It’s a common story…a once much used and well-loved piece of furniture is relegated to the back shed as storage or a possible future project and is either forgotten or sits so long it falls into a further state of dis-repair. Most people at this point see it as beyond repair and out to the kerbside it goes. We love these kinds of projects because they really illustrate how some professional attention can transform a piece. We’ll let the below shot of the finished project speak for itself
This traditional suite had lived in its home since the 1920’s or 30’s and had never left. With the chairs looking a bit worse for wear and a couple that had gone missing over the years the owner decided it was time for a refresh, and a couple of matching chairs to make the suite whole again.
Whilst pulled apart for restoration we copied the parts to re-create the missing chairs.
The owner wanted the suite to be restored true to its original condition, so the old finish was removed and a new French polish was completed.
The end result is stunning, and there’s no way to tell which chairs are the restored originals or the new copies.
Many years ago our client rented a home and discovered a sideboard that had been left behind. They cleaned and painted it and brought it into their home. It was used for many years but sadly after much use they had to say goodbye to it. They came to us with a photo of the old sideboard and a sketch of a new one and asked us to custom build a replacement and this is the result.
This traditional sideboard is made from Silver Ash, colour toned and polished to match the clients existing furnishings and has soft close drawer runners.
This chair that had once belonged to our client’s mother and had been hidden away in storage. It was brought in for a freshen up and some new upholstery. It is now going to take pride of place in our clients home. We think the results speak for themselves.
How’s this for a find? Our client noticed this piece in a second hand store and snapped it up.
The piece had some veneer issues and the faux drawers down the side had a large crack all the way through. The leather top had completely perished due to the age of the piece, and some of the drawer pulls were cracked or missing. Also, one of the feet had come off whilst in transit to us. It was also in need of a full clean.
With antiques in original condition it is very important to ensure that any repair or restoration work is sympathetic to the age of the piece. Generally, whilst it is ok to repair or restore antique items in order to ensure that they retain their value the restorer must keep intact their original character. After all, a piece must be less than 50% restored to be considered a real antique.
Our first step as always is to complete the major repair work. After this the piece was given a deep clean all over. We then finished with a fresh layer of French polish and a replacement leather insert for the top.
An interesting side note to this project – It had clearly been in the home or office of someone of importance as we discovered it had a Chubb detector lock fitted to it. These locks began production around 1820 and were designed to alert the owner to tampering. If someone without the key tried to pick the lock and look at the contents within the lock broke and the next time the owner tried to use his individual key to access the desk it wouldn’t fit and required a makers master key to open it. Only someone who had items or documents of value would have required such a lock!
These older style desks make a great addition to any home office once you give them an update. We’ve stripped and sanded back the old finish and re-finished with a clear coat, replaced the old worn leather top, replaced the hardware and rebuilt the timber drawer glides and sides to allow the drawers to run smoothly again.
We sure get to see some interesting pieces…..This much loved elephant stool had been through the wringer and chewed on by the family dog. We repaired the chips in the seat, gave him back his tusks and touched up his trunk. Good as new…. our client was stunned by the result.
This stool came in for a full restoration. Over time finishes can yellow or darken, and fabric and foam can wear and deteriorate. We stripped back the old finish, refinished and replaced the fabric and foam. This old family piece is looking fresh again and our client can’t wait to start using it again.
We have a few mid-century extension tables in for restoration at the moment. This one held meaning for our client as she remembers sitting at it as a child and wanted it restored so that her own children could enjoy it too. The problem with a lot of these types of tables is that the tops are made from “chipboard” which tends to swell and deteriorate over the years. We re-used the original base frame and solid timber edge and replaced the old top and now it looks as good as new, and will last another generation.