Tuesday, February 9, 2016

An Antique Mahogany Server in Cream

And finally for today, this antique mahogany server that I picked up at auction this past weekend. It was an auction full of terrific furniture, and this is the first of several beautiful pieces I scored there that I'll be sharing with you. I knew as soon as it was unloaded that I wanted to see it in cream with a dark top. The server is beautifully embellished with elegant applied scroll work, but all that detailing was lost on the dark shellac-y stain of the case. I mixed up a custom cream that leans a bit towards greige, and gave the case a whole new look with a fresh coat of bright paint. I then painted the interior of the cupboard portion in a custom mixed spring green. I kept the original pulls but recolored them in a verdigris shade. I sanded, stained, and sealed the top to bring it back to its original glory. This server is a nice universal size, not as large as many of the sideboards I've worked on recently, and could go in some many places in a home!

An Empire Dresser in Soft Blue Green

I've been busy. I'm not sure how many pieces of furniture I've completed in the last week but I think it's somewhere around ten. Generally that's how many I might finish in the entire month of February. It's a bad month for furniture refinishing. I have to work in my workshop instead of outside where the fumes aren't so bad, it's bitterly cold, and so the sanding I have to do outside is miserable, and everything takes forever to dry. Usually business is painfully slow and my sources for fresh furniture almost completely dry up.
        So this February hasn't followed any of those patterns. The weather's been amazingly mild, and even though we've gotten a bit of snow, it's not the soul crushing mountains of the white stuff that bury February most months. In fact, my daffodils are starting to come up! And maybe because of the warm weather, business has been booming. Lots of custom work and lots of great antique furniture to refinish on spec. This fantastic antique American Empire chest of drawers is an on spec piece, so it needs a home! It's got all the great scale and bold detailing that makes Empire furniture so appealing, and is in exceptional condition. I painted the case in a custom mixed blue green that a Facebook fan named 'Ocean Suede'. I sanded, stained, and sealed the drawer fronts and top because they feature fabulous wood graining. I swapped the knobs out for a complete set of salvaged antique turned wood knobs painted in a paler spring green, to add an extra dose of color. This piece is sturdy as a rock and the drawers work perfectly- sooooo much stylish storage!!

An Antique Vanity in Wedgwood Blue

I love how unrelentingly unpredictable my job as a furniture refinisher can be. With a never ending and steady stream of furniture coming through my workshop, I am constantly surprised, challenged, and inspired. This stunning antique mahogany vanity, for example, was such a pleasant surprise. Now I try pretty darn hard to only work on interesting, unique, and high quality pieces, but this one takes the cake for top marks in all three categories. It was brought to me by a new client who lives in the next town over, and I could hardly believe how spectacular it was as she and I unloaded it from her minivan. The carving! The figured mahogany veneer top! The scale! The balance! The mirror! Those fluted legs!
       Once I had scraped my jaw off the driveway we discussed her hopes for the piece's refinish. She displays some of her Wedgwood collection on the vanity at home and thought a blue might be nice to play off the color of the plates. I could not agree more. I mixed up a custom batch of Wedgwood blue and it's the perfect perfect color for the piece. We opted to keep the original elaborate bowknot hardware, because it's stunnnnning, but I spiced them up a hair with some gold rub-n-buff. I don't have any wedgewood of my own, but I staged it with a piece of antique flow blue that I scored at a tagsale for a dollar a few summers back.
      The vanity reminds me a great deal of an antique tall chest I did last year, ironically in a nearly identical blue, and I suspect they might have come from the same manufacturer probably right around 1920. You can view that piece here http://heirandspace.blogspot.com/2015/01/the-masons-chest.html
And I've included a picture of it at the bottom of the post.

All in all, this vanity is one of my favorite projects I've ever done, and I know I keep saying that about different pieces, but my god, there's so much beautiful furniture in the world, it's hard not to fall head over heels in love with all these beauties!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

An Antique Mahogany Hutch in Gray and Cream

This is the matching piece to the sideboard I shared with you two days ago. I didn't refinish them as a set as this one was commissioned to be done for a client. She's going to put it in her bathroom for storage. I LOVE that idea. It's going to be so so pretty in a bathroom! The client opted for a custom mixed medium gray that wasn't too dark or too industrial feeling. I mixed this gray just for her, which I've named 'Still Waters'. The interior is also a custom mixed color, a warm cream named 'Downy Landing'. I very lightly distressed the piece and the sealed it with dark wax. I kept the original pulls but polished them up a bit with a pewter domed rub n buff. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Federal Sideboard in Blue

It's time to come clean. Dear Heir and Space reader, I'm an addict. It's bad. I can't focus, I can't sleep well, and I'm constantly constantly on the hunt for my next good fix. It's all so horribly shameful. I'm hopelessly addicted to refinishing furniture. Not even really the refinishing part, it's the part where you look at the pictures and you're impressed and then you write nice comments and share the posts and then one of you loves the piece of furniture enough to put it in your own home. You have no idea how good that feels. It's a high I can't get anywhere else, like, not even close.

        So here I am, once more, looking for another bump. Tell you me like it, tell me you love me, tell me you love this sideboard. You do right? I know you will because I pay close attention to what you like and what you don't particularly care about. It's vintage, c.1930, it's unique, it's mahogany, and it's blue. It's all your favorite things! So please tell me I've done a good job so I can feel that warm glowy feeling for a day or so until it wears off and I need to throw another piece of furniture at you.

Also it's snowing so hard right now I'm worried my workshop is going to both collapse and blow away. We were only supposed to get 3-5 inches, and we've already got at least a foot out there!!

view out my workshop window right now. And our snow from the last storm had just finally all melted yesterday!!