Curiouser and Curiouser!

Lately my favorite design blogs have been piqued by cabinets of curiosity (here, here, and here, for instance).  This intrigue is all too familiar to me...  I've been treasuring this image from the late Domino Magazine for ages.


But, alas, every inch of my shelving is claimed by my library, leaving no room for other collections!  Perhaps that's why this week's fixer caught my eye.  Could we make it into a miniature trove of treasures?

The first step is to make it more classic than country kitsch.  This month's Martha Stewart Living magazine has an excellent segment on special finish painting.  While some of the techniques she featured were a little out there for me (gingham?  what?), I loved the subtle look of "raw silk."  To mimic the multi-layered finish of the bookcase in my inspiration photo, I'd suggest following her excellent instructions using a base coat of a matte medium gray and a pearlized cream glaze rubbed through with steel wool.


Now that it's polished up, where do you put it?  Because it's a petite two feet tall, it's just the right scale for a tiny bathroom like mine.  It would be both pretty and practical displaying curiosities and toiletries alike.  

Fool's Gold glitters among other fool's gems: the Amethysts and Turquoise are soaps!

Antique bottles can make bathroom necessities beautiful.  
I'd fill these with bath salts, cleansers, lotions, potions... you name it.

  Go with a natural green theme.  Bath & Body Works aromatherapy lotions come in shapely glass bottles (with equally attractive price tags).  Inexpensive bath sponges have an interesting shape- almost like a clump of moss or an aquatic plant.  I'd use several!  I'm also rather tickled by this ostrich feather in brilliant green.  It would be a sweet accent in a glass bottle.

These framed butterflies are a natural choice, and I love their neutral coloring.  I'd let them flutter behind bottles on the back of the cabinet.

And a few sentimental pieces of my own... a sweet-as-can-be mouse figurine, a bit of real gold, and the weird brass fly that always makes me smile.

So, what say you?  Curiosity Satisfied?

6 Have Spoken.:

Anonymous said...

The finish you've given to the cabinet gives me the shivers. So delicious. I, too, am obsessed with 'cabinets of curiosities' right now. Love this and all of your other inspiring posts. Keep up the intrigue! : )

Jess said...

I used to have a little bottle of gold too. Where did that come from?! Its hurting my brain, trying to pull the details out.

ShockTheBourgeois said...

Jess: All I know is that my "Brain Sistah" gave it to me wayyyyyy back in high school- and I've always thought it was really neat!

Jess said...

Aw. That's awesome! :D I wonder where I got them then....you haven't solved my mystery, but did give me the warm fuzzies.

thistly said...

I live in New Zealand and have the same brass fly! It's an ashtray, I always wondered where/when on earth they were made!

ShockTheBourgeois said...

thistly: I have two of those fly ashtrays! I found them in an antiques shop in Spokane, Washington, USA... and I couldn't resist. So gross, but so cool!

I've seen a few pop up on eBay as well. I don't know about the maker, but I'm betting that some careful googling could get the answers.

Thanks so much for stopping by :)