Thursday, August 16, 2012

Furniture Makeovers

I would say at least 50%, if not more, of my work is painting old furniture that clients want to give new life. It is such a smart thing to do for lots of reasons...

1) It's cheaper than buying new
2) older furniture is usually better-made than new furniture (seriously!)
3) you can create a custom look that is entirely yours and colors just for your decor

So, that being said, I do a lot of furniture paintin'.

These days, I usually paint furniture in my studio, but last week I did several really large pieces in a client's home. These guys were super-heavy -- literally and figuratively, as far as "weighing" the room down.

This credenza was pretty, but it was not quite working with my client's newer, fresher look she's going for (Think: bluish grays, Dwell studio patterns in cornflower yellows, silver and white accents -- all together, more modern)

Here is the "before" of the credenza:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

And a mid-way shot:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
out with the old, in with the new!

Here is the after:

Photobucket

My client and I actually decided the first color we went with was way too light, so I darkened it a bit, and now it's kind of a two-toned distressed look.

Much better!

The armoire got a new look too. It was dark, dark stained wood, and I lightened it with a putty color. It's hard to see in this photo, but it's more of a brown-gray than the credenza.

Photobucket

I did the white on top of the putty this time, to give a different kind of distressed look. it almost looks like the white is peeking out from under the putty, but really the white is the second layer. I snapped this photo midway through (done on the right, not on the left) so you could see:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

you like?!

11 comments:

  1. You're doing the Lord's work by ridding the world of Tuscan finishes.

    ;)

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  2. Haha - I totally agree, Raina...

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  3. The original credenza was visually stunning. Despite the out of focus shot, its timeless style and beautifully executed art work shown through. If I had been you, I would have advised my client to have left it alone!

    The old and new can mix in our homes, the bold and the pretty can easily co-habitat, it requires imagination and conviction.

    I'm shocked that you thought painting that perfectly fine piece of furniture, which was in perfect condition and clearly very expensive, might have "improved" it. It now looks anonymous, grey, and shabby, which I guess is what your client was after.

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  4. HA, agree with Raina. Finishes like that just come off as very dated to me because a lot of my friends' parents had that style of decor in their houses when I was a kid. I think of the 90s every time.

    Marilou, if the client was going with a more modern look with Dwell Studio fabrics in light colors, of course those pieces wouldn't work. Painting them is better than getting rid of them, right?

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  5. Marilou - I certainly understand appreciating the artwork that was previously on the piece, but Paige is right... it didn't fit in with the new decor scheme, and my client was trying to work with what she had. Pieces like that do feel very dated in the wrong space.

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  6. I think they turned out great. I'd love to see them in the finished room.

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  7. Wow! completely new furniture. I love how you can now see the beautiful overall shape of the credenza now instead of focusing on thosse busy details.

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  8. These are great!!! Love the colors

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  9. Whew...I am going with the new and improved version myself :)

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  10. haha.. i think most of us agree ;)

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  11. I agree, maybe the client inherited those pieces. It is better to refinish and reuse than A)Try to fit something dated or mismatched, or B)Throw it out and start from scratch. The piece did not look like an authentic antique, more like a mass produced repro. Now it has it's own fresh style. Great job.

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