This ornate pair of cypress wood Chinese Window Panels ($3,750) originally had an architectural (yet decorative) purpose in 19th century China. But, their greek key pattern, which is very popular these days, certainly gives the screen a sort of à la mode flair. I'd love to see them used in a home's interior, rather than its structure, and I'm wondering what ideas you have for them. I'm thinking they'd look quite unique used as a great headboard, coffee-table top, mirror frame, or even a hanging pot rack. The possibilities are endless. What are your thoughts? Tell me by commenting below!
This adorable Jeu de Quilles (Bowling) Set ($575), designed to look like toy soldiers, is from 1940s France. With only nine pins left, it's probably a bit difficult to play a genuine bowling game. So, I'd like you to think outside of the alley and tell me how you'd use the set in your home as décor or a furnishing. If you're handy or know a good carpenter, you could certainly transform them into a playful and interesting furniture piece, by perhaps using the pins as legs for a table or arms for a shelf. Or, you might even hang them from the ceiling as a chandelier. I'd love to use them as small fence posts, or pedestals for outdoor candles. Tell me how you'd use them in your home by commenting below!
This set of four, brass-studded, Leather Bound Trunks ($15,000) likely once served as travel storage for a sophisticated lady on a worldly voyage like Angelina Jolie in Changeling. But, as these How Would Yous tend to go, I'm not interested in offering up suitcases to you. I want to know how you'd use these elegant antique suitcases in your home as décor. Would you use one as a coffee table? Stack them beside a reading chair as a side table? Turn them into planters? Hang them on the wall? Turn them into pet beds? Paint them? Fill them with old love letters? I know you can come up with a creative use for these ancient beauties. Tell me by commenting below!
This Solid Aluminum Work Desk ($1,450) was used by the US military in the 1950s. But I doubt many of you are interested in furnishing military offices. An unusual furnishing, the surface facing the desk has a row of four hooks and 20 clips, and several small cubby holes to store odds and ends, which I would assume were used in some sort of ultra-efficient military organization system. It also has three drawers with shiny red handles. Personally, I don't think I'd get much work done staring at a big shiny aluminum wall (I prefer a window, thank you), but I do like the industrial look of it.
This desk might come in handy in other areas of the home, though. I'd love to use it in the kitchen as a cutting board surface, storing utensils in the drawers, and clipping recipes to the backsplash and hanging my tea towels on the hooks. Or, I might use it to add personality and function to my hallway, hanging my hats on the hooks, clipping reminder notes for myself there, setting my shoes on the lower shelf, and stashing bills in the drawers. How about you? How would you use this desk in your home? Would you use it in the office? In the kitchen? Foyer? Would you paint it or leave it as is? Would you leave the casters on? Would use it in your garden work shed or some other area? Tell me by commenting below!
This Wrought Iron Gate ($650) from Italy in the 1900s has clearly seen better days, and might detract from your home's curb appeal if you set it in front of your lawn. But despite its wear and tear, its slightly bent out of shape fleur-de-lys spires, missing pieces, and rusted exterior give it a visually interesting and much-loved architectural quality.
So, for this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd use it in (or outside of) your home, other than as a gate. Would you hang it up as wall décor? Would you lean it against a wall as a sculpture? Would you turn it into a dining table, using an iron base and a glass top? Would you paint it? Would you use it as a headboard? Hang lights from it as a chandelier? Tell me by commenting below!
Would you like a little horsing around with your gin and tonic? This Fredrick Weinberg Horse Shaped Drink Trolley ($950) will definitely add some eccentricity to your home bar.
For this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd use this cart in your home. Would you up its kitsch factor with more equine-themed accents? Would you repaint it? What room would it look best in? Would it work for a children's playroom? What would you store on it? Tell me in the comments below!
These Giant Orgy Letters ($1,800), which are actually Goodyear Tire sign letters from the 1940s, might give your mother a heart attack if you displayed them as-is in (or outside) your home. But, let's not do that, okay? For this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd use the (ahem) excessively indulgent letters as décor without inflicting cardiac arrest on your relatives and neighbors.
Would you rearrange them? Paint them? Separate them? Would you hang them? Lay them down? Mix in other letters? Turn them into furniture so they're less legible? Keep them indoors or outside? Or is there just no way José that you'd ever own them? You know typography is trendy these days . . .
This Swedish Pier Mirror ($3,900) would bring a touch of shabby chic to any interior. Decorated with a frieze of molded swags of fruit and foliage, this mirror might look lovely in your entry in its current condition.
But let's not be boring, shall we? For this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd liven up this piece. What would you use? Paint? Wallpaper? Mosaic tiles? Gold leaf? What type of objects or art would complement it? In which room do you imagine it hanging? Tell me by commenting below!
This Silver Leaf Decorative Object (contact dealer for price) is eye-catching even in this photo, with its drab gray background. Made in the 1950s, it stands three feet tall and two feet wide, so it's bigger than you might expect.
So for this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd use this unique sculptural object. Would you use it as art? Hang anything from it? What room do you imagine it taking center stage in? Tell me by commenting below!
This folky, colorful game board — for God-knows-what game — was originally used in 19th century America and will cost you a whopping $2,250. If I wanted to play a board game, I'd go for a round of Scrabble, honestly. But obviously, the appeal of this piece for many is its antiquity. The colors are beautiful, though, and it seems to be in great condition.
So, for this challenge, I'd like you to tell me how you'd use this antique game board in your home. Would you turn it into a table? Use it as a tray? A shelf? Simply use it as décor? Turn it into a headboard? A cabinet door? Have its pattern printed onto tiles? Tell me by commenting below! Bonus points for anyone who can figure out what game the board is for.