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Dining Room Buffet

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Hi Everyone,

Recently I had a customer come into What’s Old Is New asking if I could make a custom buffet for a small dining room. She had been looking for months at traditional furniture stores but everything she saw was way too big for her space. The main problem she was running into was width, she needed something at most fourteen inches wide. Most of the buffets she saw in stores were eighteen to twenty-four inches wide. That wouldn’t allow room for guests to sit on one side of her table.

The other thing she was looking for was storage for her china and crystal. Many of the furniture sales people suggested a council table that could be used for serving. But that wouldn’t help with her storage needs. The months of searching did pay off in one way, she knew what she wanted. She came to What’s Old Is New armed with measurements, photos of pieces she liked and colors for the finishes. All I needed to do was find the right piece of furniture. And that turned into quite a challenge.

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The Green Chair

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Hi Everyone,

Today I want to tell you about this really cute chair I found a couple of weeks ago. I’d show you a before shot, but I forgot to take one, again. Too bad really, this one was a beaut!

I was out at a farm east of town. It was a beautiful, blue sky summer day that reminded me of the day I met Sam. Ah, but I digress.  What was I talking about – oh yeah, the chair.

I found it in the milking barn. Covered in about a hundred years of cobwebs and bird poop. I could tell it was a find through it all. Mrs. L, the lovely matriarch of the family, who now owns the farm, said her dad used to sit on it when he milked cows. The family sold off the dairy herd shortly after his death decades ago. Since then the barn hasn’t been used for much.

It looks like an old- fashioned dinning chair, not too fancy. Definitely hand-made, with no screws or nails. Wonderful craftsmanship.  What drew my eye was the geometric cut out pattern on the back and the gently curved front legs.

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Francie’s Furniture Blog – Introduction

If you read my novella, A Filigree Heart, you know Francie Quinn refurbishes furniture to sell in her shop, What’s Old Is New in Prairie Grove, Illinois. She scours attics, barns, basements and the like throughout the Midwest to find items that time forgot. Then uses her talents to transform them into beautiful, useable household items. Francie loves to experiment with technics and finishes to revive and update once unloved furnishings. When she’s finished with them they are one of a kind works of art.

After being asked “How did you do that?” a thousand times by her customers Francie started a blog. In it she tells a bit about each piece. What it is, where she found it, and what only she can see about its past with her special gift.

Then she walks us through the techniques she uses to transform items, along with project photos. I would like to say before and after photos, but Francie rarely remembers to take the before shot. I think she gets so excited when she finds something good that she just can’t wait an extra second to snap a quick pic before she dives into work. Oh well, the after photos are the best to see anyway.

I thought it would be fun to check in and see what Francie is up too. So, I’ll be posting her blog entries here from time to time. I hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of items you might find in her shop. Maybe learning some of her tricks and tips might inspire us to try our hand at transforming some of the long-forgotten items in our own attics.