Renowned Furniture: Holiday Operating Hours

It’s 18 days before Christmas!

The signs of the holidays are all around, but our boys continue to be hard at work to meet deliveries that we have committed before the holiday break.

The past year has been fruitful (and the next year promises to be another exciting year!), and all of us here at Renowned deserve a much-needed holiday break to spend time with family and catch up with friends.

To those who are thinking of making an enquiry and to our faithful customers as well, here is our business hours during the holiday season:

  • Renowned will be closed from 12 nn on December 22 and we will re-open on 2 January 2018.
  • Your phone messages or web enquiries will be returned as soon as possible when we return after the holidays.

We appreciate your custom this year and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Restoring and Preserving Family Heirloom Furniture

In this day of minimalist interior design, de-cluttering is in and detailed, large heirloom furniture seems to be out. We feel that there is always a place for old furniture, especially those that have been passed down through generations. They tell of eras gone by and represent a window to one’s family history.

We love working on very old furniture here at Renowned. This type of restoration job often comes with a heart-warming story, like Gordon’s set of treasured furniture.

Before photos of Gordon’s heirloom furniture:

The Victorian-style chairs, made from Mahogany, are an heirloom kept in the family for over 100 years. They were originally bought as a wedding gift in around 1890 for the client’s grandparents.

Gordon and his wife decided to have them restored to celebrate their own wedding anniversary this year.

Here are the finished products:

Gordon sent through a lovely message saying his wife was speechless when she saw them and that they were both very pleased with the end result.

More after photos in detail:

The antique pieces we receive have a high sentimental value and as such we treat them with great care. We always advise clients what the best course of action to take for their heirloom furniture is – may it be a simple repair to maintain the integrity of the piece or an elaborate restoration to make a grand statement.

We hope Gordon family enjoy them for another 100 years.

Renowned Furniture: Under New Management

We’ve undergone some changes here at Renowned and are pleased to welcome the new owners, Aaron and Melissa.

Aaron brings with him vast experience in all facets of furniture and cabinetmaking, from antiques to shopfitting (and plenty in between!). We are happy to say that all of the craftsmen have stayed with us, so we are confident we can deliver the same quality and service you have come to expect from Renowned. So really, it’s just business as usual and as always we are still “part of the furniture”.

In other news, feels like it’s raining chairs in the factory at the moment. We’ve had enquiries on just about every kind of chair you can imagine – high chairs, cinema chairs and even a diner booth. Here’s just a few that we’re working on.

Renowned Comes to the Rescue of Flood-Damaged Furniture

Storms, not just minor storms but massive storms, are in the news lately. The first being Hurricane Harvey, which flooded Houston in Texas, USA and currently, Hurricane Irma, which is ravaging the Caribbean Island.

Closer to home in Brisbane, storms and flooding are part of the natural environment. There is always the potential for storms and the resulting flooding that the City Council has prepared a flood guide to save lives and property.

When a storm passes and the flood starts to recede, clean up begins. One of the common victims of flood water is furniture – both upholstered and wood pieces. In many instances, cleaning and drying are not enough to salvage them. This is where professional furniture restorers come in.

Renowned have had its share of jobs that involves resurrecting well-loved heirloom pieces from flood damage. We’ve had several of this type of job this year alone.

This mahogany buffet is proof that flood damage does not mean throw out all your solid timber furniture. It will return to its original size and shape with a little help from Renowned Furniture!

Flood can also come from another source – a burst mains pipe in your home. This happened to one of our clients, and this sewing machine and old cedar chest of drawers were the only two pieces to survive the accident. They were brought in, and it was another successful restoration job for Renowned.

The flood loss happened to this client two years ago, but the silverware case, buffet and side table are being restored for the third time. The first two restoration attempts were total failures. Third time’s the charm as we came to the rescue and fixed the repair sins of the previous restorers.

 

“A Job Well Done”

Anyone ever had a job go wrong? Not once, not twice but three times?

Hannah came to Renowned furniture on a recommendation. She’s heard that “The guys at Renowned are pretty fair dinkum”!

Well, we are, and sometimes it hurts. We quoted in excess of $5,500.00 to completely strip down, dismantle, rebuild and re-polish this solid Cedar dining suite.

Hannah’s comments during her deliberations were: “You guys are not the cheapest but I’ve heard good things and I am going with you”.

Restored dining suite

Great, we got another job, snatched from the grips of our competitors. Here’s a draft of some of the basic verbiage we send when we get an enquiry:

Renowned Furniture employ some of the finest master craftsmen in south east Queensland with several years’ experience in all facets of fine furniture making, French polishing and furniture restoration. Among our very long list of esteemed clients, socialites and business people, we can also proudly include many of the big insurance companies and insurance repair brokers that turn exclusively to Renowned Furniture and refer to us as “preferred suppliers”. Our award winning quality and finish is second to none. Furniture made or restored by Renowned will last a lifetime.

Our standard process for true, top quality furniture restoration involves a full strip down where we remove all old polish and marks, etc. Some old polishes will react with new polishes over time, which is good to know when considering the type of restoration you’d like done to your piece. We go through every joint and connection and ensure that all joints are sound. Some pieces of furniture that are more than about 60 years old will have ‘animal fat based timber adhesives’ in the joints and this will almost certainly have been compromised over time, so it’s important to be sure that the joints and connections are going to last another life.

The strip and first sand are followed by a 2 pack seal coat in clear to ‘embalm’ the timber. The next step is to sand again, apply tone and colour where required and sand again. The third step is to apply the first of the top/polish coats, then sand again and finally, the finish polish coat to your choice of lustre and gloss level from dead flat through to high sheen.

For re-upholstering, we replace all the internals required to ensure longevity and warranty of new fabrics, so webbing, foam, wadding, gimp and antique nails are all replaced where required as part of the process. Please visit www.warwick.com.au and see if there’s anything there in their vast listings that suits, or alternatively, visit their showroom where the very friendly and helpful staff can assist.

We are happy to quote for a lower level of restoration, though this really needs to be done in direct consultation with you to be sure we are both in agreement and have a full understanding of the work being carried out.

Well, the worst things that happened with the dining suite project were:

1. The cedar had some kind of (unknown) oil or chemical embedded in the timber making the re-polish a nightmare. We actually redid the polishing 3 times.
2. A mistake was made with the fabric supplier when someone (who shall remain nameless) ordered the wrong fabric, so at the 11th hour when we were ready to return deliver and were conducting final checks, we found the error and had to delay with the client yet again.
3. After re- re-upholstering we were ready to send the suite and one of the chairs was damaged in all the double handling. They say these things come in threes, don’t they?

Now the good stuff:

Hannah told the boys how amazed she was and further went on to call me and write as well.

“We are just so thrilled with what you and the guys have done with our suite. The delays were so well worth it in the end and while I know you guys had some issues, we were never asked to pay any additional money. 1000 thanks for a job well done. Old fashioned service in a modern world! You will go far.” 🙂

 

A Hectic Life!

Well, hello dear readers!

We’ve suddenly been receiving random drop ins from many of our suppliers. All with long faces, all with tales of woe about how terribly quiet it’s been lately, all with new specials on consumables, and so on.

We’re unable to keep up with demand and adding to our busy life is one other clanger! I have been head hunted back into a corporate role in the tech industry where my roots lay. So, I bid you all farewell in two weeks’ time and have asked my amazing admin manager (and wife) to take over the newsletter here. Naturally, the boys will also start to contribute, so hopefully it starts to seem fresher and a little different.

One of the best barometers I like to use for how busy things are in local business is chatting to our Courier driver who services all regions nearby and he has also stated that life is terribly slow.

Here’s just a few samples of what we’ve been up to in the past few weeks!

Here, we have some beauties! First (from left) is a sliding ottoman made from solid spotted gum. Next is a simply stunning example of Boar war South African history – a split chest drawer set with some of the finest craftsmanship we’ve seen from that era and region! We think it’s made from a rare exotic called Babinga timber from West Africa. Next is an odd ball (modified) solid Qld silky oak table in for an insurance restoration and the last is another look at the Boar war relic.

First up is a Chinese relic from a bygone era (unfortunately damaged during a home break-in). I know the neighbourhood where this happened (my neighbourhood!) and a vigilant neighbourhood watch gang busted the perpetrators! Then more of the lovely Silky oak lounge suite in for resto and last is a family heirloom – a solid oak roll top desk.

Fine Furniture Restoration: The Projects We Remember

Restoration projects

A lot of projects go through our workshop each year & there are times they’re just a blur to our master craftsmen.

We appreciate that our customers feel an amount of sentimentality, even love, for their furniture that’s why they come to us to bring them back to life instead of simply trading the old with the new.

No matter how many chairs, tables and other pieces of furniture come our way, we remember them all – some more than others. We remember their specific story, the challenges that went with completing each piece, and the little notes of thanks we get from their owners.

So, here are some projects that made a mark with us, here at Renowned:

This project was part restoration, part rebuilding – 6 dining chairs. All 6 were restored, but 2 had broken back rests, so we hand crafted and replaced them.

These chairs have some of the most amazing grain character we have ever seen. The owners were debating whether to just buy new ones, but since the chairs have been in the family for so long, sentimentality won!

Restored dining chairs

 

“We don’t see pieces like this often.” was what we first thought when this dining table was rolled in. It’s a fine example of mid-century craftsmanship and design and our Captain’s Choice Award.

With each restoration job we do, a feeling of newness and fond memories resurface – this is why we make sure we can say each piece of furniture we work on is “a job well done” – and we remember.

Welcome to our Newest Member!

Renowned Furniture are growing!

We have the pleasure to welcome our newest team member, Lachlan, who’s come on board as a first-year apprentice furniture maker/craftsman.

With the work flow continuing to grow and the word spreading that Renowned are among the finest custom furniture men in south east Queensland, we are enjoying a sold order book, plenty of fill in work such as fine furniture restoration, and some solid growth from our big corporate clients.

In fact, the largest of our corporate clients involved nationally in high-end corporate fit outs has recently warned us to “fasten our seat belts” as they have firm orders for the completion of no less than 10 new and refurbished office spaces, with at least five of these requiring big involvement from Renowned Furniture to supply boardroom furniture, CEO’s office furniture, etc. All custom made, all high-end!

We had Lachie on for a 3-month period where he was released from school duties on day a week and could attend the workplace here, and between both parties, we decided that something a little more permanent would work out nicely for us all.

Having had a passion for timber work and including manual arts into his school curriculum, Lachie has proved to be a valuable addition to the team here at Renowned Furniture.

“He pretty much hit the ground running”, one of the master craftsmen said. Our guys are impressed with his “self-starter”and “thinks for himself” qualities, and often, it’s the little things that go a long way. So, good luck Lachie and welcome!