the birthday bookcase

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When I originally posted the master bath I had said I would do a whole post on the bookcase that Dan made.  I failed to do that, and a recent request (thank you Amy) brought that to my attention!

 Dan and I married on my birthday twenty three years ago. 
Not long after we married Dan started the tradition that he would "make" my birthday gift.  It began with Dan surprising me with a simple wood stand for an oriental Peking-blue porcelain duck. 
The gifts evolved into bigger projects like making a zinc-topped potting table,

making a wood garden gate,


making a beadboard vent-a-hood cover for my kitchen in Dallas from vintage beadboard we picked up off a someones bulk trash pile that was going to the dump,

taking out the small entry closet to make a larger entry,

and making a wooden driveway gate! 
(funny story.... just out of view at the front of these photos was our large air conditioning unit.  It was older, so I painted the ugly metal part the house trim color to make it blend in and go-away visually.  One day Dan was walking a contractor of some sort down the driveway and the person said "I've never seen a painted air conditioning unit,"  to which Dan replied..."And, you've never met my wife!" :):)


One year I designed this bookcase for our kitchen in Dallas.

The project was started, but took a little longer than planned, so it wasn't finished by my birthday... this is what I found the morning of my birthday!

Note the garage of an antiques dealer- three chandeliers hanging in wait!

I wanted the look of an antique piece that had been originally stained, but had been painted-over many times throughout the years.

I have painted the exterior of the piece Benjamin Moore's White Dove since we moved into the farmhouse, but the interior finish is the original French blue that I painted and waxed 9 years ago.  It turned out that the interior was almost the same color as the Benjamin Moore Horizon (OC-53) on the walls!
 The shelves are adjustable and their design was copied from antique furniture pieces we had seen in France. 

Antique glazed terracotta architectural fragment sits on top of the piece.

Collection of vintage alabaster compotes.  I love the birds!
I left the ceiling of the bookcase the dark stained wood, which is the base color of the whole piece.

Antique starburst mirror found at The Mews in Dallas.  Trio of antique mercury glass vases share the shelf with an "American Brilliant" crystal bowl which was a wedding gift given to Dan's grandparents in 1917.

Old hotel silver tray from the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas found at Round Top.  Dan found the decanter while we were antiquing one day- I envisioned it filled with bubble bath; Dan envisioned filled it with Glenmorangie.  The scotch won!  Antique French gilt wood fragment found at the Porte de Vanves flea market in Paris.  Dan found the coral on a beach in Aruba; the tiny shell fossil was found in a wonderful little shop in Creede, Colorado!

Large clam shell with Japanese fishing float and small piece of coral found in Florida.  The color of the interior is a little bright in this photo (the color in all the other photos is more accurate), but it gives you a good view of the cut out notches for the wood crossbars that run front to back that hold the shelf .  The photograph above with the starburst mirror shows the crossbars well.

Alabaster compote filled with collection of old silvered Christmas ornaments.  Antique mercury glass pieces share the shelf with an antique oil painting found at the Scott Antiques Market in Atlanta and an alabaster shell.

I found this large piece of blue coral at a consignment store in a nearby town.  I left it.  Then came back with a paint chip to make sure it would match the walls and the painted inside of the cabinet.   It matched perfectly!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my very creative and talented husband who makes all my designs and dreams come true.  Without Dan's creative vision and innovative designs my "ideas" would remain just that.... ideas. 
Thank you my talented Dan!