I found this armoire back in July which I previously posted about and had yet to finish until now – here’s a quick back story on my original idea. My first thought was to create a shabby chic, black and gold armoire for myself. After realizing it wouldn’t fit in my apartment, (I pretty much knew that already) I decided to go back to the drawing board and give it another look. Shabby chic was still the direction I was going in, but this bulky, hard angled piece needed a softer, more neutral look for potential buyers-more of a rustic influence the second time around.
Both mirrored panels were nearly unsalvageable, with a good amount of scratches on them. After I dropped and shattered one, they were ultimately scrapped. I began to fear that the true nature of this soon to be “armoire from hell” was too dark without the mirrors and I had to start over. Previously the black stain worked well because the mirrored panels brought light to the armoire. While the gold Victorian-esque pull handles and crown molding added elegance and detail, they now looked out of place without the mirrors and black stain. Adding anymore black to the piece would have made it even darker and a lighter color for the doors, paneling and drawer faces would have brought out a contrast I wasn’t looking for.
With a pile of vintage pine tongue and groove bead board, some scrapped pallet wood and a can of oil based, high gloss, cream paint, I achieved the softer, more rustic look I envisioned without the mirrors. The warmer tones, custom made pull handles and a glossier sheen transformed the hard angled bulky armoire to something softer and a lot more neutral. I added two vintage brass knobs from my hoarded hardware collection to each door and stayed consistent with brass on the pull handles – though the hinges are still brushed chrome.
I like this piece because of how it evolved into something completely different than I first pictured, all while using salvaged materials. It’s eclectic, though not perfect, shabby chic and unique. It was a pain in the ass using the materials that I did but at the end of the day I created a statement piece from something a person tossed in my dumpster (still wondering why and how they managed to actually put it inside the dumpster).
[ezcol_1half]A before shot of the side. Lots of water damage on the paneling and was most likely the reason it thrown out.[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]After the damaged paneling was cut out and filled. A tedious but easy fix as an alternative to throwing something away.[/ezcol_1half_end]
Like what you see? Visit my website to see more of what I do. Perhaps you have furniture that needs to be seen in a new light.
Hi I’m Harry, I like old things – especially old things people throw out. Dressers, shelving, cabinets, lamps, tables, chairs – basically anything that can be refinished or reused in one way or another. I’ll be sharing different pieces I’ve made in the past and some DIY tips, that with a little elbow grease and creativity can help save money and recycle at the same time.
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Take a look into his workshop and think hoarder. Door knobs, broken windows, dressers missing drawers, table tops, pieces of old wood that clearly belong in the trash. Or do they? Because dumpster diving is the original source of all that makes up this heaping mess. Now take a look into the next room; pieces reminiscent of West Elm, Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware. You guessed it, they’re not actually from those stores – they’re from the trash. Harry Koffman has an eye for what others consider to be trash; he sees the potential where others don’t. He’s designed rooms using 100% recycled furniture and accessories, turning bland, boring spaces into works of art that range from historic, to modern to chic. Why does he do it? There’s enough trash in the world today as it is, Harry is a firm believer in recycling and sustainability. His work can be summed up in three words: revamp. restore. re-love.
You can check out his work here at harrykoffman.com or by searching #handymo via Instagram.
EDITOR AT LARGE
CHIEF FASHION CORRESPONDENT
Anna Paula Goncalves
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