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: