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Atelier Charivari: Making Old Furniture Look New Again

Hello and happy Monday to you! It’s the last big week before the holidays, so I bet lots of you are running around trying to get everything prepared in time. Hopefully you are allowing yourself some blog reading breaks. :) I have something very inspirational to share with you today that came from one of my lovely readers who told me recently about Atelier Charivari, which is a blog but also a shop in Rouen, France that specializes in making old furniture new again and she right, I love the work of owner Soizic Menut! Wow! I feel really inspired seeing how he brought back to life pieces that would have otherwise been passed by at a yard sale, flea market or second hand shop — but when you have a good eye and can see the potential, and if you have the knack and patience for restoring things, then you can do anything.

Atelier Charivari

The thing to really look for when you find old furniture is quality — I don’t mean surface scratches or even small dents or missing hardware — that is not a problem. Most of the time, it’s the dents and scratches that add charm but if charm isn’t what you are looking for, you can sand the item down and paint it to look new. What you have to look for, above everything else, is first do you like it (of course) but next, it needs to have good bones — it must be sturdy and made well. Here is a very helpful article that may help you when it comes to choosing quality wood furniture, How to Check Wood Furniture for Quality.

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

This above is exactly the dream cabinet that I am on the prowl for, I want this cabinet so badly because it has four doors and shelving inside so that I can store all of my fun crafty things in — I could get organized and finally empty my boxes — the ones that have been packed since June 2009. Oh yes, gulp is right! I wish they had another or that I could find something just like it and soon — because I want to get my work room finished so badly it really hurts at this point. You know that feeling?

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Metal lockers, metal tables with exposed rivets, wood tables with metal tops, metal bookcases with wood shelves, these are all quite the rage currently, have you noticed? I love this look shown above – mixing metal lockers with old painted furniture. My husband has a wood locker with a metal base and hardware, all in black, where he stores his photo equipment in his office and I love it. It’s my favorite piece in his office in addition to the gorgeous old bookcase he picked up in Berlin that looks exactly like this (only his has ball feet) and the outside is black with a cream interior.

Another tip, when you paint a piece of furniture use the best paint that you can afford. Farrow & Ball is a personal favorite of mine. If you like what you see in these photos, choosing a color from this palette would help you to re-create the look on your own piece of furniture in one day or less!

I love Atelier Charivari and hope you do too! If you are interested in ordering from them and live in mainland Europe, you may contact them if you see something on their blog that you are interested in purchasing.

(images: atelier charivari)

Posted in furniture on December 13, 2010

Knack Studio: Refurbished and Fabulous!

Knack Studio in my home state of South Carolina really has the knack for making my day (I know, corny intro) and making me feel super inspired when it comes to giving old furniture a new life. Designer Barb Blair is so talented, whenever I peek into her etsy shop I find some cute piece of furniture given a creative face lift that I wish I could order and have shipped over here to me. I always find something I like. For instance take this blue gray distressed piece…

Knack Studio

Cute, right? It is called Aziel and goes for $625 so while not exactly bargain basement prices, you have to remember that these pieces are vintage and have one-of-a-kind paint jobs with unique hardware so no two are alike. Try that at most stores… Making $625 seem really worth it considering what time and effort must have been invested in restoring this little girl…

What made me think about Knack today? Easy. She commented earlier on my blog! I love when people comment because often it’s a reminder to a very busy me to have a peek in on someone that I’ve been a bad girl at keeping up with. In this case, Barb’s comment connected me back to her amazing world (Thanks, Barb!) and now I can share the good vibes by showing you her work in case you’ve not seen it before.

Knack Studio

Next there is Imogen in pumpkin orange with blue knobs, Nelly in sunshine yellow (so cute!), or the Rachel in gray with yellow knobs. But wait! There’s more beautiful pieces to be inspired by… Like this incredilicious black dresser with the floral motif and this stunner of a dresser in turquoise. I mean seriously Barb, it’s not fair that you are so creative – you make us look at those curbside finds in a whole new light.

Knack Studio

What do you think about Barb’s work? Did you catch the store tour that I shared here on decor8 in March of ’09? If so, you don’t have to miss it a second time. CLICK HERE to see the gorgeously inspiring Knack shop. Enjoy!

(images: barb blair)

Posted in furniture on December 07, 2010

Inspired By Fritz Hansen

I don’t write a lot about classic Danish furniture but now that I’m friends with our Danish neighbors upstairs, it has been on my mind more than ever before especially since they work in the wonderful world of furniture + design. It’s great to make a meaningful connection since it can turn you on to things you’d not given much thought to before… For instance yesterday they made me a beautiful calender candle in a flower pot with numbers on it that is a very traditional Danish tradition and I felt so touched by this kind gesture. The idea is to light the candle each day beginning December 1st to give a sense of relaxation during a busy season and often it is lit at the breakfast table in the morning. You have to blow it out before the next number, isn’t that a sweet tradition? But back to Danish design, just this past week I was in a showroom looking for lighting and found myself drooling over the PK22 Easy Chair in white shown in the first image below — do you know this chair?

Republic of Fritz Hansen

It’s quite expensive but impressive as it is very lovely and can fit in a variety of rooms. Truth is, I’ve been dying to own a pair of these babies for years now… though I’m still not sure I can spend nearly 10K on two chairs – eeek! I’m sure you have similar drool-like-a-fool objects on your wish list.You want them but…. And the BUT part is the part that holds you back, right!?

Fritz Hansen, also known as Republic of Fritz Hansen, is a furniture design company founded in 1872. Designers who have worked for Fritz Hansen, a skilled carpenter and designer himself, include Hans J. Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjærholm and Piet Hein as well as contemporary furniture designers like Cecilie Manz (her Essay table shown directly below is a dream dining room table of mine), Hiromichi Konno and Kasper Salto. Speaking of tables, I have to show you the table I bought today for my work area — I’m doing back flips over it, so I’ll show and tell later…

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Republic of Fritz Hansen

Fritz Hansen’s collaborations have resulted in some famous, classic icons of Danish Design. You may be familiar with one of the most enduring symbols of the Modernist movement, the quirky Egg chair, designed of all places in a garage over 50 years ago. I just love seeing these iconic pieces in the gorgeously styled environments shown above, don’t you? Gorgeous.

Do you have a favorite design classic? If so, what would you love to own if money were no object?

(images: fritz hansen)

Posted in furniture on December 02, 2010

Trends: Layering Patterns On Furniture

I feel so inspired today thanks to my friend who just completed a trend forecast for her client and I had the honor of seeing it a few moments ago. It was this collection of beautiful and super creative mood boards, so now I feel like I’m flying! It is so important as a creative person to have a few others in your immediate circle who are also creative because on days when you feel drained, their energy can really pick you up and she certainly did this for me today.

Layering Trend

Speaking of trends, I’ve been noticing something more and more when it comes to furniture — fabric layering. I came across this new collection from Moroso called Sushi and I think it’s inspiring to see the mix of color and pattern. This collection, designed by Edward Van Vliet, is described as a, “sophisticated wrapping concept inspired by universal layers, found also in nature and architecture… each layer distinguished by a different sort of upholstery.”

Layering Trend

I love sofas with different layers and I’m guessing this is all an extension of the patchwork pattern trend and we’ll only see more and more sofas and chairs with various layers of pattern and color because it is one way in which the customer can personalize their design a bit, isn’t it? Why buy the standard beige sofa when you can buy one that you had a hand in designing… For instance, I’m currently loving the idea of a sofa with a solid back and base but with patterned seat cushions. Tricia Guild does this so well and I love it and want to be able to afford some of her furniture someday because I think her upholstery is to die for, never mind when mixed and matched so beautifully and lavishly layered onto a sofa or chair.

When I was in London in one of her shops, I found a gorgeous sofa called festival that had a mix of fabrics on it and I couldn’t believe a sofa could be so beautiful! It was definitely a show stopper. I would do almost anything to own a Designers Guild sofa — Orbit and Hayward are my favorites.

Delish! What do you think of this layering trend? Would you try it?

(images: moroso and designers guild)

Posted in furniture, trends on September 15, 2010

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