Wall unit update

I've acquired a pretty long list of furniture for this house from Craig's List. It would be hard to pick a favorite (well, maybe my orange chairs) but the wall unit on the back wall of our living room has to be near the top of the list.


A few interesting things have happened since my original post about this piece, so I thought I would post an update.

I had tagged my post with the manufacturer's name (Kopenhavn), and as a result attracted some attention from other's searching the internet for these wall units, most of them looking for additional parts or sections for their own wall units. 

One reader contacted me looking for extra sky hooks, the metal hooks that attach the units to the wood brackets that are mounted to the wall. I didn't have extras (she was able to have new ones made at machine shop), but during our correspondence she offered to send me scans of an original brochure for the units she had in her possession. Here are a few of the pages:

It's fun to see the configurations offered. And those prices!

Then, more recently, I received this comment on my original post:

Sarah 4 months ago 
The designer of your Kopenhavn wall unit and the miniature furniture maker are indeed one and the same person. Noral Olson is my grandfather. :)

And she responded this to our comments in return:

Sarah 3 months ago 
Hi Joellyn and Debra,
Thanks so much for your comments. It does make me proud that he has designed something that will be used and loved well beyond his lifetime. I can't believe that it's only recently that I have come to know and appreciate his talent (he had already retired from the furniture design business before I was born). You should also check out some of his miniature pieces - they are true works of art, featured in collections around the world - not your everyday "dollhouse" furniture :)
I will pass on your kind words. I know he will especially enjoy your story Debra and be so happy to know that what he helped create was used and enjoyed as I'm sure he meant for it to be.

So even though I already loved this piece, I must say it is even more rewarding to know it has a real and tangible history. 


new wall unit

Hello. My name is Joellyn and I'm addicted to Craig's List.

I wasn't actually looking for a wall unit. This wall unit was looking for me. I saw the ad as I was browsing one day and noted that it looked cool—I even showed it to my mom—then moved on. 

photo from Craig's List adAbout a week later I found myself thinking about that wall unit again. For some reason it occurred to me that my dream of having built-in bookshelves along the back wall of my living room wasn't likely to happen for a very long time. So why not buy something that would stand in (and look ever so cool) in the meantime?

This is what the back wall of my living room looked like before:

The bookcase that is sitting there was removed from the other wall and was just sitting there for lack of a better place to put it (it is heavy, man!) but it is obviously wrong for the space. 

It had been at least a week since I had first seen the ad, so I was thrilled to find it still listed. It took several more days to finally get into town to check it out. She had listed it for $100, but she took my offer for $80. This is why I love Craig's List in Great Falls. In any big metropolitan area this unit would have been snatched up within hours, and would have pulled MUCH more than $80, I'm sure.

This might not be everyone's thing, but it is so very mid-century (1960s) and perfect for this house. And if we do build those bookcases someday, I can resell this unit for a profit. Just look up "Danish wall unit" online and you will see several very similar looking wall units for more than two or three thousand dollars. It's all about finding the right market, baby.

This is what it looks like in my house:

Since it is partially covered by my couch, here is another view:

The book stand unit on the right will be mounted on the rails as well, but I was missing a bracket that I have to pick up from the seller today. And after a good polish, I will of course style this baby and post more photos for you.

It is in excellent condition for its age and is all solid wood. I love how the color warms things up and lightens up the dark leather furniture I have. 

Oh, and did you notice one more thing?

I stripped the wallpaper off that wall and painted. (More on that later). I just couldn't bear to put this up over that old wallpaper so buckled down and got the job done. One wall down, 240 to go. Ha.

The unit is marked with the manufacturer's logo, "Kopenhavn". A little research revealed that this is not actually Danish, but is Danish inspired. Kopenhavn was a line trademarked by the Northern Chair Co. (based in Tacoma during the early 1900s), and this particular "wall planner group" was designed by Noral Olson. I looked for his name in other places and just found someone who designed miniature furniture. Same guy? I'm not sure. The Kopenhavn line seems to be somewhat rare. If you know more, do tell! Here is the coolest thing I found during my research—an ad from a furniture store in an old newspaper clipping:

I love peices that have a history, and it was fun to see the other units offered as part of the line. And the prices: $319 for that first living room set!

Tell me what you think of my find! I'll be back with more after I do some decoratin'. Bye for now!