Styles change and Parlours, Sitting Rooms, Drawing Rooms and Living Rooms, have all had their time in fashion and now are out of fashion. Nevertheless, large numbers of fine items of furniture have been made for these more formal spaces, and come in to restoration shops to gain a new life. On this page we feature a number of items we have worked on which still exude the elegance of their former position in the home.
The three tables above were all being placed in a museum featuring decor from the era of the 1860s. Above you see how they looked when we were finished. Below we show some of what needed to be done for each of the tables, though these pictures are all of the table to the right.
Each of these tables was originally glued with hide glue. Any joints which were sound and still holding securely, we left untouched. Most were loose and needed to be taken apart and reglued. The center photo shows the application of hide glue to a joint about to be glued. The third photo shows the technique we used in clamping these tables. We used a screw clamp to squeeze the joint tight and release excess glue, but used an elastic band--a bungee cord-- to hold the joint together while the glue set
When the gluing was done, we waxed and polished the tables to give the soft luster you see above.
The marble top for each table showed some staining which needed to be removed. We used a strong alkaline cleaner designed to work with marble. After allowing the marble to dry we then used fine sanding grits to remove the fine surface scratches which had accumulated over years of use. A final polishing and the marble was ready to be mounted on the table bases.
This radio cabinet was probably built around 1920. To the left you can see what it took nearly a century of use to do. To the right is what it took us a few days to do. A much better direction!
The interesting lines and patterns of this era of furniture is a delight. The warm browns work well with most decorating schemes. We have much better sources for our music however. The challenge for furniture like this is not the restoration we did, but figuring out what to do with it after the restoration is done. Many such piece become an interesting accent piece or a place to drop the mail.
The original veneer had long been missing from this top surface. The new veneer we attached was walnut.
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Now that you have seen what we have done for others, what can we do for you? CONTACTING AND FINDING US
The attractive table above had one flaw, a chip of the corner where circled above, was missing. We filled it and leveled the surface to blend. The challenge was to restore the color. We illustrate the three steps we took to complete this job and eliminate all evidence that this was ever flawed.
This should be obvious, the finished job is above. Below can be seen the wear that existed when it came in. The edge of the top shows much chipping and the gold paint was rubbed, chipped and fading unevenly. We used metal gilding pastes to restore all gilded parts to an even color and sheen. All was then coated with a clear finish.
Two things we love are transformations and beauty. This became a beautiful piece once the transformation in our shop was completed. Extensive repars to the veneer on the doors and some effectively applied accent colors and shading did the trick.
This beautiful cabinet had obvious damage to the top and numerous undesirable wear marks on other surfaces. We stripped and refinished the top, revealing the stunning striped grain pattern. We also cleaned, touched up, waxed and polished the remainder of the piece. It then looked much like it must have looked like when new.
These barrel chairs are as impressive in person as in photo. The lion heads, arm posts and front leg decorations were carved and painted. Those we touched up as needed. The seat rail and back decorations were ormolu.
This is an example of mid-twentieth century design, including the unfortunate experiment with molded plastic decorations, seen here both on the top and front sides–ruined if stripped with even mild strippers. We cleaned the piece, touched it up a bit and recoated it.
This chair isn't technically a living room item, though in some decors it could be. It is mainly interesting because of the two colors. Wicker (seat) and cane (arms and legs) take stain differently. This difference is due to two separate stains being used. Keeping the lines between the two is not easy.