Monday, October 26, 2015

Autumn House Tour

I intended to work on furniture today. It's sunny and moderately not frigid out, but first I needed to finish painting the family room. Once I did that I decided just to go ahead and photograph for a fresh house tour as it's been since spring since I updated it last. And then what with staging and cleaning and photo editing, here is is 3:30 and I haven't done a single bit of furniture refinishing. Ah well, there's always tomorrow.  
          You can view the entire house tour on the tab at the top of the blog here, and there are way more pictures there, so you should definitely check it out!  Here are some of my favorites from today's shoot.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Queen Anne China Hutch in Blue and Cream

I got this elegant china hutch from the flea market a few weeks ago and one of my friends approached me to refinish it custom for her. She's been looking for the perfect piece for her bathroom, and this fit the bill! Now this particular friend also happens to be a gifted designer and antiques dealer so I was not just a little intimidated to do some work for her. She had admired a color I'd used previously on a vanity and highboy, a custom mixed blue called 'Deep End' so we selected that for the exterior and a nice warm cream for the interior. I sanded stained and sealed the tulip poplar shelves and distressed and waxed the case. The pull and escutcheon are likely original but the lock is a lovely mid century copper affair that replaced the first one.

Handsome Red Side Tables

These side tables came from a client who I purchased a secretary from back in August (or July? I can't keep track anymore). They'd mentioned the side tables project to me when I was out there but then time passed quicker than it should and here it was October! So they brought the tables down and I got started on them. We opted for a darker top than the original honey color, just to play up the beautiful graining of the solid cherry. I painted the bases in Benjamin Moore's Merlot mixed into a chalk paint, distressed, and sealed with wax. Finally I swapped out two underwhelming teensy brass pulls for gutsy burnished copper knobs.

A Vintage Bennington Pine Desk

Ooooooooo I love this desk. Every now and then I do I piece that I can't stop looking at once it's finished. I just stand back from it and stare, like a weirdo, but my it's a pretty desk! Carl the Furniture Guy brought me this a couple weeks ago and I got it for almost nothing, which gave me the flexibility to splurge a bit on the pulls. It's a spectacular solid pine oversized desk with chunky molding all over front and back made by the Bennington furniture company of Vermont around 1965. I painted it in a custom mixed blue called 'New Song', yanked off those heinous Chippendale pulls and put on pretty glass pulls, oversized to balance the scale of the desk. I sanded, stained, and sealed the top which is flawless and spectacular. It's in perfect condition and all ready for a new home!

Monday, October 19, 2015

An Antique Dresser Turned Work Station

Here's a handsome antique art deco dresser that I've had in my workshop all summer. It initially belonged to a client who refinished it himself in red but didn't care for the end result. I can't remember the specific logistics, but somehow I ended up with it and we put the project on the back burner. A couple weeks ago we decided to revisit it and see what could be done to give it a new look.

       First and foremost the red had to go. It's a bit of a jarring tone, so we opted for a nice rich custom mixed cream. To make the piece more functional as a workstation I removed the drawers, added shelves, and added a chunky pine top with generous overhang on the reverse. I switched the drawer pulls for pretty cut glass octagonal ones and added casters to make it a better working height.

Lucky Ewe!

I've said it before but it always remains true, my favorite part of this job is meeting all the new and wonderful people. Katie spotted one of my hutches on craigslist and decided she wanted to use it as a display piece for the Irish gift shop she's opening in Hamden. It's got the cutest name - Lucky Ewe, I love that. When she came to see the hutch she liked it so much that she commissioned me to do three more pieces for her and took one of my pieces on consignment.

Now I may be slightly biased, but I brought the pieces down on Saturday and her shop looks phenomenal. I'm so so excited for her and I will definitely be doing my Christmas shopping there! Katie's like a ray of sunshine, one of those enthusiastic people that make the world a more joyful place, and I know her shop is going to eminate that cheer. You can check Lucky Ewe out here -

And here's the furniture I did for Lucky Ewe!

First up is a glorious antique mahogany china cabinet from about 1940. I removed the lower doors to allow for open display, painted the case in a custom mixed warm green called 'September Vineyard' and painted the interior and the faaaaaabulous arched gothic fretwork in cream. I replaced the oval Federal brass pulls with antique turned wood knobs, and distressed and dark waxed the whole piece.

Next I did a lovely set of antique mahogany library steps

And refinished a beautiful antique handmade French Provincial Pine demilune table

And here's the hutch that started it all and was the design springboard for the other pieces

And finally here's the antique mahogany Queen Anne cedar chest that's now available for purchase at Lucky Ewe!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

An Antique China Hutch in Gray and Cream

Sunday I went to the Elephant's trunk flea market rather than Mansfield like normal. I'd never been before and it was exciting to see row upon row of antiques fresh for the picking. Since it's such a long haul from Eastern CT we took my friend's small car rather than the truck, so there could be no furniture buying. Luckily, Carl the Furniture has my back. He had several pieces of furniture set aside for me, and then spotted this adorable antique china hutch at the Mansfield flea market and snagged it for me too.
       I have a client who just happened to be looking for a piece just like this hutch so I sent him pictures and dimensions straight away and then we put our heads together to come up with a design plan. Clearly the piece needed to be lightened up. We decided on a rich dove gray exterior and a warm cream interior accented with dark wood shelves and a sweet little cut glass pull. I highlighted the applied moulding on the front panels, the crest rail, and stretcher to give the piece just a bit more oomph.