the headboard

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Earlier this year we made our master bedroom headboard using one hundred and fifty year old wood reclaimed from the barn and two antique posts that we had found at an antique shop.
The story of the making of the headboard is here.

I then stained the entire headboard with Minwax Wood Finish in Special Walnut.  I applied several coats to get it to the color and depth that I was looking for.  In the next step Dan applied Briwax paste wax in Dark Brown which you can see applied on the right side of the headboard in this photo.  Isn't it amazing the difference the wax makes-  without it the headboard was rather dry, dull and flat looking, and had no life to it.  The wax really brings out the character of the antique wood.

Three-quarters of the headboard waxed! 
Dan's wax technique was discovered on a trip to France where he covertly (they would wax in the back of their space, not out in public) observed antique dealers waxing furniture.  We had long admired the gorgeous furniture we found there, and couldn't figure out how they got the furniture's waxed finish to look so amazing.  We knew there had to be a secret, and there was....the secret:  heat.  They were heating their paste wax to almost liquid, then applying it with a brush (a real bristle brush, not foam;  we use the throw-away kind), letting it dry (5 to 10 minutes) then wiping it down with steel wool (xxxx) and then buffing to a shine with a terry cloth towel.  Beautiful!
In Texas, all we had to do is set the paste in the sun for a few minutes!  The technique requires a lot of trial and error to get it down correctly, but once you do, it produces amazing results.
(note:  paste wax is highly flammable so if you attempt, please use great caution) 

In this photo angle you can really see the difference the wax makes on the wood.  The posts were also given a coat of stain (to blend them with the barn wood) and waxed.  The headboard is extremely heavy, weighing close to 200 lbs-  it took two young, strong workers to carry it.  Gratuity was given as carrying a headboard up a flight of stairs was not  in their job descriptions;)

so, without further adieu....

the headboard

The coverlet is Nicole Miller (discontinued) .  The bedskirt is a natural linen and was custom.  I love the juxtaposition of the slight sheen of the champagne-colored coverlet to the rough natural linen.  The small  blue/green custom pillow in front is velvet.  The large pillow behind it is made from an antique rug (pillow found at the Scott Show in Atlanta.)  Pair of shams matching the coverlet.  The back pair of shams is a gorgeous fabric that I used on the reverse.  I initially brought the fabric swatch home because the colors worked in the room, and then noticed how gorgeous the reverse side of the fabric was.  It is almost like a muted antique paisley throw (sans the red tones;) You can not do this with all fabrics, but it worked with this one.  Twenty one years ago, for some chairs in our first house I used this same technique on some damask fabric.  It was too shiny for my taste, but I loved the design, texture and color of the fabric.... on the reverse side, which looked like a patterned linen.  I still have and use those chairs today! I remember getting a lecture from my upholsterer back then about why it was a bad idea, but I was sure it would work well.   Had I gone with the trend of shiny damask they would have been dated years ago. 
The story about the pair of matching antique side tables is here.

the rest of the room is next!