Tuesday, February 19, 2013

West Point Hatrack

One element that I hadn't planned on was a wardrobe box full of West Point uniforms that had been moved from house to house as part of my masculine, military office.

 I can recall living in VA and the water pipe in the basement broke.  For those not military, every time your husband deploys, you will experience at least one house catastrophe without him.  Mr. Thrifty was in Guantanamo Bay during this ordeal.  In a basement storage room where all packed boxes were kept, was the room that the water pipe existed.   It was about 3 in the morning when I heard the rush of water.  I ran downstairs, opened this large closet door and instantly felt water  spraying at me.  I didn't hesitate a second before I focused on the one wardrobe box that was more important than all the others--The West Point uniforms box. I drug that box out into the hallway, and then rushed back in to turn off the main switch of the water.  The box was only wet about 5 inches up from the bottom.  I ripped the uniforms out of the limp box and laid them on the couch in the family room.  I had saved the day.

When we moved, the uniforms were placed in a new wardrobe container.  Flash back to the present. I opened the wardrobe box and found the West Point uniforms.

 An interesting fact:  These uniforms were modeled after those worn in the War of 1812.   At this time, the standard uniform was dark blue wool.  After the War of 1812, there was a shortage of dark blue wool in the factories, but gray was available.  From that time to now, gray wool is used for the WP uniform.

  I had to find a way to creatively display them. After moving them from state to state, I knew that WE were not going to give them up--at all.

  I mean what good were they sitting in a box? How could I possibly incorporate these items in the decor of this masculine office?

 At first glance, you realize the history of the uniform.  The significance of the buttons, color, and  design of each piece is very unique to our military history.  Those details stem back to the Civil War uniforms.

What better way than to display them on a hat rack?  Of course, I didn't have one, so I would have to scrounge around for one.  At an antique center down the street I found one that I could work with.  It wasn't an antique, nor even vintage at that point, but I had a vision.  It was also gross however it cost only $35.00.  I knew I could breathe new life into it.

                             To be honest, it didn't even have decent wood but painting does wonders.

I took it outside and stood it up on cardboard moving boxes that were broken down.

I cleaned the hat rack before applying spray gray primer.  Then the two top coats of high gloss black paints were applied.  To add a bit of character to the piece, I took my gold trim paint and colored a few of the bands to highlight the black.  The gold accents really brought out the gold buttons on the coats.

                                              A hat was placed on the top rung. 

I think the Mr. was rather pleased with the display.   I teased him that the office was getting to look like a museum, but in fact, those days at West Point played a huge part in his life and made him the person that he is today.  To honor that tradition, I think using his uniforms on the hat rack display was done in good taste.  It was certainly fun to come up with something  not too predictable.

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