Sunday, August 14, 2011

Basket Case: The DIY Story

I think it was this past fall, Pottery Barn sold large dark willow baskets with side handles for a mint! They were beautiful, round, and very large - perfect for storage of just about anything, yet beautiful enough to take center stage in any room.

Similar to the basket with the sansiveria, the baskets were darker in color, but again a great size. I think they retailed for somewhere in the market of $129, and though that's not a terrible price, I was willing to pass them up til' they inevitably hit the sale rack. Thankfully though, I didn't have to wait. Christmas Tree Shops, a chain of discount stores exclusively in the North East, got a shipment of the same baskets, in the same sizes, in the same finish. The largest basket - $29.99. So I snagged it, and used it in the living room of CDLV as a planter.
This summer, I started to make some changes in the living room and the basket got in the way. Seeing as I got such a good deal on the basket, I thought what would it hurt to have it under the pergola. Not a bad idea, especially seeing as how after 3-months in the elements, it looks a lot more tailored to the CDLV design style.

After I finished thanking mother nature for giving me an antique look without an antique price, I thought back to the room the Brooke and Steve did for the Ashton Kutcher showhouse this past winter.

See the old English wicker trunk in the corner? I'm sure you're all starting to see where I'm going with this, right? I loved this room - still do, I think it's the most unique of the showhouse rooms, and really one of the more collected rooms I've seen Brooke post about on her blog: Velvet & Linen. I love the layers, from the floor to the walls - but I digress. We're talking about the basket! I know that Brooke had that particular basket for sale after the showhouse, and it's no surprise it went quickly! I checked out their 1stdibs store, and found this one:

It had also been sold. But I loved the simple red line around the top of the trunk. So, I went out to the garden with tools in tow ...

So, what do you think? Not a huge transformation - but certainly an addition of character! Amazing what a little paint can do. Now this basket has a place in the house - but I'll show you that sometime real soon, when I'm ready to show you the whole room. For now, I'll let it be in the garden ... maybe mother nature will give it one more sanding before the summers over.


  1. LOVE IT!! It might not be a huge transformation but it's perfect!! Martina

  2. I can see it now, in homes throughout the country and abroad ... wicker baskets transformed with spray paint and inspiration from Artie!

    Who do you like on Design Star? I enjoy Leslie and Leslie. Don't enjoy Cathy.

  3. Nice look for the basket. As for MORE WAITING: you are SUCH a tease!!!

  4. That looks pretty nice,u shoud put some succulents in the basket.i have gorgeous huge baskets i got on ebay look for wicker trunks

  5. Artie,

    I must say you have a great eye and know how to make these intuitions and loves into a reality! At price points so great who would not love it!

    Are you Eddie's twin!?!


    Art by Karena

  6. That looks great and what a great idea to scour 1stdibs for inspiration! Mother nature does great work in adding patina.

  7. hi Artie!!
    I think it looks great, both before and after! Love the idea of putting it outside to weather! You're so smart!!! I too have a "thing" for baskets... just yesterday while antique shopping Dan (who was a little ahead of me) would say "you're gonna love this basket." I think he said that about 5 different times!! I found a fabulous old trunk basket with a rounded lid (can't think of what that's called) several months ago. The dealer was in the space and when I saw the $22 price tag I couldn't believe my eyes, so I literally looked at the price tag three more times as I walked around her space to make sure it wasn't really $220 and I was just reading it incorrectly. She must have thought I was trying to decide if I wanted to pay that amount and out of the blue said "I'll take $18 for the trunk." You would have laughed at how fast we picked that puppy up and took it to the front desk!!!!

    happy week to you Artie!

    p.s. I LOVE that room of Brooke's too!

  8. your blog is always inspirational. such a lovely treat on a monday morning.

  9. Well done on the basket pricing as well as the DIY project...I love it when the stuff I have can be transformed into something that feels new all over again! Great job...wish I could my hands on some reasonably priced baskets here in Munich - they are either super expensive or not available at all - I miss the discount stores of the US where that is concerned!

  10. What a great idea, Artie!
    Your basket will only look better as it ages (although it looks pretty fantastic already).


  11. your basket with the plants looks great! i have a couple in my home too that i bought for cheap at Ross. i never thought about spray painting them though. i love the stripes that you added.

  12. I like this accent a lot! Great idea and it certainly gives it more personality!

  13. Aren't you a clever boy......note to self....all baskets outside today!

  14. ooooh, what a simple idea but what a difference it made!!! LOVE it. and i will now be stalking christmas tree shop for baskets.

    thanks for stopping by and commenting on my old crate turned coffee table - i really appreciate it!

  15. LOVE LOVE... is there a blog post on adding the stenciled letters too?

  16. If anyone knows how I can get a hold of a dark willow basket as above, either size I am willing to pay full price as it was then at pottery barn or make a deal. Call 918 361 2685 heidi