Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

6.17.2009

Inspired Display

Do you own a large cabinet, secretary or armoire that was originally purchased to hold a clunky television? Take a page from Steven Gambrel's playbook and use it to display small works of art. Create a library or office within another room.

I think this rustic secretary is so successful as a functioning display piece because Gambrel has casually mixed art, books, and random objects. It's the antithesis of the collectibles behind glass look.

All photography via Steven Gambrel.

12 comments:

The Peak of Chic said...

What I love about the room, and especially the secretary, is the flow. There is nothing jarring or forced about the display.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Courtney - what a great new project - thanks for the heads up.

La Maison Fou said...

What a great idea...it could be papered, added with fabric or painted inside to add the perfect back groung for a nice display nook. A beautiful soloution to the deep cabinet once used for the tele!

Things That Inspire said...

I read somewhere that you can always tell when someone decorated based on how they handle the tv! The tv within the armoire or entertainment center seems to be an 80s/90s phenomenon.

I still like the look of the tv in the armoire - I resist the idea of having a huge tv! However, in my next home, the armoire will go in the basement and I will think of a new way to display the tv.

I love the idea of displaying art in a new an different place.

Sanity Fair said...

Very much better than the television - for aesthetic and other reasons, I'm considering banning them altogether. And maybe just watching HGTV and PBS on my laptop :) I love how a place that would have been an eyesore is now the centerpiece of the room - that size amoire has the same room presence as a fireplace or other large statement.

home before dark said...

I was saved from the armoire for the TV when I realized my stairs were too narrow to get anything that large up them. We don't entertain around a TV so hiding it wasn't an issue. I bought an English reproduction desk for a 42" flat screen (as large as this room could handle and put a skirt underneath (sounds weird, looks good) to hide DVD players and stuff. In the antique store where I bought the desk, a matching plate rack was hanging over it. Hmmm, looks like a unit, adds height to a room. So it's there. I plan to use it as a gallery. About armoires for desks/libraries anything that puts more books in a book, I'm for it.

Janet said...

What a fabulous room! I wish I could check out all those goodies in the secretary.

little augury said...

What a great idea- and doesn't every one have one clunking about in a room. Thanks for showing me. I love the tranquil whisper of different shades of blue in this otherwise leather room (how to do leather I'd say) LA

Karen said...

Such a beautiful use of a secretary! I used to chuckle a bit walking into a room where all the furniture was facing a closed armoire. As if no one would clue into the fact that it probably stayed open most of the time--except when guests or magazine editors were dropping by--because the television was inside of it.

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

What a wonderful grouping of books. It is much better than a TV. The blue and burlap colors work so well together, along with the wall color and deep beautiful brown leather furniture. His grouping of objects is so successful.

Renae said...

I do like opening up the armoires and using for libraries or a beautiful bar. Great post.

Karena said...

This is exactly what I did at my studio at The Winged Scarab Art Space. I will take a photo and post it. The armoire is filled with my smaller abstract seascapes.