Friday, August 22, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #3 | A Kitchen Story

More and more, I meet with clients who are interested in repurposing—reusing, recycyling, upcycling—call it what you like. Sometimes it's sentimental, sometimes it's budgetary, and sometimes it's just because they believe it's the right thing to do for our planet. Whatever the reason, I think it's always a good idea to consider repurposing if it makes sense in the design of the space.

So I wasn't surprised when a client who was embarking on a kitchen remodel asked me to use some existing cabinets in the new design. She is a green-minded executive of a company that manufactures alternative packaging for liquids. Of course she wants to upcycle!

Inspiration for the kitchen came from the color of her existing blue tile counters. She knew she'd have to lose the counters in the remodel, but asked if I could use THAT color blue in the new design. Easy. Since I knew we'd need to change the color of the repurposed cabinets, it made perfect sense to paint all of the cabinets—old and new—THAT blue.

Here's the before:




Tuesday, July 15, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2 Saving something Sentimental

Wow. That's all my client kept saying when she saw it. Wow.

I knew the hutch would look great,but there is something really exciting about seeing the finished piece in place. Everything comes together in a room and you see that decor-magazine moment. So satisfying.

The color is a little darker than the wall but still blends to give a built-in feel without the heaviness that built-in storage sometimes brings. And because the neutral color echoes the wall, it sits back and lets the beautiful walnut of the table and console pop. The room definitely looks bigger but has retained necessary storage.

Most important, a sentimental family treasure has been given new life as an avant-garde showpiece that will continue to be part of this family for many years.



Sunday, June 29, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2 Saving Something Sentimental

Because the piece was old and had some sun damage, the client was concerned that the finish wouldn't be smooth. I reminded her it wouldn't look like a brand new piece, and that's the beauty of these repurposed pieces—their texture and grain. It's the best part about transforming furniture with paint, their sense of time past, given a fresh look, that gives uniqueness and character. Without it, this piece wouldn't be remarkable.

Our painter had to do some careful sanding to get the crinkles out of the surface without compromising the wood, and fortunately the piece didn't have any major dings. Sanding and priming went smoothly and was done in one day. I could really see it coming together, but my client was still unconvinced. She was out of town now and her husband sent her the photo posted here. I can certainly see why she was nervous!

Painting day arrived and I held my breath as the first coat went on. It's always a surprise to to see the paint color going up for real; the light and reflection can be very different than on the test sheets, no matter how large they are. This time the surprise was a very pleasant one. I could see immediately that the color was spot-on. A light, warm gray, slightly deeper than the wall. Perfect.

All that was left to do was let it dry, reassemble it and get the hardware on before my client returned from out of town.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2 Saving Something Sentimental

The hardware on the hutch had been tarnished as long as my client could remember.

I was hopeful that because the piece was over 60 years old and the quality and craftsmanship of the time, the hardware would be solid brass. But it was going to take some patience and elbow grease, to be sure.

Her handy husband slathered on thick coats of Brasso and let the pieces sit, wiping and reapplying several days in a row.

After hitting the hardware store for some drill-bit buffing heads, the polishing began.

What started as gunky patina green-black knobs ended as shiny, gleaming brass! We all sighed in relief that the almost-transformed piece would sport the original fittings, which really adds to the 50s charm.



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

bdhomesf | Painted Furniture Transformations #2: Saving something sentimental

This client is a good sport. "Well, it can't look much worse than it does now. So send over the painter and let's see what he thinks."

I knew she was attached to the piece, and also that it couldn't be replaced with something Walnut. That would be too much wood for the room, which is approximately 12'x15'. So we made an appointment with the painter.

She said he kind of laughed when he saw the piece. I think because at first glance, it is really funky. The yellow, sun damaged wood. The tarnished, jewel shaped hardware. The rattan panels on the base cabinet doors. But as we discussed the paint job, I could see he quickly found the love and assured us that it was an easy job—one day to prep and prime, a second to paint. Then come back the third day to reassemble it. We scheduled the painting and set off to determine a color.

I could write pages about the six trips to House of Color, repeatedly repainting the test boards, and more than a few eye-rolls from Gonzalo when I kept asking him to add more and more pigment to our little test can. Fortunately, I won't

Suffice it to say that getting the color right for ANY painted piece is likely a lot harder than the skill of actually painting it. Because the vision was for the piece to blend in to the wall and look somewhat built-in, we started with the wall color (BM Pale Oak #OC-20)...we ended with a #2 base, 2x the pigment formula of OC-20 and a little extra magic from Gonzalo to mix a custom color. Painter said use a Satin finish to minimize the flaws.



Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

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