Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pretty French Buffet

I can't resist these buffets.  Old White, dark walnut stained top = lovely.

Not much to say about this one, but pretty.

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black Watermarks are Annoying!

As you can tell by now, I enjoy reviving vanities/desks.  So far, the folks in this area seem to appreciate my interpretation on these pieces, as they are readily adopted.  A few months ago, a woman contacted me asking me to keep her in mind for a Hepplewhite style vanity.  She wanted a dark walnut top and Old White base.  When I found this vanity, I snapped it up with her in mind.  

But as they say, the best laid plans…blah, blah, blah.  See that nasty black ring in the finish?

Hmmm…there must be some way to remove it.  So I did some reading about bleaching it out.  I followed the steps and here is the bleached top! 

LOL! (Although you know I really wasn't laughing much at this stage, right?)

I am now on Day 3 of this vanity.  Striping, sanding. bleaching, and now…crying.  Ok, RPK, get over yourself and move along to Plan B.

A young woman who loved the softness of the all white adopted her. 

As for the other woman who wanted this style vanity with a dark walnut top...well it didn't work out this time for her, but stay tuned!   

This was a good reminder that when life gives you lemons, look to make lemonade.  

On another note, my father was in the furniture business for most of his life.  Whenever we set a glass down on a wood table without a coaster, he would kindly remind us to place something under the glass to avoid a watermark ring.  Now I know why.  Once the moisture penetrates the finish, the black mark is created. 

If anyone knows of an effective way to remove those rings, I am all ears!

For now, if I am looking at a piece to relove, I am totally scouring the top for those nasty, black watermarks!

Thanks for stopping by....


Friday, August 2, 2013

Why do I love thee, let me count the ways....

You’re elegant, supportive, there when you’re needed and stunningly beautiful.  That’s what these lady’s vanities/desk are to me.  They can be amazingly transformed from dark, scratched and neglected. 

This vanity had some interesting history to it.  During the mid 20th century, many high end department stores would special order their merchandise from the furniture manufacturers.

This lovely piece was made by a manufacturer in Lenoir, North Carolina...the home of many manufacturers over the past century.  It was ordered and delivered to a department store: WG Swartz, in Norfolk.  I grew up in this area and vaguely remember WG Swartz.  It was a high end department store and was eventually purchased by a local chain of stores called Miller and Rhoades.  During WG Swartz's hay day, they catered to a sophisticated retail customer.  They had a tea room where the ladies would gather together, wearing their hats and white gloves for an afternoon tea.  As a matter of fact, as a very young girl, I remember going to another department store’s tea room with my grandmother, and I was all gussied up.  Hat and white gloves stuff!

Here is the before:

Classic mahogany stained piece.

A mix of Provence & Old White, with a light wash of Old White….

The original hardware was gone, so I added some clear knobs and two painted pulls on the center drawer. 

I also applied an applique to the oval detail.  I thought it added bit more detail and character to the piece.  Also, the fluting that rises up from each leg really stands out because of the Old White wash.  

There was some paint leftover and I had a gold oval mirror.  Yep…a little aqua wash on the mirror, letting some of the gold peak through….  

And here she is….in all her glory, ready for new histories to be written. 

And it just so happens that one of my most favorite clients adopted her.  An elegant piece for a very elegant lady.  Hi Jennifer!

Thanks for stopping by…