Ways to Bring Original Style Home
When I was growing up, our 100+ year old Victorian house was spilling over with all kinds of furniture projects — my mom could re-upholster, decoupage, faux paint, you name it. And while her taste was pitch perfect and the results of her labor beautiful, as a kid I looked at it all & thought “what a lot of WORK…why not just go to the store & buy something new??” Alas, I have not been able to escape my DNA. I have become that person who can’t drive past a dresser tossed into a dumpster. Unfortunately, I feel that buying anything from a store is somehow too easy, almost anticlimactic... Why not add a challenge - or at least a little personal style into the mix?? Here’s a smattering of some of my recent “rescues.” The formula I’ve worked out is pretty foolproof:
1) Use oil paint whenever possible - it’s so much more durable & has great lustre. I have done a lot of pieces myself, but you do have to have the time/focus/space to do it right. I have been working with a phenomenal painter, Steve Addison, for years too & he is amazing.
2) Re-do the hardware! I use Metro Plating & Polishing in Kensington, Maryland. You can bring in painted-over, rusty old hardware & choose a new finish - brass, silver, chrome, etc. Someone smart said that hardware is like jewelry for furniture & I totally agree. Plus, a lot of the older furniture pieces have hardware sizes/spacing that are not standard now. If you choose to get all new hardware pieces, you may have to have the original holes filled & smoothed over (read: more work & complicated).
3) Find an amazing upholsterer & get a brilliant new fabric to update any cushions. I use Yi’s (Rockville MD) — they are very professional & reasonably-priced. A fabric can make the whole piece feel completely different.
4) Lastly, know when a piece is too far gone to pursue. I have fallen in love with pieces before & tried to save them, only to find that yes, the legs needed to be replaced ($$) or the rust was not trivial….Try to be disciplined! (easier said than done)
Enjoy & feel free to share any tips or success you’ve had!