I have this amazing card catalog that my uncle helped me score from McDaniel College — his employer — when they renovated their library last year. I don’t have a great photo because it’s currently lying on its side under a tarp in his quonset hut, but here’s a photo of the exact same unit (thank you, Google).
It’s a Remington Rand with brass labels/pulls and dovetailed joints. It’s solid maple construction and comes apart into three pieces — thank goodness! — because at 5 feet tall and 3.5 feet wide, it’s enormous.
Funny story: I wrote the proposal when my company bid on and subsequently lost that very renovation project…so I feel a bit of a connection to this piece. Even if my proposal didn’t win ’em over. Note: my uncle was on the committee who selected the contractor — no preferential treatment here! ;)
She’s been sitting in storage for months and months, but we finally have the space for her and it’s time to bring her home. Which brings me to … what the heck do I do with her?! She’s going to live in the living room, which is a pretty blank canvas right now. You know, with the missing couch and all…
I’m not the greatest fan of her blonde wood tones, but stripping and refinishing all those drawers sounds about as much fun as the Polar Bear Plunge (which I will also not be doing). I’ve heard of a gel stain that can supposedly be applied right over the existing finish to darken the appearance, but this piece has a hard shellac-like finish on it and I’m not sold on the gel’s ability to penetrate it. See?
While I’m typically against painting quality pieces — especially those in good condition and with such history — I’m beginning to lean that way. I mean, do these painted card catalogs make a statement or what?!
I’m particularly drawn to this navy and gold combo — maybe because it reminds me of my bicycle canvas that’s across the room?
Source Oakland Avenue
Source One Dog Wolf
Source The Frosted Gardner
Source The Orange Room
I could go two-toned, but I’m hesitant because we already have an amazing two-toned piece in the room and I think it may be too competing.
Source Our Prarie Home
Source Crafttest Dummies
Or I could leave it au naturale. Embrace the maple. It might balance out that dark walnut paneled wall, but man … we have a lot of wood tones going on in that room already. I may have to see it in the space before I can make that call.
And of course, there is always the traditional dark wood finish that would be stunning.
Source Small Notebook
So, what do you all think?