Dolce Designs Studio
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  • December21st

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    Many of us have a decent grasp on how to make our homes and work places more eco-friendly. Having so many choices of fixture bulbs, coffee cups and grocery bags these days certainly helps, but what about the furniture?  Eco-Friendly furniture has great environmental advantages and although not yet mainstream, it also carries a higher price tag until popular demand makes larger distribution a reality.

    Recently as we planned for our new storefront, we landed this charming bungalow on Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood and all of a sudden it was time to bring the funk, elegance and our signature personality to this new home. In our vicinity there is no shortage of celebrated furniture stores featuring magnificent pieces, with some not-so magnificent price tags for the budget-wise. Make no mistake: I love pretty, new, shiny things! But style decisions needed to be made and fast: Do we invest in the current cutting edge furnishings for our studio or can we find a cool compromise of style and still practice environmental responsibility?

    Well, I have always been fascinated by the great craftsmanship of antique furniture. My passion for woodcarvings and precise, seamless junctions of veneers has been embedded on my brain for quite some time! I recall being a young boy and visiting my dear great grandmother’s home decorated with oversized French colonial armoires, tables and chairs, and remember how I would spend hours staring at the pieces imagining how the wood layered so perfectly together.

    After flipping through many décor catalogs and spending afternoons visiting local furniture stores, I ran into this great piece that reminded me of my childhood! An incredible long table made of solid hardwoods, featuring a parquet inlay top and gracious legs. It was hard to see over the many layers of varnish but I knew there were good bones underneath. It was at that moment I shared with my business partner the idea of collecting old furniture and resurfacing it to fit our concept. We went with our gut instinct and the transformation began. This was not an easy task, I may add.  We had to learn the proper ways to strip so many layers of paint, varnish, and battle wounds of many well served years. As we began stripping the deep layers the underlying beauty started to unveil. The excitement was accelerating and I turned into a joyful child seeing such magnificent craftsmanship!

    These timeless pieces were manufactured with higher standards that have withstood many decades. Today, we look everywhere for pieces to restore and have become full-fledged recycling junkies! We’ve made it our goal to drive all over town if necessary to find more key elements for our blank canvas. This process allows us to implement our design aesthetic while gaining skills in the art of recycling, and we get to respect Mother Earth creatively!

    We are so excited to apply this concept to our daily event products. Dolce Designs Studio already recycles vases and provides discounts to foster re-use, but now the plan is to encourage our patrons to uncover even more new ways to maintain an Eco-Friendly lifestyle!

    Here are few shots of the restored furniture:

    resurface and reuse

    Before: Tabletop

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    Still in the raw state

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    Deep in the process

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    Looking lovely, and pretty useful

    resurface and reuse

    Gorgeous lines!

    resurface and reuse

    She cleans up well!

  • December5th

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    A few months ago my dear friend Lindsay Price invited me to a dinner party at the home of Curtis Stone.  In between many wonderful and delightful courses she shared her enthusiastic vision of her recently founded organization, Children Raising Children. Also at the table was Malena Ruth, the founder of African Millennium Foundation (AMF).  As the night progressed, I learned about them joining forces to create a fund raising event. The main purpose of the event was to create awareness and a better lifestyle for children around the world. Very seldom do we encounter individuals willing to make a difference in the world; such kind and selfless acts automatically command my respect and admiration. Touched by their passion and commitment, I immediately offered our services and Dolce Designs Studio jumped on board.

    We definitely had our work cut out for us. We planned weekly meetings via conference calls and whipped out our Rolodex to reach all the main players to make this event a success. Next up: location, location, location! We were able to land a great property with an amazing view of Santa Monica beach in Pacific Palisades. Curtis Stone also joined the party and provided amazing food. The publicist made endless calls to everyone willing to participate and Lindsay called upon her friends such as Rebecca Romijn, Jerry O’Connell, Martin Sheen and Brooke Shields among others to join the party. We began receiving generous donations as well as more power players willing to participate in the main event and the excitement just kept rising.

    Being a full event and production company, we were able to reach out to other colleagues such as lighting designers, rental houses and media outlets to play key parts in building the framework for this notable cause. The challenge was to outline a grand event while keeping in mind the cause and purpose: fund raising, not spending.

    Fundraisers can be very rewarding as well as time consuming. It was important for us to stay true to the cause while maintaining the integrity of the event. Creating the perfect team was the true key to our success. And on the day of the event the weather was wonderful while vendors and friends of the organizations worked hard setting up the midday brunch.

    We experienced a fantastic turn out! The silent auction, live auction and tickets sales reached our estimated goal and beyond, and we met fantastic new friends. It is so gratifying to create a space for individuals to come together and take a stand in the world!

    Here is a link with more info and pictures from the event:

    http://1amf.org/news_20101010.php