Waxed Dutch Vitrine

February 24, 2014 by  
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This one was waxed for a client in Virginia. It made for a great photo, enjoy! 

 

Thank you Kathleen Montgomery!

February 24, 2014 by  
Filed under Customer Appreciation, Uncategorized

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Kathleen, 

Thank you so much for calling the other day regarding the French Armoire that you located for me at Weschler’s. I appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to hunt antiques down for me!  

Also it goes without saying I really enjoyed working on all of your pieces that came into my studio. This one is my favorite! 

 

Thank you Lynda Carroll @ Embassy of Ireland!

February 24, 2014 by  
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I wanted to say thank you for your patronage in 2013. It was a pleasure to work on the nice pieces both at the residence and the embassy. 

 

 

 

The Jefferson Hotel & McGovern Design Studio

August 21, 2012 by  
Filed under Company news

I would like to personally thank Will McGovern of  McGovern Design Studio for introducing my company to the excellent staff at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington D.C. 

McGovern Design Studio has quickly become sought out both regionally and nationally to design a wide array of luxury hospitality environments as well as high-end retail flagships, multifamily developments and highly detailed single-family residences. McGovern Design Studio was founded with two simple ideas in mind:  Budget does not always equate outcome; and luxury is always attainable.

Will started his own firm after nearly six years as the Lead Designer of award-winning 5-Star hotels and boutique properties at ForrestPerkins, including The Nines hotel of Portland, Oregon, and more recently, the Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC.

Will holds two Masters of Fine Arts from SCAD, The Savannah College of Art and Design; One in Historic Preservation, the other in Interior Design.

 

Clair’s Furniture Restoration will be performing a full restoration of a wonderful period Hepplewhite bow front chest as well as restoration & refinishing of several items throughout The Jefferson Hotel. Also scheduled this week we will be completely refinishing the parlor board room table with a wonderful new product ML Campbell’s “Agualente”, a Eco-Friendly water based finish that does not harm the environment. The switch to this new finish will mark an exciting new chapter for our company as we embrace the new methods of furniture finishing that will help to build a more sustainable planet. We have been experimenting with this finish in the work shop and are very excited about our initial experiences with this product. We have yet to actually find something that we don’t like about this finish.

 

 

The Jefferson hotel is located in downtown Washington D.C. at 1200 16th street just a stones throw from the White House. The hotel itself has a rich history and was completely renovated in 2009. By bringing Clair’s Furniture Restoration into the fold they will have furniture in a condition that you would expect from the finest small historic hotel in Washington D.C.

The Jefferson Lobby entrance

What is a period correct restoration?

May 16, 2012 by  
Filed under The inside scoop

I tend to throw around the phrase “period correct” and the other day one of my clients asked me exactly what that means. Sometimes I assume everyone knows what I am talking about. Well there is a big difference in standard furniture repair, furniture refinishing, and a period correct restoration. Although not many would make the distinction. This can especially be true amongst other repair firms.

When I was younger and just coming into this field of work I was always surprised that most of the guys working with me really paid no attention to the method of repairs that they actually were using. The general philosophy was “if it works to get a check then that is good enough”. While in some respects that is totally fine. In many cases the method of repair will vary from specialist to specialist however there can be no substitute for a period correct restoration.

So in a nutshell a period correct restoration job entails performing the actual repairs in the same method that would have been undertaken by the actual cabinet maker that built the piece of furniture or cabinet shop in the case of Victorian Furniture.
This would immediately rule out the use of any bondo or putty style fillers, Epoxy glues or modern nitrocellulose lacquers. Missing veneer requires the use of actual veneer in the repair. Broken dovetail joints having to be recut and glued without the use of epoxy or screws and nails. Old finishes would require either re-waxing or French Polishing, which ever is appropriate.

This approach to furniture restoration is obviously not necessary with most furniture. It is however the only correct method of restoration for period antiques. Anything less is only damaging the intrinsic value that all antiques have. In other words a newly refinished Federal chest that was in rough shape to begin with may look better now that it has been refinished, the veneer chips were all filled and touched up with bondo and the missing carvings replaced with casted epoxy resin but the character and value has been destroyed.

A period correct restoration takes patience, and a fidelity to the work of restoration but if the specialist takes the time to explain the importance of going the extra step and choosing as close to original as possible repair on period antiques the history will be preserved for future generations. It would be a real shame to lose all this wonderful history to hasty “restorations”. So the next time you hire someone to work on your furniture ask how they intend to approach the work. You may be surprised at their response.

Clair’s working @ the Center for White House history!

May 9, 2012 by  
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Clair’s is proud to be refinishing a small display pedestal this week for the Center for White House history on Lafayette Square in Washington. While it is a very small project for us will be a real honor to work for such a prestigious organization.  More info… http://www.whitehousehistory.org/decatur-house/

One of the items that we refinished