We drove to an apartment complex for a look at a Mid-Century Modern desk listed on Craigslist. Michael had made arrangements for us to evaluate and purchase, if acceptable. The pictures didn’t offer much information and a description was nonexistent. Still, it caught our son’s eye, so maybe worth a look. When we discovered a Broyhill Premier Saga desk, David and I knew it was more than acceptable.
The seller and I chatted while David went out to arrange blankets in our SUV. She asked — with David still muddling about in the back of the car — if I’d like to see something else. Sure.
This glowed in a back bedroom. Oh my gosh. David appeared and took photos to send Michael. I ignored him and told her we’d take it. The monster mirror wasn’t attached, so no need to unscrew it. David and Michael could return tomorrow to load and transport these vanity pieces. Very carefully.
I speculated that Heywood-Wakefield manufactured it, but that was just a gut feeling. And wrong. When I showed pictures to someone much more knowledgeable, he suggested it was made in England.
It’s a lady’s vanity, where she keeps her lingerie and perches on a stool to apply her makeup. Her jewelry drawer sits below the that fantastic full-length mirror.
Still, I did not have a manufacturer. I posed the question on a couple of Facebook furniture groups. Nothing definitive emerged from the many and varied suggestions. David speculates Mid-Century Modern. More research needed.
The vanity itself didn’t require much work but every lady who owns a vanity should have a stool.
The Stool’s Wood
We needed a vanity stool, and my knowledgeable friend produced one from his stash. Alas, its mahogany color was too dark and too red. But David plunged into this project. He stripped and sanded the finish. After several attempts he achieved a finish somewhat approaching the vanity’s color by coaxing a warm medium Walnut overlaid with Fruitwood stain. The wood really does look like it matches the vanity.
Upholstering the Stool
The original fabric, dark, dirty and completely unsuited to its new task, needed replacing.
I had a period fabric, a remnant, that would work. It’s much brighter and seems better suited to Florida. If you’re really paying attention to my projects, this fabric went on a Heywood-Wakefield desk chair (M 953 A) a few weeks ago.
Here’s the original material: jute webbing, batting and the fabric.
The original jute webbing lacked tension; it sagged pitifully. David applied pressure to the webbing and it drooped down to touch the table beneath.
We removed staples from half the stool. David used a pliers to pull the pieces of webbing taut while I stapled them down. Much better. We could bounce a quarter.
Starbuck found her peaceful nook for a nap: she stayed there for hours.
We cut foam and placed it on the jute. Then came the batting, followed by the new piece of fabric. I cut it larger than the original because the additional foam and batting commanded a bigger piece.
With an embroidery needle and fishing line, I basted around the top edge of half the fabric, leaving long ends. When I pulled the two opposing ends, half the fabric gathered, theoretically allowing me to create smooth sides. Repeat on the other side of the fabric, so I could then gather the extra fabric, cut and staple to the bottom. But…. I didn’t cut the piece big enough and we struggled — and struggled — to create smooth sides.
What’s a day without creative struggle? It’s character building.
We moved the vanity and stool into our booth at Avonlea Antiques and Design Gallery.
Here’s a closer look at the completed stool:
We created a MCM vignette by arranging Heywood-Wakefield living room furniture, hanging a silver-framed mirror over the sofa, a silvery abstract painting on the other wall, and adding the wonderful Mid-Century Modern vanity and upholstered stool. Did I mention I love that full-length mirror?
If you liked this post, please share it with your friends. Better still, come to Avonlea and take this gorgeous Mid-Century Modern Vanity home with you.
Ann Marie and David