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Transforming a Vintage Headboard

When I was a child, the house two doors down from mine made me think of Miss Havisham. I used to walk by and imagine her sitting in the dark, with heavy velvet drapes preventing light from coming in. The walkway leading to the front door was an uneven assortment of bricks laid in a herringbone pattern that had been uprooted by tree roots. Every window had a candle that glowed year round. No one ever appeared inside or outside of the house. But we all knew that someone, a lady, lived inside.


Recently the house was up for sale and as part of a ‘retirement project’ my parents bought the house. Finally I was able to go inside and see what laid behind all the mysteries. The foyer was wallpapered head to toe in a deep red flocked velvet Damask fabric. Every room had built-in cabinetry, bench seating and original woodwork. The grand staircase was painted black and led to the upstairs hallway that was covered in solid black wallpaper. An ancient crystal chandelier hung above it all. It was marvelous.


We found so many treasures in this house but one of my favorite pieces was a vintage headboard and frame made of solid maple. The monumental style was adorned with ‘folk style’ details and a metal grille was inlayed at the center. She was a beauty and solid as a rock. We brought her to Brooklyn and I pondered over how to transform this piece.


I partnered with artist and designer, Lindley Pierce of Age of Violet, to create custom painted details that would take this piece to the next level. Lindley gets just as excited as I do at the thought of taking something old and transforming it and giving it a new life.  She has an extensive background in textiles and hand painted surfaces and has been painting professionally for over two decades. Recently, Lindley launched Age of Violet, a vintage clothing business which focuses on dreamy ethereal silhouettes and prints of the 30’s and 70’s. Her aesthetic combines color and pattern with a mix of folklore, poetry, and a touch of rock ‘n’ roll. Lindley’s painted work is organic and natural. Her hand painted florals and blossoms have a soft romantic feeling to them.


We started by creating a mood board. It included lots of folklore inspiration, a bit of Susani, florals, Indian block prints, plus small modern details to connect the motifs. We decided that we wanted to soften the rigid lines of the headboard frame with the organic curved lines of her botanicals. Lindley proposed thistles. Their sharp prickles have an edgy almost protective vibe and the electric violet blossom is stunning. The juxtaposition of the curvy thistle form placed on top of the rigid frame was a success. Lindley had the idea to push the design even further and added a diffused checkerboard pattern throughout. The result is a modernized vintage headboard that has soul and spirit and is ready to live on for another one hundred years.




© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846


© / all rights reserved / 440-371-5846