Wednesday, December 29, 2010


So, my sweet husband (I mean Santa) brought me a wonderful desktop computer and the In-laws gave us 12 months of internet for Christmas. I know what you are thinking---- WHAT? How did I manage to go 3 WHOLE years without internet? It sucked I tell ya, BIG time! But, I survived.

The past 3 days I have been searching everywhere for a small desk in decent condition with character--- I found the perfect desk for my new desktop. The KSL ad said that she had bought it used over 40 years ago. She also had a beautiful wood chair with a leather pad on it that she was throwing in with it. As soon as I saw the two, I HAD to have them. I called her and told her my husband would be there right away. He picked them up for $40 dollars (chair included!). 

After inspecting our purchase I noticed that it has the same sticker inside the drawer as my antique buffet! The brand is: Built by John since 1891. I am very curious about this brand, I have looked everywhere online and can't seem to find very many credible sources that can give me a value on it. So far all I can figure is that the pieces date back somewhere between the early 1920's to 1930's. I love LOVE LOVE this desk but I can't seem to decide what color to paint it. My husband likes the black, not sure if I do though.

Here is where I need some help!
Take a good look at this picture and tell me what color best represents this piece and its era. I plan to keep all of the original hardware on it- I may spray paint it but I like the pulls- so they stay. 
What do you ladies think? 
Also, if anyone knows ANYTHING more about this brand or maker please tell me! I am very curious!

Here is the sticker:

I've linked up to these fine blogs...

Domestically Speaking

A Little Knick Knack


  1. What a great piece. I think it would be fabulous in red!

  2. First of all, AWESOME find. I'm jealous, but in a nice way. The black looks nice, and another color to consider may be a warm cream (add a little caramel to it) and that would look fab with those pulls. Make sure you post the final results! -diane

  3. Oh...a soft cottage white with a choc. glaze!! Have fun, You have lots of options. dianntha

  4. i am not sure what your colors are in your house, but maybe a cream color? or how about a robins egg blue, or lime green (i think its granny apple green)?! Ive seen quite a good bit of both of those colors around the blogs all year long, if i didnt have so many on here I would try and find them, but I think it would stick out and look awesome!

  5. i think to best represent the era it would actually need to be stripped and stained in a cherry or mahogany, but it would look so awesome painted! paint it!!! i saw one recently on restore interiors that was a dark gray and beautiful- similar in style. where is it going? what colors are in the room? what a gorgeous find, by the way!

  6. Thanks for the feedback ladies! I really appreciate it! The desk will be going in my living room- the colors are currently white, a calm green accent wall, brown accents with a neutral yellow color on the rest of the walls. I don't know if that helps at all but almost all of the rest of my furniture for this room is white. So really I could probably get away with something fun and different in regards to the desk... I am leaning towards a light powder blue with white or black accents--- like this: www.
    I absolutely LOVE this color and the simplicity of it. If anyone has any pointers I would appreciate it--- do you think I would grow tired of the blue quickly??

  7. I'm thinking that a light robin egg blue with a black glaze would be gorgeous! Also, paint the hardware black to tie it in. I'm sure anything that you decide would be lovely. It's a beautiful piece.

  8. Wondering if you found any more on the value? I have a dresser by the same builder and I am not sure of the value.

  9. "Built by John 1891" comes from the B.P. John Furniture factory which was started in Portland, OR. If you'd like to learn more about him, google "Bruno Paul John" or "B.P. John Furniture." I know all about him because I am his great granddaughter. :)

  10. I just acquired a Built By John Vanity that I am restoring to the original finish. I had big plans on painting it, but I didn't want to take away from its history. It is in great condition for being almost 100 years old. To thr anonymous person above: you must be very proud of your great grandfather. He made some beautiful pieces!


Thanks for taking time to leave a comment!