Vintage Furniture Redo – Before and After

Nothing makes me happier than a proper before and after.  I even love those diet pill commercials where people purposefully slouch in schlubby ill-fitting clothes for the ‘befores’ just so they can stand with normal posture, fake tans and makeup for the  ‘afters.’  I’m always convinced.  It simply MUST be a good product.  I mean, did ya SEE the before and after? Miracle!

Finding something everyone else thinks is hideous and seeing its potential and then seeing it 2 weeks later completely redone is as satisfying as watching your shy bullied child get a better job and hotter chick than your neighbors ‘Ken-doll-wannabe’, doucher, athletic kid that always dated ‘Push up bra Pamela’.  You always knew they had potential and just needed some confidence and a little cosmetic uplifting, but everyone else doubted them.

Except me.

So here are a few good old fashioned before and afters, all pieces being sold tomorrow at 6pm on my One Kings Lane Tastemakers Sale

It’s vinyl. It’s ugly, but only because of the finish, aka, the fabric. The bones are good and the proportions are great.  It’s not a huge ottoman, but more like an ottoman that is the size of a coffee table – 46″ x 28″ 14″, which is strangely hard to find and a really, really good size.

And now, he is a she, and SHE is HOT in hot pink linen:

Oh she is much prettier, and only $599.  The top of the upholstery is imperfect – some of the diamond tufts are looser than others.  But it was originally supposed to be $1000, so you are getting a deal either way and its not really noticeable.  And i want everything to be out in the open, plus i don’t mind keeping this bad boy. It could easily go at the end of a bed and my guest room is begging for it.  

Next up were TWO Identical  vintage dining table that have great lines, but were in rough shape.  

I actually like them in black, but they are super scratched up and look dirty.  I chose to give them a flat light gray paint finish.  I could have done high gloss, but that felt a bit too ‘Z Gallery’ so doing them in a flat gray felt more sophisticated and more unique than just white.  

Calling all office buildings – these two tables are perfect conference tables.  They are unique and chic, but totally big and functional. And at $1200 they are a really good price for something custom and so huge. The glass on top has some scratches but nothing too noticeable.  88L x 43D x31H  

If one of these doesn’t sell then i’m in luck and will keep it, oh yes i will.  I’ve been meaning to having a dinner party for about 33 years now, so keeping this table may motivate me to actually cook for my friends.  God help them. 

Below is this walnut or teak coffee table that was AWESOME….in theory.  Someone carved and painted an homage to America on the top, and as much as i love the creativity and passion behind it, it also sat in my garage for a year because i couldn’t convince anybody to buy it.  

But the lines are sooo good, and the scale is amazing. It’s big and wide and low.  Brian actually really wants this in our living room because we fostered it for a while and it is really easy to put your feet on and to eat off of – Brian’s two requisites for coffee tables,  but we have that awesome huge brass trunk-y thing now that has dominated my heart for a while, so my heart wins and Brian loses.

I had him refinished (the table, not Brian) completely to look like this:

It’s restored to the original parquet top, in an almost- matte finish that is still protective.  It’s 60″L x31″W x 13.25″H for $799, which is crazy because it cost $300 just to refinish it, not including the original purchase price of $60 and the delivery to and from the refinisher.  See? I told you i’m not good at this up-charging thing. Someone best buy and appreciate this beautiful table.  

The piece below is hard to see but its a 70’s chrome sling chair and ottoman, in weird tan fabric.  

But not no more.  Nu uh. 

Now he is VERY, VERY handsome, not to mention comfortable.  Its upholstered in a dark gray linen, tufted properly (whereas the piece before had weird stitching where the tufts should be) and is crazy comfortable.  It’s the perfect combo of stylish and comfortable, me and Brian.   $949

For other sneak peeks into the sale and more before and afters, click HERE, HERE and HERE. Also, for the official OKL Preview, complete with styling tips, check this out.

You’ll see more sneaks tomorrow (thursday) with even more before and after’s. Because they are just so satisfying to see.

Its A ‘One-kings-lane-a-palooza’.  Or more like ‘One-kings-lane-affair’, except less Sara MacClaughlin and more Milo Baughman.  That was the first, last and worst Lillithfaire reference I’ve ever used. 

Awesome. Now ‘Your love, is better than ice cream’ is now stuck in my head. 

And now yours. You are welcome.  

  1. Anon

    So, these items are cute, but a bit expensive for the non-interior designer. Do you have anything more reasonably priced?

  2. Jessi

    "Better than anything else that I've tried…" Damn it! haha!

    No where, I mean NO WHERE, can you find decent custom upholstery for cheaper than that. I'm not saying I can afford it, but I've had clients who can, so I think your prices are spot on. Seriously, all this hype is killing me. I can't wait for the sale! I wish I knew the price on that burl coffee table…

  3. Lots of draw-dropping transformations here. But I think the coffee table is the Swan. You never fail Emily!

  4. It's completely inspiring to get to see what your vision is for a piece and then getting to see it come to life. These are beautiful and fun – I'm in love with that tufted ottoman. Can't wait for the sale!

  5. Lauren

    I am devastated about the date change. I was so ready yesterday and I have a meeting tomorrow during the beginning of the sale. Afraid everything will be gone. :( Guess I'll need to wait for your online vintage store. Btw, I totally think your prices are reasonable, but over 100% mark-up doesn't seem like a steal either. Don't get me wrong… you deserve every penny of profit for your hard work, but I can't imagine you making the prices any higher. Love, love, love the sling chair. I want it in my bedroom so bad.

  6. Jennipher

    Oh, I love these before and after's so much! Great work on all of the pieces really – especially LOVE the ottoman. Doesn't go with my home color scheme at all, but I still want it! Can't wait for the sale tomorrow.

  7. Jaclyn Joslin

    I don't think your prices are high at all, in fact some are seriously low in my opinion. What about the time you spent finding the piece to begin with and then the time you spent selecting the new fabric or finish? Plus you have such a unique vision that is obviously resonating with A LOT of people right now, which is worth something as well. I love all your transformations on these pieces–they are worth what you are charging and more!

  8. I completely die over the refinished dining table! I agree, a high gloss white or black would be more 'Z Gall' than custom, so flat grey was an awesome choice! What grey did you use? It's spectacular. Can't wait to snag up a deal or two! Or three… Or five…

  9. Azure

    I knew the prices were going to be high by the way you were going on and on about how much you *love* each piece. Emotional attachment = high price! Now, to be extra nosy, I'd be curious to know which items don't sell. This is really fun to hear about the onekingslane sale from the other end. I don't think I've visted your blog as much as the run up to this sale, even though I won't be buying anything. Thanks Emily!

  10. Donna

    Love all pieces, Emily, and I do not think they're over priced at all. The one thing you failed to mention when it comes to finding excellent pieces to re-do is the time it takes to FIND each piece; thats work too. Then it has to be hauled to your home, the upholster, the painter or who ever. Then the pieces have to be picked up and hauled again. That all takes time and energy. This stuff just doesn't land in Emily's lap. You'll know if your prices are too high — the piece won't sell. But I doubt that is gonna happen. Another thing, people have to realize that they also pay for your design expertise. So that is my two cents. Good luck with the sale, I hope you sell out!

  11. Lori

    I am dying. There's so much stuff I want! I can't wait until you open your vintage store so that I can buy stuff when I'm in a better place financially. Still hoping to snag something smaller!

  12. Emily,

    Some things are more expensive than others. that's just the way life is. Not everyone can afford everything out there, but that doesn't mean it's overpriced. I know it can be super hard to price your own work at what it's worth, but it's so important not to undervalue yourself or your talent. After all, you don't snatch these numbers out of thin air. Prices are based on the time, skill, style, expertise, physical labor, supplies, travel, storage, etc, etc. that goes into making over each piece into a ooak, beautiful, original, functional, high quality piece of furniture that will last for years. You're not selling mass-produced stuff made in a factory for pennies– you worked your ass off to rescue these pieces and make then shine! If you end up doing all this work for nothing– or actually losing money– you'll start to resent your business and your customers, which is mega-sad. This isn't a hobby, after all, it's a business.

    There's also this to consider: When you undervalue what you're worth, and/or set your prices too low out of guilt, you're actually making it so much harder for the people who DO price themselves appropriately to make a living– you're making their fair prices look too high and in the end, you both get screwed.

    Anyway, my two cents. Good luck with the sale, I'm sure it will be fabulous! :)

  13. Lauren

    Btw, I am curious how you determine shipping cost too. There were pieces I was going to buy from the Novogratz sale on OKL, but the shipping was ridiculous. It basically doubled the cost of the items, so I couldn't pull the trigger.

  14. Lauren

    Btw, I am curious how you determine shipping cost too. There were pieces I was going to buy from the Novogratz sale on OKL, but the shipping was ridiculous. It basically doubled the cost of the items, so I couldn't pull the trigger.

  15. elz

    DYING over your pieces. I need the pink ottoman. Slight problem is that I have literally nowhere to put it…what to do…

  16. Sarah

    I am so excited about the sale! Hey, I just bought a brass clad dresser/table very much like yours. Do you (or anyone else )have any suggestions on cleaning/ polishing the table?! It has a little discoloration/ patina in some areas and I don't want to damage the finish! Please advise!
    Good luck tomorrow, everyone :-)

  17. The traditional Korean dining table is low to the ground and people sit on the floor to eat. This is common in a lot of cultures. That one time on Thanksgiving when grandma showed everybody her genital warts.

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