Archive for Furniture Design

Designing a Custom Table

I wanted to share with you a peak at a custom table that I am designing. I had a strong desire to make my ideas into something real, and after working piece by piece, I have developed a design process. It starts with inspiration. For this table, my client, Veronica came to me with the idea and picture of a table that she really loved.

Next, I pictured a piece that would meet her visual and space requirements.

I often sketch by hand, which is a traditional technique. I like took a class called rapid visualization that gave me skills to do relatively quick hand sketches. I know a lot of designers work in different ways, and many prefer computer generated sketches.

I always wondered where I could buy beautiful quality hardwood. When, I needed a countertop custom cut, I came across House of Hardwood through a referral.

Ever since, I have been sourcing FSC hardwood for my walnut sofa wraps.  I always wanted to have a custom piece made by the carpenters there. I enlisted Andres to help us take this piece from the page to reality. He helped us to select materials and tweak the measurements into something precise.

We decided to use White Oak hardwood for the top and a paint grade pine for the base, along with a White Oak plywood for the shelf.

Once we had the carpentry complete, Veronica and I experimented with several stains before deciding on the perfect shade of gray. We wanted a warm gray that would compliment the chairs and stools in her kitchen, along with a grayish white for the base.

Here is a snap of the test shades.

Next week, I plan to reveal the fully painted and finished piece!

I would be curious to hear more about your design process. How do you transform your creative ideas into something tangible?

So far, my summer has been filled with creative challenges. Over the weekend we finished Lulu’s bathroom, later in the week, I plan to show pictures of the demolition.

 

 

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Ombre Desk Before and After

My client was inspired by an ombre painted desk that she had seen on this cute furniture blog.

As soon as we knew that we wanted a 6 drawer double sided desk, I began to scour all of my favorite vintage locations around Los Angeles. This desk was in good condition, all the drawers worked properly and ended up being the perfect fit for the space at a little less than 42″ wide.

Admittedly, I like white furniture, but this piece had a few quirks, bumps and scratches in the surface and a less than smooth paint job with drips!

I spent a lot of time just sanding it down, filling dents with wood filler and priming it. Then, I would go back and repeat the sanding step between coats of white paint.

The colors on the desk are completely hand-mixed except for the darkest color, Guava Jam by Benjamin Moore. You can find out more about this process that I did on my Ombre Dresser DIY.

 

Also, the lighting in the photo is making the base color Guava appear more orangey and darker than it really is…the outdoor studio picture in daylight is the most accurate.

After completing this, I can not wait to sand down my own desk in my office…I am considering a 2 tone gray desks with shiny new knobs…I will be sure to post pictures of the process.

Later this week, I will share photos of a mosaic table that I designed with an artist friend, Edy Pickens over the weekend. We were art-making by the poolside and making summer last!

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Modern Classic Guest Room

It has been a fun and rewarding project working with my client Paul, on his guest bedroom this month. He wanted to create a classically inspired, comfortable and modern space for his many guests to enjoy on their visits to L.A. Our original concept began with a black and white palette and a hint of Hollywood charm.

You may be surprised at the difference that we made by simply changing the lighting, headboard and focal point in the space. I call this a bedroom reinvented! One major change was in the overhead lighting. Although, I wasn’t sure about orb chandelier in the bedroom at first, I absolutely love it over the bed. I see how visually light and stunning it feels.

Another favorite accent that I added are the classic swing arm brass sconces placed by the new gray linen tufted headboard. The warm gold and the cool gray-blue are the perfect color combination!

The gray linen headboard was special ordered and a great price for it’s quality. Both Paul and I liked the sophistication of the winged sides with the silver nail head finish. The pillows and sheets layer together to create a Hollywood style. The bedding is a super soft white cotton linen that is trimmed with a dark gray edge. The pillows are a mix of silk, velvet, and cotton, so lots of textures and patterns combine and work together.

The nightstands were one of the best finds ever. We had a blast looking for them at the Santa Monica Antique Market. You can see how they looked before with the layers of old white paint…It is amazing how an antique piece can be fully restored to it’s original beauty. We used Ebony colored stain by Minwax.

Here is a closer look at the carved legs and feet. They have a claw and ball style and I would date these as a 1930’s Hollywood Regency designs? Any experts out there with ideas?

I promise even better professional photos when we do the actual photo shoot along with a few room updates…we still have some art to arrange and a modern chair in the works.

On another note, if you have a bedroom or guest room that could really use a little extra love contact me. You may be surprised how fun and easy it is to work with a designer to pull it together.

Next, I will show you how I custom designed a large round hanging mirror for a client in Birmingham, Alabama…until next time have a fun and safe 4th of July weekend.

 

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Ombre Dresser DIY

This week, I thought I could share with you a few process pictures on how I create my custom Ombre Dressers. This dresser was created for a woman in Louisiana.

I will admit that the before picture of the dresser in green came out rather funky and charming making the original look cooler than it actually was. In reality, it has good bones, with a handful of chips and scratches on the body of the piece.

It seems I’m not the only one admiring the ombre trends this summer from everything to dip-dyed clothing to ombre hair coloring. This picture shows the 4 main steps that I take in recreating a vintage piece to an ombre dresser.

Step 1: Sanding and removing extra paint knicks and scrapes

Step 2: I prime the dresser with plenty of white to overpower the funky green shade. I use a smooth foam roller like the kind use for cabinets. Then, I sand and fill-in dents with a wood filler in between coats.

Step 3: I repair the bottom of a damaged drawer by having new piece of masonite cut to fit and securing it with wood glue and my staple gun.

Step 4: The dresser is ready for paint.

I enjoy painting wood as much as I love to paint on paper. I relish hand mixing all the peachy shades of paint for this dresser. Once a hue has been hand-mixed, it is virtually impossible to recreate the exact color. I store leftovers in airtight containers for touch-ups before shipping the piece.

The finishing touch are the dainty silver mercury glass knobs which make the drawers look elegant. You can view my Ocean Waves Ombre dresser in my shop! I can’t decide which palette, I like the best Guava Jam or Peacock Jade.

Is there anything that you are dying to try this trend out on this Summer?

Last weekend, I installed the guest bedroom in Burbank and I have some initial pictures that I am ready to share soon!

 

 

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Ocean Waves Ombre Dresser: Before and After

Today, I am back from my trip to Cancun and feeling refreshed. There is an abundance of fantastic work around my studio to dive into. One piece that I recently finished re-imagining, is the Ocean Waves Ombre Teal Dresser. I chose the original vintage piece for the solid structure and unique mid-century style slant of the drawers.

I created this piece through gentle sanding, painting and restoration. I have perfected the art of finishing furniture through experience and over time. I always use a basic primer and generally 3-4 coats of paint, so that the surface is protected.

The colors are hand mixed paints in gradient that was partly inspired by our recent trip to Cancun, the clear blue waters and the waves. Can you believe the depth of those blue green hues!?!

After this vacation, I finally felt free from stress and relaxed! I vowed to visit Cancun (or Hawaii:) more often.

In the same spirit of summer, I have created a white belt wrapped mirror. It is beachy and mid century and touch of vintage, mostly modern, simply how I like my decor to be.

I get a thrill out of looking for the perfect vintage belts to accent these pieces. I like the texture and age of the brass studs on this one, along with the way that white and gold look when paired together.

Lastly, I discovered this neat European publication called  Re.flect magazine, for those of you overseas. I am really proud to have my ombre dresser alongside many cool products featured here this season.

Do you have any vacations on the horizons this Summer? What summer trends inspire you? Please share!

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Lighting Installation + Styling

The holidays are fast approaching and I have many exciting projects to share:

A DIY of this chair (restyled below) over at the awesome Canadian blog the Purple Fig. I created this step by step how to.

I also like this photo for something else…maybe a new banner…hint, hint;)

The past weekend was chock full of installations and ultimate satisfaction. I worked on the final lighting install of tranquil spacious bedroom. Adding a chandelier in the center of the room created a focal point and brightened the space.

In addition to this, we swapped out the Robert Abbey lamps above for cool 1920s style torpedo sconces. I still love the Rbert Abbey lamp base, but the shade needed to give off more light or be changed. The new sconces provide directional light for reading.

You can see more detailed view of this Residential Transformation that I have been working on all year.

Next, if you can believe it, I worked on yet another install this weekend. We completed the modern reception desk installation on Saturday. We got creative by reusing an existing piece of IKEA furniture and gave it an upgrade by customizing a facade for it. I’m liking the white for now, but I could also see it painted in gray in a few months.

Which color do you vote for the Reception Desk?

Happy Wednesday!

 

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Celebrating Black and White

With the holidays fast approaching, I stitched these black and white cloth napkins with some fabric remnants from the black and white chairs that I reupholstered.

Have you begun to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday? Will you do any decorating?

I have been working hard on an article for a new Canadian blogazine called The Purple Fig.(I will let you know as soon as it launches.) I am super enthused to share the step by step tutorial for this before and after chair upholstery.

Here is a sneak peak at how the chairs looked before I got a hold of them. I think you will agree they looked kind of crazy. The paint was either chippy in spots or goopy in others.

Stay tuned for the update on how they will be transformed. I have another BEAUTY out in  the workshop today that I am going to begin sanding. Typing fast because I seriously can’t wait!

Have a fab weekend. See you Monday, when I post pictures of the new project!

Hilary

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