Wonderful White or Painted Black?

Friday, October 19, 2012

When refinishing a piece of furniture it's important to consider the interior of the room and the style of the piece.  Certain styles of furniture lend themselves to particular paint colours.  We have attached a couple of pieces that are painted white, which we think would look great, painted black.

refinished furniture, interior design

This little side table looks good in creamy white, we bet it would look fantastic in black.  We like to use Benjamin Moore 2133-10 Onyx for painting black furniture.  Love the drawer hardware, reminds us of a knob you would have found on a bi-folding closet door years ago. It’s the legs on the side table that lend it to being painted black, this type of leg can be referred to as spool, spindle or turned.

refinished furniture, interior design

Love the shape of this table, it would look fantastic in a metallic colour with a rustic patina.  Either silver or brass would look stunning.  Or you could paint it black and have square mirrors cut for the middle and bottom shelf.  On the top a white crocheted doily would really pop against the black and add interest. 

Just because you paint a piece of furniture dark doesn’t mean it will darken the room, the way in which you accessorize it will either add to the piece or detract from it.  Painting furniture black and accessorizing it with white, in a white room will add interest and draw your eye, not only to the painted piece but to other black finishes in the room, for example a fireplace.

desk before, interior design, refinished furniture, Racher Interior Design

If you have an existing piece of furniture in good condition and you don’t like the look, it’s often worth refinishing.  If you don’t want to refinish it yourself there are lots of options to have it refinished for you.

refinished furniture, desk, Racher Interior Design

If you have a piece of furniture to refinish or are interested in incorporating refinished furniture into your home give us a call and we’ll give you a hand.  White side table images from Huckleberry Lane Furniture, black desk images from Racher Interior Design.

Cool Credenzas

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I love the word credenza, it seems so grown up. 

What exactly is a credenza?  It’s a piece of furniture used for serving, storage, and display of serving dishes and utensils.  A credenza may also be referred to as a sideboard or buffet.  Goodbye china cabinet, hello credenza.  A credenza can be used for liquor serving, storage, and display too.  Goodbye built-in bar, definitely loving the credenza.

refinished furniture, interior design

This fabulous credenza is from Chrissie’s Collections, an amazing transformation.

refinished furniture, interior design

This is Chrissie’s credenza before.

refinished furniture, interior design

Another cool credenza, check out No Biggie for the before photo.

refinished furniture, interior design

Love the idea of incorporating decorative wine storage into a credenza.  Perhaps a wine rack that reflected the diamond pattern on the door would have been stunning.  To see the credenza before check out Curbly.

Finding Inspiration

Thursday, September 13, 2012

We love looking for interior design and furniture refinishing inspiration. 

We find it everywhere.  Even in things we don’t like or love.  If there is a good idea we appreciate it.  I’m posting a couple of images that have given me inspiration, despite the fact they are not my particular taste.  I appreciate these ideas and will reinterpret them in future projects.

refinished furniture before, interior design

I love this idea of taking a small table, refinishing it, and putting a piece of glass on top to make it larger.  I think this idea could be reinterpreted in many ways with all kinds of tables, coffee tables and end tables.  I will definitely keep this idea in mind when I’m looking for furniture refinishing projects in the future.

refinished furniture, interior design

I also love this idea of using a headboard for something other than a bed, how cleaver to make a headboard into a backrest for a bench.  Perhaps for an entry this would be perfect.  If I was making a headboard into seating for with my table I would probably look for an upholstered headboard for comfort.  Either way it’s a great idea, and can be reinvented in many different styles.

refinished furniture, interior design

To check out this project in detail go to Freddy and Petunia.


Wonderful White

Saturday, March 17, 2012

It was my intension to post green for St. Patrick’s day. 

But, my good friend Deborah from Touch of Elegance Interiors sent me a link to a blog I have not seen before.  All their furniture makeovers are white.  So today I’m posting white.  Just try to imagine a big healthy green plant sitting on each piece of furniture and you’ve got your green.  White is perfect for making colour pop.  I love the energy of bright colour so I use my white to make colours standout.  All these pieces would look great with vibrant coloured lamps, table runners, and accessories.  Oh and I love coloured glass, especially the retro shapely looking stuff you find in second-hand stores and say to your self  “oh just look at this isn’t it so…”.  It doesn’t matter what you fill in the blank with, it’s the history and recognizability of the era from which it dates that is the essence and value.  Colours and shapes often have distinct associations with the timeframe from which they were mass produced.  Think of appliances and plumbing fixtures, we have all seen the rose and yellow coloured toilets with matching sinks, or the avacado stoves and matching fridges.  I love mixing modern and vintage, different eras, and different colour palettes.  Remember the burgundy with forest green, or the mint with peach.  Well what about changing it up and mixing burgundy with peach (of course you would have to call it apricot and raspberry these days).  Recycling goes well beyond furniture and accessories, stlyes and colour palettes can be reused in new ways too.  Accessorizing is a great way to change your interior without much effort or expense.  Since we as humans are constantly evolving, I believe our environments should evolve with us, and accessorizing is the secret.  The pieces I have posted are great examples of furniture with characte,r and would be perfect backdrops for your accessorizing endevors.

refinished furniture, interior design

Love these they remind me of an old dressing table I inherited from my grandma.  You know the kind with the lower piece across the middle, mirror above, and little bench.  Back in the day the place women sat to brush their hair 100 strokes before bed.  Where they set their perfume bottle, and their fancy hairbrush, hand mirror and comb set.  We don’t live like that any more, when was the last time you had a beautiful looking hair brush?  This furniture reflects associations of a different era and is interesting because it has a history and familiarity.

refinished furniture, interior design

This is a great credenza, although I think the round handles on the center doors would look better painted black.

refinished furniture, interior design

I like the hinges being painted white.  Painting the ring knobs black would draw your eye to the beautiful detail in the doors, and give the credenza better balance.

refinished furniture, interior design

I love this piece, I would either fill it with bright objects or wallpaper the back of the hutch in a funky bright geometric pattern.  Whatever I did to the back of the hutch I would also do to the inset panel on the square door.  Knobs in a bright colour that matched the wall paper would add even more fun to this piece.

refinished furniture, green, St. Patrick's Day

Ta Da… tricked you Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  All the images are from Huckleberry Lane Furniture’s blog (except for the St. Patrick Day delight, which I delightfully augmented myself).

Vintage Accessorizing

Thursday, May 26, 2011

AKA: Decorating Second-hand Style
What can we say… We aim to encourage, support and facilitate the growth of a new perspective.  We stand behind William McDonough’s philosophy and book Cradle to Cradle.  We are interested changing the way you view your home environment, not only with regard to consumerism, but also relating to the stigma associated with value, price, lifestyle and status.   

Our clients were already collectors with an appreciation for the antique side of things.  Their assortment of canning jars, crockery, apple boxes, soda pop and beer bottles was right up our alley.  Teaching them what to look for and how to see things with new eyes was a treat for all involved.  Together we were able to round out their decorating and accessorizing with a raft of inexpensive and interesting delights that we purchased from second-hand stores.

We were inspired by the natural environment and our client’s penchant for bird watching.  They had looked up and could identify many of the local birds.  When I first spotted the Audubon portfolio I thought it read “Autobon” (correctly spelled “autobahn”).  Without really thinking I thought I was going to find pictures of European cars? 

To my delight I was wrong, Audubon does birds.  And to my client’s delight many of his bird were local to Sandy Lake.  We immediately started collecting frames, some were to be painted, and some were old enough to be perfect without paint. 

If you have inherited framed photos of relatives’ relatives they are probably sitting in boxes along with even more photos and memorabilia.  It is not a crime to take that photo out of the frame and put in something new! 

Our client had created photo collages of their children when they were younger.  The frames were outdated and mats had yellowed.  The result of aging in this case was not exactly vintage.  At $5/cutout having new mats made would have cost a fortune.  We painted the mats with a mini roller and the same paint we used on the walls, to create the illusion of the photos floating on the wall.  We then gave the frame an antiqued finish. 

Looking beyond the colour of these owls we appreciated their shape, they were perfect with the wallpaper in the kids room so we painted them to match.  We thought the butterflies were charming in an old lady kinda way, something you might see on nana’s wall.  They were nature and they were orange.  Because they coordinated the with the client’s custom bedspread, made for a previously owned home, they made the cut.  We painted the wood around the butterflies along with a couple of sconces to coordinate with the finishes in the room. 

Our client began their decorating with the antiques they collect and cherish, displaying them throughout their home.

They also purchased a new piece of furniture to set their TV on.  Luckily they were open to moving things around. 

We relocated their TV stand and tweaked their display, teaching them about proportion, scale and the concept of a creating a vignette.

Instead of a new piece of furniture for their TV, we showed them what they could do with their old china cabinet base and little creativity.

We discussed with them how to display their treasures, while incorporating a functionality that fit seamlessly into their décor. 

By creating a theme and mixing old, new and in between, we were able to balance a mismatched consistency, of whimsy and functionality. 

Sarah Ban Breathnach writes about the pleasures of home in her book Simple Abundance, today’s entry is entitled “Let Passion Be Your Decorator”. 

Ohhh…I just love her description of the significance of home!

“Probably because I am a writer, I think discovering your authentic decorating style is very similar to the creative stages of writing a book.  A book may look inanimate, but like a home, it lives, breathes, and expresses your being.”

I am inspired by the value and rational her witting places on decorating, she goes on to say:

“However, when you’re creating a visual memoir through your surroundings, it’s a never-ending story.  You don’t have to stop.  What’s more, you really can’t.  You’ll always be revealing a new aspect of your personality as you discover it.  You’ll constantly be editing, weeding out what you outgrow, making both subtle and significant decorating changes as the chapters of your life allow for, or demand, rewrites.”

May we all take a moment to ponder our home and our decorating.  And may we all strive to grow… into redecorating : )

More Refurbished Vintage

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Whether you refer to it as refurbishing,recycling or upcycling,
we encourage you to expand your scavenging beyond that of your own home.  For there are treasures awaiting your discovery amongst dumpsters in back lanes, second-hand stores, consignment stores, flea markets, auction sales, yard sales and estate sales.  Not to mention FREE kijiji, and various other (not so free but definitely cheap) websites.  Kijiji, craigslist, CanadianListed, and BuySell.com are a few of the many, local online communities offering free classified advertisements.

Here we took an Ikea dresser, swapped out the hardware, painted the drawers and added a new mirror.  We painted the mirror to match the drawers and put generous layers of varathane on both to give them a glossy shine.  We used the same colour of paint as on the walls (Benjamin Moore Pale Avocado 2146-40) for our first layer of colour and then washed a blue over top.  We then lightly distressed the drawers for a weathered beach look.

We found this magazine rack for a couple of dollars at a second-hand shop and we thought it would look charming with a fresh coat of blue paint.

Chairs in bedrooms are always a convenient solution to keeping your clothes off the floor.  We refinished this chair as a companion for the vanity. 

Since the wood finish of the chair did not match the intricate marquetry found in the vanity, we decided to paint it.  We painted the chair with a colour that matched the tone of the vanity and upholstered it using a leftover fabric remnant from the drapes. 

Do not be afraid to reupholster chairs with a simple tuck seat.  As long as there is no sewing, new foam or upholstery trim required, you will find it very simple. 

We gave these chairs a two tone finish.  Using the same colour on the chairs as we used on the walls keeps the room feeling light and airy.  Matching the black with the dresser ties the two elements together nicely and defines the shape and gives individuality to the chairs.

You can create a unique combination by painting a mismatched desk and chair to make a set.  We left the original finish on the desk top and shelves for durability and interest.  Of course they did get a healthy helping of varathane to shine them up.

We have bought a few sideboards that are quite similar to this one.  They are well made and very common.  They often have a groove along the back of the shelf for standing up plates and a groove along the front and sides for sliding glass doors.  This one was purchased without the doors and all the grooves were filled in with polyfilla. 

We found a similar sideboard on CanadianListed.con with the glass doors intact for $50.  We thought that was a bit pricey for such a common item.   We also prefer the look and functionality of a shelf with the doors removed and the grooves filled in.

We would probably offer $20 and pay as much as $30, possibly $35 if we really needed it for a specific project and did not want to take the time to find another one elsewhere for less.

When refinishing furniture we often add a distressed or weathered look to our finishes.  You can do this by slightly rubbing the piece with antiquing finish, using crackle medium between coats of paint or simply roughing it up with sandpaper.  Not only does it add character to a piece, it adds an appropriate gently worn patina, ensuring your project will continue to age gracefully over time with the wear and tear that comes from regular use.

Refurbished furniture is a wonderful way to express individuality and creativity in your home.  For fabulous ideas and expressions of creativity, checkout Inhabitat’s Spring Greening Competition, you will be amazed at what people have made from recycled materials.  Without a doubt they take upcycling to a new level.

Refurbished Vintage

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Upcycling is the new mantra of many. 
Wikipedia defines upcycling as the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.

We are proud to share with you our collection of lake house upcycling projects.  New products were not made from old, but we are quite certain increased environmental value was created on many levels.  The refinished treasures fit cohesively into an eclectic environment of new, antique and vintage finishes, fixtures and furniture. 

The lake house clients spent many a family day tinkering in the garage at the lake.  Prepping, painting and distressing not only fun furniture finds but also working on furniture that has been in their family for years. 

They built and watched their children learn to write using the same table and chairs, they will now watch their grandchildren enjoy on rainy days. 

They have fond memories of a family without a fireplace, where the china cabinet was used to hang the stockings with care. 

Chairs that show wear and tear, from years they sat at the bathroom vanity enduring exposure to the latest hair, makeup and unmentionable teenage trends, get a new lease on life, a new look, and a new location.

We are all familiar with the “furniture suite” concept; there is the living room suite, the dining room suite and the bedroom suite.  This time we were dealing with the coffee table suite.  Unlike the Sears catalogue, only one table from the set of three made the cut.

The taller end table will be refinished and used as a night stand, and the very sturdy and very matching coffee table will be converted into an entry bench with a custom cushion designed for the top.  We believe in repurposing as well as refurbishing and if you are lucky enough to incorporate both, we applaud you. Above all we encourage you to add character and individuality to your home. We strongly recommend you break up those boring “furniture suites”!

After ten years in storage, the Capone table makes its debut.  The Capone table was a big hit with both the student who made it in college and her proud father.  It is named the Capone table due to the concealed liquor cabinet contained within.  Legend has it, Al Capone would send these tables to his rivals as gifts during prohibition.  He would then direct officials to the stash of hidden liquor.

Stained and coated with shellac the Capone table now sees the light of day.

The proud nostalgic smile on the faces of our clients is the increased environmental value we strive for.  We know your environment affects how you feel, and we want your home to be meaningful and delightful.  Making a house your home, we aim for that look in your eye, to trump the feel of the smile on your face.

Vintage Finds

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

We are currently working to update our portfolio in anticipation of a busy spring.  Here are a few sneak peeks of what we are working on.

A series of blog posts showing how to refurbish and incorporate vintage finds into your décor. Second-hand furniture, accessories and frames were bought. We mixed these vintage treasures with the client’s antiques and existing furniture.

The Lake House photos capture the charm of the treasures we refinished. Just wait until we show you what we bought, what we did to it, and how we incorporated it into the home. We hope to inspire you all to go treasure hunting, in the near future.