Dixie Dutch Design

Furniture Reinvention :: Custom Home Effects

Piano Bench, Reimagined

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Dixie Dutch Design

An old piano bench, reimagined into a vintage-distressed, colorful, living room centerpiece?  Let’s do it.

I got down to business last week and the hardest part of this project was the fact that my neck/shoulder went out halfway through.  What’s up with that?  I literally worked the inside detailing in cycles: heating pads/painkiller/anti-inflammatory while resting on the couch to short bursts of paintbrush/paint until I was stiff and couldn’t move anymore, repeat.  But that’s life, eh? ;)

  Here it is completed, a custom order for a friend of mine.  The vision/idea was all hers, I just had to make it come to life!  We were matching the exterior to a greyish-blue distressed ladder in her dining room and the interior needed to have some fun, geometric contrast.

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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Happy week my dears!

Matching Mid-Century, Vintage End Tables

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I am in serious love with these little end tables!  They are just waiting for their transformation debut!  Look for them in the Shop and snatch them up for a custom order all your own!

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A Bright, Summer Emerald

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A perfect bit of color!

This is Valspar’s version of Pantone’s color of the year.  I find this emerald to be more of a bright, summery version than a true, deep green shade.  Rich greens and emeralds are so in right now, just like vibrant cobalt was the it color last year.  I get warm fuzzies inside when I look at the below photo showcasing the wide range of greens for so many reasons.  I think I need to get a print of it and hang it on my wall.  It gives me my own version of what the Emerald City in Oz would look like with all of it’s variety.  If I could, I would love a room that was all exclusively green pieces.  Now THAT would be a work of art room!

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Bright and vibrant shades on a few pieces in your decor help them to stand out and become a focal point, without being overwhelming.  While we are in the full swing of vintage, modern, reinvented and eclectic furniture trend, this chair fits the bill.  A true vintage modern collector can use this piece as a child’s chair, but it can also be used any way imaginable, such as a plant stand, a bedside table, even a “shelf” for stacks of books.  The sky’s the limit!

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Look for it in the Shop!

Design & Style

I know that I am few and far between this past few weeks on the blog!  Let me update you, my dear Readers!

I am still taking inventory in and transforming furniture into works of art.  In fact, I have some pieces I’m brainstorming and will have up shortly.  Please come back and revisit to see what I have to showcase! I’m planning on giving more “how-to” posts and tutorials in the near future for those who are interested so be sure to check back for those as well.  Also, always remember that I take custom design work!  So, if you have a great piece of furniture that you want re-designed but don’t have a clue where to start or the time to finish it yourself, be sure to contact me at dixiedutchdesign@gmail.com and I would love to help!

I also just started working as a stylist at the brand new Ann Taylor LOFT in Lynchburg, VA so my weeks have been a little busier than normal but I’m LOVING it!  If you are local, definitely come in for a visit.  I adore style and design, whether it is home decor or clothing.  I am actually learning more and more how much I love it.  This new venture as an associate stylist has been an absolute blast and my experience in home decor styling crosses over into personal styling so much.  I won’t bog down Dixie Dutch Design with posts about LOFT, but I wanted to let you all know so that you understand I’m keeping busy in the world of in-style design.  With that said, my desire and plan is to use this new position to help fuel Dixie Dutch Design and continue to present you all with quality pieces and ideas.

Happy June!  Can you believe it is almost over?

How to Improvise: Antique Trunk Refinish

As anyone who has refinished furniture can tell you, improvisation and flexibility are key.  Some projects go off without a hitch just as you plan them.  Others require detours as you go along for the simple fact that this painting furniture business, no matter how experienced you are, is often one of trial and error.  Actually, a large part of the expertise is learning how to improvise well based on the piece! This can happen quite a bit when working with older, vintage and antique pieces of furniture.  Sometimes you simply don’t know what you might run into until your in the middle of the project, which can be fun and exciting.  The refinish on this trunk was no exception!

This is what the trunk looked like when we brought it home:

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Dixie Dutch Design

As you can see, it is old (ancient!), the metal was starting to rust and show, and it was painted ages ago in a coat of black paint.  If you read my post about the design ideas I had for the trunk, you will remember that I was going for a great statement piece that was versatile and complementary to our existing decor.  I chose a cream color for the body and a classic oak stain for the wood slats. The hardware would be painted a rich gold for contrast.  These were some of my inspiration photos:

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Well, after stripping the trunk (like, three or four times….I lost count), it was clear that the old, black paint was not going to completely come out of the crevices in the wood slats.  (The metal body didn’t matter so much since that was going to primed and painted anyway.)  After stripping and standing, stripping and sanding, it just wasn’t going to happen. There was no changing that fact.  Out went my idea of a classic oak stain on the slats, in came improvising.  The black paint was just too dark and the wood was in pretty bad shape.

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  My only option was to change my whole plan and paint the wood slats or to go with a deeper stain to hide the numerous imperfections.  After all that work stripping, I refused to give in and paint it so I opted to give a dark walnut stain a whirl and see what would happen.  In the below photo you can see the exposed, freshly stripped and sanded slat on the right alongside a first stain coat on the slat on the left.  It worked quite well!  After staining I sanded down any rust on the metal body, primed and painted it.  I also added some distressing glaze to the body.

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Aside from having to improvise a bit on the stain I originally had planned, this was one of the most time consuming projects I’ve taken on.  This was simply because of the different elements incorporated: stripping, sanding, staining, painting, glazing, as well as doing detail painting on the hardware.  The extra time was worth it in the end though! I love the contrast all in one piece:

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What do you think?  Share your thoughts and give a shout out if you are painting or refinishing your own furniture!  I’d love to hear about it!

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