place as any to start.

When searching Craigslist for bookshelves to complement this desk, what style should I reference?







 

Bhowie

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I like that piece but not at its current function. Are you going to continue using it as a desk?
 

random-adam

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Originally Posted by Bhowie
I like that piece but not at its current function. Are you going to continue using it as a desk?

It will be used for paying bills, writing letters -- anything to do with putting ink to paper. The computer will migrate sooner or later.
 

justlurkingthanks

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That is a slant-front desk with serpentine drawers in a colonial revival style, which would place it to around the turn of the 20th century. The style it is trying to copy is Chippendale, which is, generally, before the Revolutionary War.
 

random-adam

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Originally Posted by justlurkingthanks
That is a slant-front desk with serpentine drawers in a colonial revival style, which would place it to around the turn of the 20th century. The style it is trying to copy is Chippendale, which is, generally, before the Revolutionary War.

Many thanks. Sadly I'm not seeing too much anywhere for "colonial revival," but now I've got a direction to point. I appreciate it!
 

justlurkingthanks

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To find more in this style, I'd look for Chippendale. Another along that line would be Rococo. That style can go over the top, though. For antiques, I prefer the straighter lines of the Federal period. Two key styles there are Hepplewhite and Sheraton.

But what I would suggest is to start trolling antiques stores. Find what you like. Don't be in a huge hurry to buy and enjoy the process. The objective is to educate your eye. Museums with an American furniture section would be good also. This will ensure that you are looking at the real deal and not just what a dealer thinks it is.

The next step might be auctions. They can be a load of fun and you can get great stuff for cheap. (But it is easy to get caught up in the bidding frenzy -- so, again, don't be in a hurry to buy just yet.)

Furniture right now -- even top-grade wonderful stuff -- is going for dirt. That will probably change over the next few years as the housing market comes back. So you have an unusual opportunity.

I also second the previous advice to be eclectic. But I would recommend educating your taste first, or else you'll end up with a mess.

Enjoy the hunt!
 

Pezzaturra

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Love the secretaire, you def. need a laptop . The desk has enough space to keep a laptop inside. I have been looking for Bookcase for the last 6 months. You will find a very hard time finding anything acceptable to complement this secretaire. My advise is to look for estate sales in your area. Try to find something with glass doors otherwise the dust will be a problem.
Rubylane antiques is a decent site also.
 

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