Sunday, February 19, 2012

248 / 391 French country scroll base breakfast table

Here is a small solid pine dining table with a grey and white "whitewashed" finish of durable casein paint and a living finish.
This is a "before" picture of chairs, painted above.  This set of four chairs appeared on Craigs list and I added layers of greyish casein paint and a weathered finish.  

Another version of the same scroll based round table:  this one sits in a breakfast nook and is 40 inches diameter, but the table can be built in any size and in any species of wood.  This table "reads" creamy white at a distance, 

But the colors used are a variety of confetti shades, with the table's prominent stripes outlined in jeans blue.   
Showing highly eroded painted finish.  the raw pine in this case had plenty of large knots, but can be obtained in a quieter look, with smaller knots.

Close view of finish at table's edge.  We used a penetrating drying oil to give the raw wood protection and a living finish.  

As with all living finishes it is not necessary to protect the table with placemats or coasters, and the table will not develop rings.  It is never recommended to put a hot pan from the stove on the table without a trivet; however, all other normal kitchen wear and tear will not affect the piece. 

Close view of the table's base.  

Elevated platform on scroll base provides great foot room underneath the pedestal base.  

Another view of pedestal

A different paint color scheme

Close view of foot showing green / white / blue color scheme

Another view of foot

Close view of top showing severe erosion and distressing of surface

Monday, February 13, 2012

345 French Provincial Round Dining Table with Turned Pedestal Base

Our client had recently purchased these antique chestnut chairs and needed a round table to go with them.  The chairs are real antiques, from the late 1800's and very well made.  The table is brand new, and was built to "go with" the set of chairs.   The table was to be the same basic color but slightly darker and richer than the chairs. 
The table is built of solid alder and has a mildly distressed antique finish, and now lives in Florida.

Showing texture of top.  The table has a living finish, and so it looks like a beautiful antique -- waxy, and polished, yet not falsely glossy or plastic in any way.  This beautiful finish is expected to take heavy daily use and be exposed to hot tea, wine and all sorts of other staining liquids; however it will not show glass rings or stains.  

Showing the underside - look up and you can see the subtop and understructure underneath the top.  This structure allows for seasonal movement of the wood across the grain with changes in temperature and humidity. 
Close view of texture of the top, showing antique marks, distressing, fake "cracks" and so on. 

Close view of top.  More fake cracks. 

Here's one we did for a different client who wanted a modified oval for her banquette.  It is a small breakfast table in the middle of a busy eat-in kitchen and sits in front of a big picture window with a drop-dead amazing view.  Therefore, we expect the table to receive a lot of heavy use.  GOOD!  

Here it shows one in the shop of Europa Antiques, in Portland Oregon.  Europa is at 1523 NW 24th Avenue in Portland, Oregon 97210, and imports beautiful antiques from France.  They also show some of our pieces.  

Close view of the stem, showing distressing, color, texture, and square pegs.  

Close view of the foot. At the very tip of each "foot", where the base meets the floor,  there are four small hidden screw-in levelers, one under each of the four feet which contact the floor.  You cannot see them, but you can twist them in and out to compensate for un-level floors.  This will allow the table to be perfectly stable on any floor no matter how uneven.   

Close view of the top, showing texture.  This one also wears a living finish.  A horror story happened in the store; I went in  one day and decided to say "hi" to the table, and discovered that a metal can with a flower bouquet had been slowly leaking onto the top for who knows how long.  The top of the table was wet, in a ring, and the wood was actually bulging.  An ugly ring showed on the top.  We took the piece to the shop, dried it thoroughly and burnished out the ring with the back of a wooden spoon.  We touched up the color and applied another coat of our oils, followed by some wax, and the damage was un-discernable. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

358 Solid wood computer desk

Center drawer is actually a pull out shelf with a flip down front on which rests the computer keyboard; generous holes for wire handling are in the back panel of the desk.  

At each side is a pull out shelf - ideally sized for extra pieces of paper.  

Underneath each pull out shelf is a small drawer, with just enough height to store desk supplies.  

Drawer fronts are birch with an ever so slightly contrasting finish color in order to evoke the shaker style.  The body of the desk is solid alder and the knobs are turned walnut.  

Showing scratch detail around borders, texture, distressing and "wormholes".  

Close view showing color texture and knobs. 
Showing ergonomics of desk -- the cpu and mouse can fit at the right side of the keyboard.  With the keyboard lowered in this manner, the body tends to automatically adopt a very comfortable position; the shoulders drop and the neck is relaxed.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

483 Farmhouse extension dining table with self storing leaves and authentic antique finish

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Here is an unusual piece built with pullout breadboards, leaves and a cutting board.  It is a newly built farmhouse extension table (opens with leaves).
483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Showing the four leaves in place, and one of the two matching benches below it.  Unfortunately, this got cropped a little short, but you get the idea.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

This table was made as a bespoke project for a Scottsdale family who has a nice eat-in kitchen.   They desired a very heavily distressed finish with lots of dings, marks, stains, and rub-throughs.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

The finish is what we call a "living finish".  This is a term which we thought we invented, but we discovered it is used in the metal industry, for instance to describe faucets which are designed to age naturally and get a weathered patina.  Our living finish means the color goes deep into the wood and it is anchored in with many coats of penetrating drying oils.  The combination of this technique, and the subtle discolorations and distressing mean that the finish will wear well over time and look great in areas of high use.  We have lived with finishes of this sort for many years in our own home.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Here you can see the "breadboard end".

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

At one end of this little table is a flip down drawer, underneath the breadboard.  You can see that the breadboard is attached to two leaf arms.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

This breadboard will pull out as shown in the following photos.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Breadboard is pulled out to accept a leaf.
You can see that there are four leaves stored within this piece.   One caveat:  not all width to length dimension combinations will support this method of self-storage.  It is tricky and time consuming to build, and because a lot of the end apron gets cut away, there is hidden steel involved.  Therefore, the self storing leaf drawer method is one of the more expensive ways to do an extension table.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Two leaves, ready to be fitted.  The finish on the leaves was deliberately done a little differently, as we figured leaves would have lighter distressing and a slightly different color, if the table was really a couple hundred years old.

483  Farmhouse extension table with self storing leaves

Two leaves, in place.