On the Campaign Trail…


October 5, 2012 by Decorum DIYer

I figured with all of the political talk these days, I should take some time to talk about a different ‘campaign’ of sorts – campaign-styled furniture.  What’s that, you are not on the ‘campaign’ band wagon?  Well, the campaign style of furniture has been around forever and has served a very practical purpose in military expeditions, especially by the British.  You see, campaign furniture has heavy-duty brass hardware that appears throughout the furniture pieces. Every corner has brass brackets for protection and handles abound to make packing and carry/shipping the furniture easier.  Some pieces even have legs or components that are detachable and foldable for compact hauling.  As with the faux bamboo furniture, there is a bevy of original, antique pieces, but there was a revival of the campaign style in the last century.  Campaign furniture pieces have been quite trendy in design and decor for a few years now.

The furniture pieces are handsome and masculine, how couldn’t they be?  I regularly search my local Craigslist for such pieces.  Here are just a few that I was able to find with a quick ‘campaign’ search.  I am sure I would have found more, if I just weeded through the thousands of generic ads, as most people have no idea what campaign-styled furniture is, so, understandably, the description is not part of the ad.  That said, what I am sharing with you are pieces that were made during the campaign-style revival from the last century, not antiques… yet.

Note the detail of the brass pulls, corner brackets, and brass brackets on stress points. Classic campaign-style details.

Another example of the brass hardware details. These two are actually drawer units with bookcase hutches. I would love to have these beauties flanking my fireplace, bed, or desk. The burl wood look is quite handsome as well.

This six drawer dresser isn’t quite campaign style, but it does have the classic brass hardware details, and that is what the trend is really about. The white wicker gives this piece a feminine feel. This would be a lovely addition to a foyer or used as a console table.

This campaign styled desk has the classic details. As with most revival pieces, it is solid wood with a wood tone laminate – solid and sturdy. The original, antiques often had detachable and foldable ‘x’ framed legs to make packing and transport easier. I think the above piece would be great for a boy’s room.

This desk is also not a full revival campaign style piece, but it does have the same basic shape and drawer pulls. The wood tone (which I suspect is real wood) is nice.

Again, this piece too only has the nice wood tone, boxy shape, and brass drawer pulls. I could see this piece living in my home as well.

This one has me doing cartwheels. Why you ask? Well it is a double-fun photo. Not only does it have a classic, campaign revival desk in black, but a faux bamboo chair to boot! Sadly, the seller is not offering the chair. 😦

As with the faux bamboo furniture, most designers opt to paint these campaign revival pieces in fun, contemporary colors.  Here are a few pieces that I have seen at various blogs in which the owners have done just that!

Here’s a painted desk (w/tutorial) from “Heart Tree Home”

Looks great! Click the photo to see the blog tutorial!

This is one of my favorites!

The ‘union jack’ design is amazing! (Click the photo to see the original blog.)

Lastly, this little green number has my heart beating.

Isn’t that green color stunning? (Click image to view related blog.)

I was also able to find this little one on Craigslist. Now, it is full on laminate, but it could be painted.  I like the round drawer pulls, a little more feminine.  To add to the campaign detail, one could always add additional hardware that is readily sold separately.  Here is just one online source for such hardware: Ansaldi & Sons.

Cute little laminate desk that could be painted and spruced-up with some additional campaign style hardware. This would be cute in a girl’s room. If my daughter had her way, it would be ‘hot pink’.

Part of my excitement with this post and style is that I am hoping to update Roman’s room in the next few months and I found the perfect campaign dresser for only $20 on Craigslist!  Here is the dresser as it sits in my basement awaiting a coat of paint…. navy blue perhaps?

The dresser I hope to paint and use in Roman’s next room.

So, what about you?  Do you like this style of furniture?  Could you see this in your house as is, or painted?  I want to hear your thoughts.  Also, as a disclaimer, I totally thought of the blog post title all by myself.  🙂  That said, it wasn’t until I started doing research for sources on campaign style furniture that I realized just how generic of a title it is.  Oh well, until next time, happy craigslisting and painting!

Update as of 10/7/12:  If you live in my neck of the woods, this desk just popped up on Craigslist this morning for a whopping $25!  If you like the campaign style, this could be your chance!

$25 campaign style desk!

Updated 10/12/12:

Campaign desk and hutch (swoon) for $175.

Campaign chest, $30.



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2 thoughts on “On the Campaign Trail…

  1. I am smitten with campaign chests too. Navy blue would look fantastic! It’s amazing that people give these things away on Craigslist. I’ve been fortunate enough to acquire a desk, three dressers, and two nighstands, and all for a net profit since I sold one of them 🙂

    • I know! I have an addiction to both ‘campaign’ and ‘faux bamboo’. I found three dressers and two headboards (faux bamboo) for $50! I sold the headboards (should have kept them for my little girl) and one dresser for way more. Isn’t Craigslist great?

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