You Dream It – We Build It


A rather beat-up, solid wood dresser had been in their family for years. They wanted to keep the item but have it transformed. After discussing their wishes, budget and colour preferences, we got to work. Using as much of the original dresser as possible, and adding a few pieces of reclaimed wood for reinforcement here and there, we made a one-of-a-kind bench out of it. We even found the fabric for the cushion on a great sale and had a London woman make a custom cushion for the bench – all for less than what the fabric originally cost! On the back, we affixed a little story about the dresser’s history and how it came to become a bench, which now sits proudly in their home’s foyer.

This dated cabinet was showing its age but it had good bones. There had to be a way to keep it as a practical storage solution – and there was. Remove dated glass door and drawers. Paint the interior with hard-working latex and the exterior with beautiful chalk paint. Now it’s a showpiece instead of an eyesore.

Our client needed a bigger-than-average TV cabinet but she didn’t want to pay the big bill for something custom. We sourced an old but solid cabinet from Goodwill and gave it a thorough cleaning. The live-edge patchwork wood was slab available for a fraction of its original value after someone else (not us!) wrecked it with a poor sanding job and finish.

We replaced the felt-covered door centres with beadboard. Removed, cleaned and shined the hardware until it looked new. Sanded and then screwed on the top, and gave it all a good coat of espresso chalk paint (fossil paint by Van Gogh) and a finish of non-toxic wax. Now it holds a flat-screen TV and tucks away all of the electronics and DVDs for a fraction of the cost of custom.

The couple wanted a two-tier plant stand that wasn’t ordinary. This is why we hang onto stuff! We hauled a vintage tea trolley out of the “stuff” pile. It had been there a while.

antique tea trolley with castors on the front legs and large wheels on the back

We cleaned it, took it apart, attached the table leaves to strategic places – one as a backsplash and the other as an extention of the shelf – painted it all with a fresh white in latex. The wheels got a coating of flat black spray paint. And voila! Unique two-level plant stand!

tea trolley now with one leaf attached as a blacksplash, one as a shelf, holding potted plants. Trolley is a fresh white with black wheels









Sometimes, we get pieces that no longer live up to their original promise. That was the case with this bathroom vanity. It had a lot of interesting features, including two sculpted columns so we thought – hey – fireplace surround! The electric fireplace fit inside it. The challenge was coming up with the size, the finish and the mantle.

The first mantle idea didn’t stay – the doors came off and the whole thing was painted. In fact, we finally decided to cut it down further and do the top in barnboard. Sometimes it’s a case of trying several things before hitting on the right one.

The body of the vanity became a new surround for a plain little electric fireplace.

Its sides became the side panels of a table that we built. Nothing goes to waste!




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