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

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

Have a Before & After you’d like to share? Shoot me an email with your images right here! (Low res, under 500k per image, please.)

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

  1. Novi says:

    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.

  2. You have done an amazing job in restoring the old pieces of furniture. I really like your choices of color and how you mix and match them. Just keep doing your thing!

  3. When I started my decorative painting business 15 years ago I started by faux finishing all my furniture. My very favorite piece is a dresser finished with synthetic concrete – a conversational piece of my living room – see picture here

  4. You have the most creative hands! With just a paint and touch of creativity, the old dresser was turned into something stylish and cool.

  5. Charlie says:

    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.

  6. Alice Teeple says:

    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.

  7. Grace Bonney says:


    please check out our comment policy. i think you may be missing a crucial part of it.



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