Monday, March 21, 2011

Fine Furnishings

During our time away from the farmhouse, we inevitably get involved in some sort of Vermont-related activity, most often taking the form of furniture restoration. Much like our love for this beaten up old home, we have become hooked on run-down antiques that are begging to be saved and restored to their former loveliness.

Antiquing is not a new hobby for either of us. It's kind of odd to imagine a 6-year-old enjoying the occasional visit to the antique store, but this was in fact my upbringing. Tony has been building and fixing furniture for years, and together we have developed a love for finding and fixing old pieces of furniture. There's a certain joy in taking a beautifully crafted item that now looks like it belongs in a garbage heap and putting in the hard work to bring it back to life after 100 years of neglect. I get a kind of adrenaline rush, lame as that may be, every time we make visible progress on one of these items.

We first discovered our renovation talents after taking an old barn door and antique cradle rocker and, after sanding and staining them, combined them to create the dining table in my Brooklyn apartment. The end result was pretty great, or so we thought, and a new hobby was born:

While we have specifically sought out some items, including two claw foot tubs and an antique washstand, the majority of our acquisitions are pieces we simply came across and fell in love with. An antiques dealer down the road from the farmhouse has two barns full of old goods, which is where we discovered a cabinet with a hand-cut glass door that we plan on converting to a wine cabinet. We've also enjoyed 'pickin' through antique shops around Pennsylvania's Amish country. The more beat up the items are, the better, because that means they'll be priced at something we can afford. Elbow grease is, after all, free :)

We're keeping a record of our progress with each item in slideshow #5, titled Furniture Restorations. I will put up a post when there are new photos added to this album. Feel free to check out what we've done so far! Our wine cabinet is close to completion. It was hell scraping off the layers of paint in the cabinet and all over the glass door, but it's been cleaned and is nearly prepped for staining. We are now working on refinishing another cabinet (no purpose defined yet) and a hallway bench/coat rack.

We hope you find the work as interesting as we do! Personally, watching Tony take apart a hallway bench, which could have been knocked over by a sneeze, and turn it into a sturdy item that won't injure you upon sitting down is fascinating stuff to me.

Enjoy and keep checking back for project updates!
- Melissa

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