Restoration Journey

When I first began revitalizing furniture I thought I was going to simply find furniture with good bones and do quick updates to turn them around fast. What took me by surprise was falling in love with what was underneath all the disintegrating varnish, stain or chipping paint. 

Everything changed: ever get in a situation like that? My preconceived ideas got swayed artistically as I sanded away to the bare bones of the wood. Plans changed from quick rehabs to finding a better way to display value.  That’s what happened to me, any shortcut would be shy of the value of the piece. The story of design had to be exposed and emphasized.

I’ve discovered three phases that I utilize to let each item speak...

First I’m buying back, finding something that I can envision being improved which has quality design and function. Naturally, if the item is already perfect then I don’t bother buying or changing.

Restoring and uncovering value, often I had a basic idea but now I have learned that the idea’s are more like “guidelines” not concrete. I’ve learned to uncover and restore in order to find what value can be unlocked underneath, by removing distractive elements.

I’ve discovered pieces in so many places with unique styles. I’ve found it’s important to be open to seeing what potential can stand out and needs emphasis. Letting the item speak, sometimes the ideas come right away as I am sanding. Other times I let it sit until the creative ideas begin to gell. It’s these areas that end up determining the whole design and adding it’s particular character.

"It’s a joint venture that combines the inherent value and it’s possibilities of fresh presentation."

Not much was known about it’s first owner, but it became a valuable piece to an uncle, then his sister and later inherited by the daughter before it became revitalized by Freshly Functional.

During the process, I uncovered these amazing hand carved handles, keyholes and burl wood decorations.

Those handles dictated the color I chose. I wanted them to be emphasized more dramatically.

Previously, they had been lost in all the old stain and varnish. To my surprise the burl wood fronts and key holes had been obstructed from view by dark stains. They were hidden since it’s original creation in the late 1800’s. In my opinion, just because it was original doesn’t mean it was the best presentation.

Remaining flexible during the process allowed me to rethink the best way to present and accentuate the uniqueness of the Le Blanc Moustache.

Redemptive Transformation

As a partner in this transformation, I enjoyed the journey to restoration. Allowing the item to tell it’s own creative narrative. By the end, I stand in awe of the story it tells and what it’s teaching me.

This is why I’ve called my brand Freshly Functional. Everything is fresh, revitalized furniture that is worth restoring to new purpose and function.

I’m looking forward to all the stories which will be uncovered and to share with you the process so that you can join me in the journey!

Artist, Jessica Siffring

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