A CURLACUE TALE AND A DECORATING MORAL!
My love affair with the Curlacue (yes, that is the right way to spell it) chest in my living room is a decorating love story for the ages! But I never imagined that my readers, after all these years, would love it so much too! I still get several emails a week asking about it. So I thought I’d get you up front and personal with THE most iconic piece of furniture at StoneGable. The Curlacue has a tale to tell like many things that come to live here!
The Curlacue Chest is made by Hooker. Even though I don’t think it is made anymore its story should live on!
If you have not heard this true tale with its twists and turns here is the abbreviated version…
I was out and about one lovely spring day looking for, well I can’t even remember now, but anyway I ended my outing at a local furniture store and had just stepped inside the front door when I was greeted by a gorgeous GORGEOUS chest. A well- built beautiful three drawer chest! It was not too big or too small but it was just right. I was having a Goldilocks moment!
I touched the top of the Curlacue and the skies parted and rays of sunshine beamed down upon it. A chorus of angels began to sing so I took my hand off of it thinking touching made it sing!!!! A gorgeous, magical, singing, Goldilocks chest!
The one and only other time in my whole life something like this happened was in college. Truthfully, I met my college boyfriend at a Frat party my freshman and I felt like I had gotten hit over the head. Stars etc., you know! He too was gorgeous and beautiful and well built but in the end, unlike the Curlacue chest, he did not come home to live with me.
But I digress… After recovering from sunbeams and angles and all I then had to recover from sticker shock. While the Curlacue was a piece to love the price was not!
Total sticker shock! Not in my wildest budget and beyond! Not at all. I did try to think of every which way to take the Curlacue home with me but I could not justify dipping into our kid’s college fund and we were still making mortgage payments. So sadly… very sadly we parted ways. But not before I took about 100 pictures to remember it!
Since I could not buy the Curlacue I decided to make one for myself. I adopted my default mantra when beginning any DIY project, “HOW HARD CAN IT BE?”. Just for the record, this saying almost always gets me into trouble.
Using the pictures on my phone and from memory I tried to figure out how this amazing chest was made.
My mental notes went something like this…
Simple three drawer chest… open weave burlap or linen glued to the entire surface of the chest… painted over and aged with more paint… some distressing and lots of layers…an intricate design on the front of it covering the drawers… curlicue (right spelling for meaning here) “string of pearls” motif made with paint… dots probably made using the back of a large artists brush to give raised look… a thin toothpick probably dragged between each dot while dots were still wet for the “string of pearls” effect…some kind finish maybe wax… oil-rubbed bronze knobs.
So I got started!
I found a simple three drawer chest on eBay and went two counties away to get it. But before I could start working on it… KISMET!
The day after picking up the knock-off-not-quite Curlacue chest a decorating friend of mine came over to give me a second opinion about curtains in the living room. In the midst of a decorating discussion, I showed her the Curlacue images on my phone and lamented about how much I really loved and wanted this chest!
To my immense surprise, she knew it right away! In fact, she had seen it that very morning at Joss And Main. Oh, bless your heart Joss and Main! Oh, bless your heart on-line site for taking beautiful home furnishings and discounting them, often deeply!!!! Oh, bless your heart for having my Curlacue chest.
However, this is not the happy part of the story! This is the wailing and ugly crying part of the story!
Not to be rude I waited until my decorator friend left before I lept for my computer and got on the Joss and Main site! Cue the alligator tears and tissues… by the time I got online the sale was over and the Curlacue was gone! Gone! GONE!!!!!! Oh, yes it was! Sniff sniff!
No one can say that I am not resourceful. After recovering from a good your-nose-is-red-and-your-cheeks-are-blotchy cry I called Joss And Main. And delightful Annie (I think she might have been an angel too) helped me and let me know that although the sale was over at Joss And Main the Curlacue chest was also at Wayfair, their sister site.
Now, here comes the making-a-long-story-short part. Yes, I found the Curlacue and bought it and it came white glove delivery a week later to StoneGable all for a deeply discounted price! HALLELUJAH!!!!! The angels were not singing but I sure was! And doing my happy dance of joy!
It’s been over six years since the Curlacue has come to live with me. And every day I have loved and enjoyed the Curlacue being a part of my home. It has given me so much more than the deeply discounted price I paid for it! As a matter of fact, I would have paid more. Much, much more!
And like my college boyfriend only the Curlacue chest has had that effect on me.
So the moral of this Curlacue tale is…
ONCE IN A BLUE MOON WHEN YOU SEE A PIECE OF HOME FURNISHINGS THAT THE SUN SHINES ON AND THE ANGELS SING FOR THEN MAYBE, JUST MAYBE YOU NEED TO GO AHEAD AND GET IT.
Now saying that don’t spend your mortgage payments or kid’s college tuition but if you can swing it GET IT!
The key words above are ONCE IN A BLUE MOON and MAYBE and DON’T SPEND YOUR MORTGAGE PAYMENT… and of course GET IT!
Yes, life would have gone on without the Curlacue but my living room is so much prettier because of it. And it’s become synonymous with StoneGable and my American Classic Style!
Also… when I tell you a story is abbreviated… well not so much!
Disclaimer: Bobby you are the man of my dreams. You may not have made me see stars when we met, but I see God in your selfless love and devotion every single day! I love you way more than the Curlacue… and that’s saying something!
Thanks for sharing your wonderful and inspiring story. You just jump started my Wednesday!
Such a sweet story to read this morning with my coffee!
Well, it is a very striking piece and you are right—-it is definitely a keeper!
a picture of Curlacue is what brought me to your site 6 years ago. your writing, inspiration and kindness are what has kept me a devoted reader. fun to know now how you two met.
Loved, loved ,loved this post -I have read other post where you have written about this beauty but this was so entertaining . It brought the piece to life and I think any one who reads your blog can relate to this story on some level. Thanks for a great light hearted start to my day.
Love, love, love this sweet story and the Curlacue is simply beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!
That is such a hilarious story. All good things come to those who wait? Bet you are glad you waited.
Thanks for sharing! That was a great story! Especially the disclaimer at the end! ?
Thanks for sharing your tale. Love the spelling and definition! It’s those hunts for those ‘just right’ pieces that make our house, our home. A couple of years ago, I was inventorying my furniture collection, as I wanted to try to decide how to divvy things between my kids one day; and I essentially journaled how I came to acquire each piece. My friend Joanie, and I began going to auctions together when we were 16 (it was in our blood) and my entries about many of my furniture pieces are about these days, and maybe even whose estate it was purchased from (some folks I can still remember, although long gone). I don’t get to frequent auctions much, (that’s probably a good thing, for me) although I have been to two estate sales recently, and those are just as dangerous. The most recent was a distant relative, or I wouldn’t have bothered. I have to keep telling myself I have ENOUGH! stuff — “you don’t need that”.
I say that too. Then I get something new and my kids get what I don’t need anymore. They have furnished homes thanks to mom!
What a great story!!! I absolutely love your curlacue chest!
What a great story! It is a beautiful piece of furniture. My question is, what happened to the 2nd hand chest you were going to try to make look like it? ?
I resold it. It was a great sturdy chest too.
The chest is beautiful.Glad all worked out with the chest and Bobby,you seem to be enjoying both !!!
Wow, what a story! I know the feeling when you find the right piece of funiture. I had been looking for a bookshelf like the one in your guest room for a couple of months since i had seen it on your blog last summer. In October i found it, but the inside of the shelves were stained of painted like yours is. I bought it anyway, planning on tryng to paint the insides of the shelves eventually. Just before Christmas i was in my local Tuesday Morning and spotted the same bookshelf, painted inside instead of stained, and about $10 less than I had paid. Luckily i still had my receipt from the first book shelf and was able to return it and buy the piece with the paint job that I preferred. If you saw how many of the things in my house are things that you have in your house you might think you have a stalker, lol! Not a stalker, just someone who loves your style and gets great inspiration from your blog.
Love your story of your adorable little chest. It always amazes me there is always that certain piece of furniture that we just can not live without. Over the weekend my daughter and her husband inherited a beautiful grandfather clock and a baby grand piano from my son in laws great grandmother on his dad’s side of the family.My daughter quickly got a piece of paper and wrote the history of each piece and taped the paper to the inside of the clock and the piano. My daughter said, “Oh mom those two pieces were meant to be at our home.”Have a great day Yvonne.
Oh Yvonne, you do tell the best stories. I love love love it! Oh! And, your Curlacue is lovely. I’m glad you got it for your home.
Thanks for sharing your wonderful story Yvonne. It made me smile.
My knd of story!!! Love the disclaimer.
I’ve never bought from Joss and Main or Wayfair. Was the curlicue chest made by Hooker
like the one you first saw?
YES, the chest was made by hooker.
You make me laugh and smile every time I read your posts. Thank you Yvonne?
I fell in love with the Curlacue as well. I remember emailing you and asking you where you purchased this lovely piece. Long story short, I immediately got on Joss and Main and ordered the Curlacue. It came within a week, white glove delivery, and I’m in love. Everyone wants to know where I purchased this. Unfortunately, it is no longer available.
Such a cute story! I know the feeling………………..have had moments of my own like this, and can’t get the piece off my mind until it is on my place! You really earned the right to own the chest, and all the ups and downs you experienced made this story all the more sweeter, because in the end, the chest found a place in your home!
Love, the story and your sweet comment to Bobby brought a tear to my eyes.
Yvonne, I love this piece and the story! I always feel the need to tell backstories to one certain friend and she always loves them…hopefully…anyway she asks for more! 😉
Coincidentally, the teen daughter of Larissa at Prodigal Pieces remade a chest with a similar design. The before and after was published yesterday (2/20), and the girl used the eraser of a pencil to produce the dots. This may be a good inspiration for those of us who covet such a chest but cannot find/afford one.
I too love your chest! I live in a town that was the home of “Hooker” furniture for a long while. They’ve since moved out 🙁 but I know that they are still in business. Many of your beloved Ethan Allen pieces may have been made in my town as well. They are still alive and thriving!
I’d sure like to get my hands on one of those curlacue chests!!
A great story. It’s good to reminisce . Now I have a better understanding of your L R decor. Linen and Pearls. You always keep the CURLACUE in mind and for reference. For that room especially.
I think it even makes me understand why I do some of the things that I do. Every thing blends like a charm. Every one needs a favorite color, item. etc. as their base. It’s a personal thing. Thanks again for sharing your talents.
Omg!! That was like a fairytale! And just like them at the end of the story I get choked up & testy eyed!! What a story Yvonne!! Thank you for sharing it but I sure know what you mean when you find something like the Curlecue!! Love it and love you and your wonderful story!!
Love this story!!!! I can also relate to your DIY “How hard can it be?” which has gotten me into SO much trouble! The chest is unique and is beautiful in your room. I am so happy it makes you so happy! Thanks for sharing.
Hi Yvonne, I have to tell you that I too had an obsession with the chest when I saw it on your blog and like you, it was the same for me, I simply HAD TO HAVE IT! I found it on Wayfair, this was my first experience purchasing through them and found it to be easy and the quality to be exceptional. I will be purchasing through them again in the future.
I was just having lunch while reading your post and I am just tickled with you story. You see, I was just obsessed with your curlicue chest when I first saw it on your post too! I was able to find it online after searching its image, but found it was no longer available. Enjoyed reading your story – thanks. That curlicue really makes your room so much more lovely. Would someone please let Hooker know that there are many who wish they would make more of these chests!! And sell them at a great price of course!
Omg! What a story just like a fairytale!! And the very end choked me up a bit just like those happily ever after stories of long ago! The Curlecue is awesome and I believe you were definitely meant to have it with no guilt attached!! When something like that happens to me I do believe it was meant to be!! Loved the story, love you for all the wonderful things you share!
Oh I love this story and love the Curlacue I always wondered what was on the surface and the way you described the string of pearls
What a great story!! LOVE your chest and thank you for sharing. I understand that feeling….you just HAVE to have something that makes your heart sing! For me, typically it’s something for my home as well.
I did find it on line. Store called H Contract by Hooker. Pretty but pricy at $2000.00
Not a bad price. The original price was even more!
Love your decor and LOVE this story! Patience and determination!
Yvonne, I have always loved your Curlacue chest. It’s just beautiful! I enjoyed the story that goes along with it! Thanks for sharing with us! Blessings!
I loved this story. Sometimes the things that come the hardest are the most appreciated.
I love the story of how you came to own the curlicue chest. I agree with you when coming upon something that just speaks to you on another “higher”level. Just get it, it will make you happy for a very long time.
“I Believe in Magic”!!! Isn’t that the title to a song???!!! Some things are just meant to be…
This is the cutest, and most inspiring decor story I’ve read for a long time. And I agree 100%! That chest is TDF! It’s gorgeous, unique, and will never go out of style! And, like you, I’ve neve forgot the first boy I thought I might be in love with, but I’m so so grateful it didn’t work out. I got the right one by far
in the end and he still makes me feel like singing every day.
We ARE the lucky… blessed ones!
Love this story!!! Thanks for sharing!
So happy to read the story behind this piece of furniture! Sometimes we have to dig really deep to finally have the happy feelings but the hard work pays off. Congratulations on 6 years of love with your 3 drawer chest! Every time I think of Stonegable, that’s the image that comes to mind. I love that piece too!
I read this lovely story a few days ago, and had come back and tell you how memorable and sweet it is! I love the way you share from your heart❤️
What a wonderful beautiful story ! Thank you for sharing .
I love this post, what a beautiful story. The Curlicue Chest is truly a show piece in the room. I also love the stool in front of the chair. Did you purchase it or is it a DIY? Thanks so much for the inspiration!
I found the stool at DecorSteals. You may also be able to find it at Antique Farmhouse. Both are online shops. Hope this helps.
I wish they would start producing the Curlacue chest again I absolutely love it and would definitely purchase it. Can’t find it anywhere. Anyone know if there are instructions for doing a knock off?
When I originally saw this Curlacue chest in a store locally I fell in love with it instantly!!! Then I looked at the price tag! It was not in my budget. So I decided to make one for myself. I actually bought a dresser on Craig’s List and took it home. And by luck, I just happened to see the Curlacue at Joss And Main for 1/3 the price. So, of course I got it.
I don’t think it would be that hard to reproduce. And you can paint a dresser any color you like. The string of pearl look can be done with a large round-ended sponge dauber. If you make one PLEASE send me a picture.
I’ve been following your posts on and off for years, and I can’t tell you how long I’ve admired, and yes, I admit, ENVIED the curlicue chest!! Today, while considering new looks for my bedroom, once again the curlicue chest sprang to mind, and strangely, like you, I decided the only way I was going to get one, was to have a go at making my own. I hunted the website for a good clear picture to copy, and lo and behold, for the first time, came across this post, only to find that you too had started out with the intention of DIYing the chest. Unfortunately, one, because the chest is now 6 years old, and two, because I live in the UK, the chances of me finding it at all, let alone at a great price like you did, are about 6 zillion to 1 against, so it looks like it’s DIY for me. Wish me luck, as first I have to find the chest, and then …….. well, we shall see!
As always thanks for sharing your home and all of your wonderful ideas.
Judi in the UK