Dining Room Project | Repurposed Table

  |  in Antiques, Beautiful Habitat, Before and After, contemporary, creative, Custom, Denver, Designer's Home, Entertaining, Flooring, furniture, recycle, sustainable, table, Upcycle, upholstery1 Comments

A little over a year ago, I gave our dining room an update. I cannot believe that I have not yet shared the results with you! Life, it seems, has been far too hectic. But I’m here now to share the process, inspiration and results of this make-over. I hope you enjoy!

Flooring Repurposed as Table

In 2008, we replaced a wood floor with tile in the kitchen. This flooring change was done to expand the kitchen nook by several square feet and because the flooring and cabinets were too similar in color and we desired a bit more contrast.

Interior Designer Colorado

I kept the wood for 4 years, waiting for inspiration to strike. I knew I would dream up a clever way to reuse this wood…someday.

Custom Furniture Design

Eventually Inspiration struck in the from of a repurposed table top. I found this image on Pinterest and the idea took off from there.

Repuposed wood table

To bring this vision to life, I contacted  my favorite custom furniture Designer and Builder in Colorado: Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture. Ryan went to work on the details of the design.

The completed table is lightly distressed and has a grayed, slightly weathered finish. The herringbone pattern is beautiful! I could not have been happier with the result. Thanks, Ryan!

Custom Furniture Design

Giving New Life to Vintage Chairs

As the Dining Room started with upcycling, I thought I’d continue with an environmentally conscious room. Instead of buying new chairs, I found a unique set of metal neoclassical revival chairs on 1st Dibs. The chairs are circa 1950’s and are cast metal, allowing the lines of the chairs to curve and taper in a way that carved wood could not, yet has details to mimic carved wood.

Repurpose Vintage Funiture

I immediately loved the lines of the chairs. The pea green paint and silk fabric were a bit “easter egg” for my taste. Instead, I opted for black paint with silver highlights and a combination of fabrics from Kravet and Osbourne & Little.

Creative Interior Design Solutions

The new Dining Room!

I love the final results and look forward to seeing these beautiful pieces in the dining room of the new house soon.

Interior Designer Denver CO

Interior Designer Boulder

Do you have a story about creatively repurposing or upcyling products in your home? Share with us here or on Facebook.

Things You Should Know About Commissioning Custom Furniture

  |  in Boulder, Custom, Denver, Dining, Dramatic, furniture, local, recycle, Salvaged, sustainable, tableNo Comments

I am currently working on a very fun and interesting project that involves both Architectural Salvage and Commissioning Custom Furniture. Before embarking on both aspect sof this project, I came across two wonderful articles from Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazines.I don’t know about you, but I’ve always dreamed of commissioning custom furniture. Much like building a custom home, or certain remodeling projects, it’s an opportunity to create exactly what you want.

Here are 10 Things You Should Know About Commissioning Custom Furniture, as printed in CH&L.

Furniture Design in ColoradoCustom Table via Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture

10 Things You Should Know About Commissioning Custom Furniture

  1. First ask yourself: Do I really need a custom piece? Both David Larabee, co-owner of Denver-based modern furniture line DoubleButter, and Andrea Schumacher of Denver’s O Interior Design agree: The best reason to purchase custom furniture is if your space has strange or uncommon dimensions. Otherwise, try to find a piece that already exists—it will be better for your wallet and your timeline.
  2. Determine the use of the piece. Think through all the specifics. What space will it occupy? What do you need it to hold? How many people does it need to fit? Also, says Schumacher, be aware of your personal dimensions and proportions—if you’re taller, you might want a larger chair or sofa. “If you get this bit right,” says Larabee, “you’re on your way to lasting happiness.”
  3. Don’t ask the designer to make a knock-off. If you just love the Seven table by B&B Italia (known for its three-sided, rounded-off top that accommodates seven) but don’t want to pay B&B Italia prices, don’t ask someone to copy the table for cheap, says Larabee. “You’ll end up owning a cheap knock-off of a piece you love—and you’ll know it.”
  4. Consider your budget and timeline. “Custom furniture is going to cost a little more and is going to take a little longer,” says Larabee. “Good design takes time to do right, and that time costs money.”
  5. Choose your materials palette before you choose the craftsperson to execute the piece. You’ll want to be sure the furniture designer can work skillfully with the materials you like. Also, says Schumacher, if you don’t specify what you want, you might end up with a piece made of cheaper materials, like pine, which won’t hold up in the long run.
  6. Know your artisans. Get references, visit the shop, see—or sit on—examples of their work. You want to find someone who can design furniture in the style you like. Also, says Larabee, pick a designer you feel comfortable with. “Creative collaborations work better when the collaborators are comfortable telling each other how bad some of their ideas are,” he says.
  7. Get multiple bids. Be a smart shopper. Compare price and quality among a number of artisans.
  8. Focus on the finishes. It’s the little details that will make your piece look better—and last longer. Some of Schumacher’s hottest tips: Get a stain sample on approval before you move forward. Pay more for high-end drawers and hinges, which last longer. And, if your budget allows, splurge on wood (rather than melamine) for the insides of the piece, to make it look and feel more substantial.
  9. Don’t change the design mid-project. Pick a course and stick to it or you’ll destroy your budget and timeline, and drive everyone involved with the project crazy.
  10. Go for it.When you buy locally made furniture, you are supporting the people who live and work around you. Plus, says Larabee, “Life is richer when we’ve got a deeper connection to the things that fill up our lives.” You might be handing down that table to your children someday—how special to be able to share the story of where it came from.

I’ll be honest – I did not do #’s 1 or 7. Regarding #1: I had a vision in mind for this particular table. The room itself didn’t call for a unique piece. Instead, the homeowners did. They are adventurers that really want a statement piece for their dining room. They called for something bold, unique, and using reclaimed materials. Regarding #7:  I just went straight to a furniture builder that I know and trust. The new table (to be revealed in a few weeks) is currently being built by Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture in Loveland, Colorado.

Custom Table via Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture

For the full post and access to other “10 Things You Should Know…” at Colorado Homes and Lifestyles.

Have you commissioned or built anything custom? Share your experience with us here, or on Facebook!


Things You Should Know About Architectural Salvage

  |  in Accessories, art, Beautiful Habitat, Boulder, creative, Denver, DIY, Doors, Dramatic, furniture, lighting, local, recycle, Salvaged, sustainable, Uncategorized, VintageNo Comments

I am currently working on a very fun and interesting project that involves both Architectural Salvage and Commissioning Custom Furniture. Before embarking on both aspects of this project, I came across two wonderful articles from Colorado Homes and Lifestyles Magazine. Here are 10 Things You Should Know About Architectural Salvage, as printed in Colorado Homes & Lifestyles.

Architectural Salvage Treasures10 Things you Should Know About Architectural Salvage: (via Colorado Homes & Lifestyles, with a few additional notes and photos from Beautiful Habitat)

  1. It’s a fun way to go green. When you buy salvaged building materials you’re not only scoring conversation-worthy accents for your home; you’re also diverting materials from the landfill and minimizing the use of raw materials.
  2. Don’t expect perfection. “The reason these pieces are charming and interesting is that they’re obviously recycled—meaning they’re not perfect,” says Eron Johnson, owner of Denver’s Eron Johnson Antiques. Tip: Have a furniture restorer coat any pieces of peeling paint with clear paste wax, which maintains the antiquity of the piece but gives it a smooth finish, Johnson says.
  3. Beware of “too good to be true.” There are a lot of architectural salvage knockoffs out there, warns Johnson—particularly when it comes to marble fireplaces, stained glass and iron work. If the price is too good to be true (as in, considerably less than every other piece you find), it probably isn’t the real thing.
  4. Know what you need. If you’re shopping for pieces that need to serve a function (doors that operate, etc.), bring along a notepad filled with the measurements and quantities you need and pictures of items you want to match, says Tom Sundheim, owner of Queen City Architectural Salvage in Denver.
  5. Find new uses for old items. “The beauty of architectural salvage is it frees an antique from its former use,” says Johnson. Iron garden gates can become decorative headboards; wooden window frames act as room dividers; and an old weathervane emerges as the perfect accent for your mantel. (or lamp bases as seen below, BH)Interior Decorator Boulder Colorado
  6. Be open to doors. Shopping for antique doors means having an eye for “quality beneath the paint,” says Sundheim. “Know which woods are heaviest. A pine door will weigh far less than a comparable oak door.” If you need the door to function, pony up for a heavier door. Also, for newer homes, understand that you may have to reframe openings to accommodate taller antique doors, Johnson says.
  7. Hit up the hardware section. You might have a hard time finding enough matching knobs and drawer pulls to outfit, say, a whole kitchen. But unearth a few antique pulls (they can even be mismatched) for the right dresser or accent table, and you’ve got a statement piece.Custom Interiors Denver Colorado
  8. Let there be light. If you live in a historic home, says interior designer Beth Armijo of Armijo Design Group, one of the best ways to honor the architecture is to install period-appropriate light fixtures. But, adds Johnson, remember two important safety tips: have an electrician update the wiring and, for pendants, reinforce the ceiling box. (Most antique fixtures are solid brass and heavier than modern fixtures.)
  9. Dig around for your garden. A trip to the salvage yard can yield curios perfect for your outdoor living spaces, too. Look for stone statues or pillars, cast-iron park benches, weathered farm tables, or even vintage bathtubs (great for birdbaths).
  10. Try DIY salvage. Someone just might love that pale-pink tub you’re tearing out of your master bathroom. Before you haul it off to the landfill, consider selling your relics online, or, even better, donating them to ReSource Yard (, a nonprofit with salvage yards in Boulder and Fort Collins. Sale proceeds benefit waste-reduction programs and donations are tax deductible.Reuse, Recycle in Colorado Design

My adventures in Architectural Salvage took me to the ReSource Yard in Boulder and Queen City Salvage in Denver. I also perused the Eron Johnson website (which is a great site and user-friendly). Ultimately, I am repurposing some wood that used to be a kitchen floor and I  purchased dining chairs on 1stDibs. My adventures continue as I am planning another visit to Queen City for a new art idea I have. Stay tuned for more stories on this interior design project, coming soon.

For additional inspiration in salvage and recycling, check out the post on 23rd Ave Sculpture in Denver. This is scrapyard meets art studio, where old metal is turned into art, furniture and more for your home and garden.

To read the full post, or other “10 Things You Should Know… articles, visit Colorado Homes & Lifestyles.

Do you have treasures that you’ve salvaged or recycled? Share with us here or on Facebook.

  • Beautiful Habitat Blog

    Internationally Trained Interior Designer, enthusiastic traveler, and dog lover shares advice and inspiration to help you create your Beautiful Habitat; a home you love and the ideal place for you to flourish. Thanks for stopping by!
  • Categories

  • Keep In Touch

    Remodeling and Home Design