before and after

before & after: wendy’s armoire + naomi’s dresser

by Kate Pruitt

I know that painting an art deco armoire might upset a few die-hard wood lovers, but I hope it will relieve you all to know that according to Wendy, the owner of this piece, the wood was in such poor condition that painting it was the most reasonable option. Plus, can we just take a moment to marvel at the amazing paint job Wendy did on those chevron stripes?!

The original decorative details of the piece really pop against the modern pattern and color palette, and the bright ornate yellow knobs are an unexpected dash of fun. The amount of work that Wendy put into this Before & After is quite impressive, as are the results. Great work, Wendy! — Kate

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An old wood crate is often quite beautiful in its original state, and this one is no exception. But this piece has been taken to a whole new level of awesomeness that can’t be denied. Naomi and Dani are well trained in seeing the potential in salvaged goods; together they run Relic Design, a company that specializes in creating contemporary pieces out of reclaimed timber and cast-off furniture.

They spotted this pumpkin crate outside a grocer on Halloween and turned it into a beautiful chest of drawers that they aptly named the Pumpkin Chest! If you like what you see, you can check out many more wonderful pieces with great names on their site. Thanks for sharing, ladies! — Kate

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  • Love the Pumpkin Chest! They’ve taken forgotten pieces of furniture and gave it new life, the final product is truly one of a kind.

  • I admit, my gut reaction to the armoire is “Nooooooo!”

    The finished armoire is fun and I admit if I didn’t know of the original dresser, I would like it. But in my opinion the makeover is short sighted. The yellows and grays of the armoire will be outdated quickly, but the intricate art deco wood inlays and design will last forever. I would have rather seen it professionally repaired. But I own several deco pieces like this already so that’s probably why I feel so saddened by it.

  • I love waterfall furniture, and have a bunch of it in my own home, but some of you are correct in saying this was essentially the 1940s equivalent of the yucky Walmart bookshelves of today. The “beautiful craftsmanship” everyone is lamenting is actually just an easily-chipped veneer of junk wood on top of cheap wood like maple or pine, and was mass-produced. If they’d done this to say, an 1870s walnut dresser with hand-carved elements, I’d whine right along with the purists. But they gave this (easily found) waterfall armoire a fun makeover that can easily be repainted someday when chevrons lose their appeal. The crate-into-chest idea is also well executed and looks fabulous. Kudos, renovators! I dig.

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