Tru(meau) Love- A recession friendly version of a French classic

Trumeaus have long been a popular decor accent, but with the recent rise in popularity of Swedish and French design, their popularity has soared. They can be quite pricey, however, especially larger ones. A decent reproduction starts around $500, large reproductions can cost up to $2000, and as for antiques---the sky is the limit. I've recently found a way to make a more affordable version of this classic.
First, the base. I started with this great salvaged door with its beautiful layers of peeling white and cream paint. (note--the key to making this project budget friendly is finding a well-priced door-in some higher end architectural salvage yards, doors can be several hundred each. But if you keep your eyes open, similar doors are availabe at non-profit "green" projects were building materials are recycled, flea markets, and sometimes for free at re-modeling/building sites) The weathered finish was one of the things that really made this project. A similar finish could be replicated on a newer door with a faux paint technique. What made the door suitable was the fact that it was divided into 2 panels, one large and one sigificantly smaller.
I then had my contractor replace the bottom panel with glass and add crown moulding to the top of the mirror. (His too-helpful assistant almost derailed the project--he was getting ready to caulk, putty, and sand the door down to a smooth finish--he couldn't believe I wanted weathered wood and peeling paint). Depending on how handy you, a friend, or your spouse is, except for the mirror cutting, this could be diy (note: the door is actually inverted--the smaller panel was originally the bottom of the door). The mirror actually looked really good at this point. If you are going for a simple, country look, all the mirror really needed to be finished at this point is some minor antiquing on the added crown and a coat of dark wax to seal it.
For this client, however, I wanted a slightly more formal feel, so after removing all actively peeling paint, I gild and distressed the added crown and the small trim around each panel. I then did some handpainting on the center panel with the client's favorite motif, the fleur de lis. I finished it all with two layers of dark paste wax buffed to a sheen. If you did not want to paint the top panel, other options would be to add a carved detail, replace the top panel with mirror as well, or search for a small oil painting in similar dimensions to the top panel.


Teacats said...

Gorgeous project! And thanks for sharing the magic behind the details too!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Vickie H. said...

I thought it was an ingenious work of "art" on your part! Thanks for sharing! Just wondering if that was a "standard" size, full-sized door....it doesn't look THAT wide from your great pictures! Love it!

Design Junkie said...

Vickie H., I didn't measure it, so I don't know the exact dimensions, but it was smaller than normal. I think it was closer to 24" than 36"
Because of the hardware on it and notched cut out on the bottom, I think it was originally a pantry door, or possibly a swinging kitchen door. The house it came from dates from the late 1920s to early 30s before building standardization.

Visual Vamp said...

This is great! Will you make one for Perch?
xo xo

home before dark said...

I think this is smashing! Love your I Can Do spirit. Have read your blog but not posted before. Every time I read your desire to gild your dog if time ever allows, it makes me laugh. I worked with a woman whose sister was always making malapropisms. My fave: "As God as my waitress, I'll never be hungry again." (Brain calls up Scarlett with potato in hand raised to the sky.)

Lylah Ledner said...

Fabulous....would you mind if I made this a guest post on my blog? pretty please :-)

Cote de Texas said...

great job!!!!! love it.