You never know what you will find on Facebook Marketplace!
For months, I’ve been searching for a French bureau plat desk for my home office, and I finally found one on Facebook Marketplace!
When we lived in Missouri, I had a study (home office) that I used daily. The study was decorated with a beautiful vintage French Louis XV Bureau Plat desk that I had found at a local antique market.
When we sold our home and downsized, moving to Alabama, I decided to sell the French desk instead of trying to move it. I wasn’t sure that I would have room for a home office in our future home, so selling the desk instead of moving it seemed like the best option at the time.
After finding our new home in the South, we ended up having an extra bedroom that I’m currently converting into my home office. Over the last few months, I’ve been slowly working on buying furniture pieces, as I find them, that will work in this space. I recently purchased a French Provincial dresser and gave it a much needed makeover, which will be used for extra storage.
One of the pieces of furniture that I’ve been on the hunt for is another French desk, something similar to the one that I had previously sold.
I’m pretty frugal, so the desk would also have be a good price. I kept searching local antique markets, estate sales, and thrift stores, but I wasn’t finding exactly what I was looking for.
I also searched Facebook Marketplace daily, but never found anything…..until I did! You never know what you’re going to find on FB Marketplace! One day, after months of searching with no results, there was a listing for a vintage French Louis XV Bureau Plat desk. It was very similar to the one that I had sold!
The desk had been found in a warehouse auction that had belonged to a local physician.
For some reason the warehouse had been abandoned, so all of the contents were ultimately auctioned off. The warehouse was mostly filled with old medical equipment and file cabinets, but it also included this amazing desk!
It was more than likely made in the mid 20th century, so vintage, but not antique.
The person that was selling the desk on FB Marketplace had it originally priced at $450, which was a good price for this piece, but I always like to see if I can get a better bargain!
I kept an eye on the listing, and after the first week, the seller dropped the price to $350. I waited another week, and it still hadn’t sold, so I contacted the seller and asked if they would accept $250, and they did! I feel like I got a very good deal!
A French bureau plat desk is a type of writing desk that originated in France in the 17th century. It is a flat-topped desk supported by four legs and designed in an ornate Louis XV French style. Most bureau plat desks have a shallow central drawer, as well as corresponding drawers at either side. They are also referred to as leg desks.
This desk is finished in the typical veneer like so many of the original antique French plat desks were. As you can see in these photos, there’s wear to the veneer with some of it starting to bubble and peel.
It has a black leather insert on the top, and gorgeous bronze hardware and ormolu embellishments.
In doing some research on this type of French desk, I’ve found that some of them were also painted during the 18th and 19th century, while others were left in their natural wood finish.
Many bureau plat desks were painted in intricate designs, often featuring floral motifs, landscapes, or mythological scenes.
More recent times have seen bureau plat desks painted in lacquered finishes.
As you can see, the painted finish softens the formality of the piece a bit, lending itself to more of a relaxed French decor.
I had considered painting the first bureau plat desk that I sold, but never found the time to tackle it before we moved and ultimately sold it.
After doing a lot of research on this desk, I’ve decided that I’m definitely going to paint it. I wouldn’t consider it if the desk was from the 19th c. or older, however it isn’t.
I’m not sure on the color yet, but I’m leaning toward something soft to balance against the blue of the commode that I just finished.
I know I will get some push back from some of you about painting this desk, because I always do when it comes to painting furniture.
Some of you prefer the natural beauty of wood grain and texture, which can be obscured by paint. Others might dislike the look of painted furniture because it can sometimes appear too artificial or manufactured, such as when furniture is spray painted rather than applied by hand.
Additionally, some might have had negative experiences with painted furniture, such as chipping or peeling paint, which can make them wary of it in the future. Ultimately, personal preferences and experiences will vary, and there is no one-size-fits-all answer.
However, painting furniture can be a way to update or refresh a piece of furniture, giving it a new lease on life, as well as possibly keeping it from going to a landfill.
Many people enjoy the creative process of choosing a color or design and transforming a piece of furniture to fit their personal style or decor.
Painting furniture can also be a cost-effective way to change the look of a room without having to buy new furniture. Additionally, painting furniture can help to protect it from wear and tear, especially if the piece is made from a less durable material or has already sustained damage.
Ultimately, please keep in mind that whether or not you paint furniture, it’s a personal choice, and depends on individual taste, the condition of the piece, and its intended use.
Over the next few days, I’ll be working on getting the amazing ormolu removed from the desk and begin the painting process. I hope you’ll stay tuned for the before and after post!