Atelier Charivari: Making Old Furniture Look New Again

Hello and happy Monday to you! It's the last big week before the holidays, so I bet lots of you are running around trying to get everything prepared in time. Hopefully you are allowing yourself some blog reading breaks. :) I have something very inspirational to share with you today that came from one of my lovely readers who told me recently about Atelier Charivari, which is a blog but also a shop in Rouen, France that specializes in making old furniture new again and she right, I love the work of owner Soizic Menut! Wow! I feel really inspired seeing how he brought back to life pieces that would have otherwise been passed by at a yard sale, flea market or second hand shop -- but when you have a good eye and can see the potential, and if you have the knack and patience for restoring things, then you can do anything.

Atelier Charivari

The thing to really look for when you find old furniture is quality -- I don't mean surface scratches or even small dents or missing hardware -- that is not a problem. Most of the time, it's the dents and scratches that add charm but if charm isn't what you are looking for, you can sand the item down and paint it to look new. What you have to look for, above everything else, is first do you like it (of course) but next, it needs to have good bones -- it must be sturdy and made well. Here is a very helpful article that may help you when it comes to choosing quality wood furniture, How to Check Wood Furniture for Quality.

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

This above is exactly the dream cabinet that I am on the prowl for, I want this cabinet so badly because it has four doors and shelving inside so that I can store all of my fun crafty things in -- I could get organized and finally empty my boxes -- the ones that have been packed since June 2009. Oh yes, gulp is right! I wish they had another or that I could find something just like it and soon -- because I want to get my work room finished so badly it really hurts at this point. You know that feeling?

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Metal lockers, metal tables with exposed rivets, wood tables with metal tops, metal bookcases with wood shelves, these are all quite the rage currently, have you noticed? I love this look shown above - mixing metal lockers with old painted furniture. My husband has a wood locker with a metal base and hardware, all in black, where he stores his photo equipment in his office and I love it. It's my favorite piece in his office in addition to the gorgeous old bookcase he picked up in Berlin that looks exactly like this (only his has ball feet) and the outside is black with a cream interior.

Another tip, when you paint a piece of furniture use the best paint that you can afford. Farrow & Ball is a personal favorite of mine. If you like what you see in these photos, choosing a color from this palette would help you to re-create the look on your own piece of furniture in one day or less!

I love Atelier Charivari and hope you do too! If you are interested in ordering from them and live in mainland Europe, you may contact them if you see something on their blog that you are interested in purchasing.

(images: atelier charivari)