From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Approachable Customization with Casey Howard Designs

 
Custom upholstered benches | San Francisco & Los Angeles
 

A common assumption is that Revitaliste works only with vintage, antique and heirloom furniture. While this is the lion’s share of what we do, we’re seeing a growing percentage of revitalization projects for our interior design clients begin with new pieces purchased from familiar “big box” retailers.

Designers are increasingly turning to customizing new production furniture for a variety of reasons. Many times their customers do not have “heirlooms” or other furniture that they deem worthy of revitalization. Some clients do not like the idea of “old” furniture or don’t like the look of traditional antiques or era-specific vintage pieces. And not all client budgets or timelines allow for fully custom-built furniture. The designers with whom we collaborate cite several benefits of revitalizing new pieces:

  • TIME: Production timelines for a full custom piece are often 10+ weeks. New production furniture is often in stock and ready to ship. With Revitaliste, customization even with multiple services types (e.g. upholstery + powder coating) is a brisk 4-6 weeks.

  • COST: “Big Box” furniture offers a wide range of price points, the pieces used in our collaboration with CHD were all around $200. The cost of customization labor with Revitaliste is a fraction of the cost to custom build new pieces. Materials can range from very modest to the most luxe available.

  • IMAGINATION IS THE LIMIT: When creating a fully custom piece, there’s nothing to begin with in the physical space, so it can be challenging to visualize the end result. With a “big box” purchases, the furniture’s comfort, size and scale can be tested in the home prior to beginning any customization.


A Custom Collaboration

We were thrilled when Casey Howard, principle designer at Casey Howard Designs (CHD), approached us to collaborate on reimagining a series of new production pieces. Her vision was to take ordinary, accessible furniture and transform it into extraordinary pieces. The collaboration evolved into a fun event that we co-hosted in CHD’s beautiful offices to showcase the transformed pieces for clients, interior design professionals, and the larger design community.

Casey and her team dreamed big when selecting and reimagining these pieces. Read on to see how these new pieces went from okay to over-the-top.

 

The Butterfly Pixel Stool

We’ve seen it, we love it…the butterfly stool is a favorite for its adaptability, smooth curves, and accessible price point. But imagine how much more lovable it could be with a little imagination and customization!

 
BEFORE: Butterfly stool
 

Casey and her team selected a a vinyl wallpaper (indestructible!) called “Herbaria” in the obsidian color way from Black Edition. We lined the top and interior legs (two continuous pieces) to create a totally unique stool.

What do you look for when selecting new pieces to customize?    CH: “For this project we choose a variety of shapes, (rigid to organic) materials, (concrete, lucite, wood & iron), as well as smooth surfaces to receive a variety of different finishes in order to show a diverse array of design possibilities.”
 

The Floral Punk Stools

Casey and her team loved the geometric, architectural nature of the metal bases of these stools. They took these to a whole new level by adding color, pattern and texture.

 
Metal base stools ready for revitalization
 

We powder coated the metal bases in a high gloss moss green color. The pull-over seats were replaced with a boxed seat cushion upholstered in Christian Lacroix “Malmaison” fabric and trimmed with “kinetic” leather trim from Samuel & Sons.

 
What inspired you in designing the pieces?    CH: “I’m drawn to unique fabrics, textures, materials and love to create combinations that are unexpected. Having the creative freedom to design these pieces and take risks that clients wouldn’t normally take is incredibly gratifying and feeds my soul.”

What inspired you in designing the pieces?

CH: “I’m drawn to unique fabrics, textures, materials and love to create combinations that are unexpected. Having the creative freedom to design these pieces and take risks that clients wouldn’t normally take is incredibly gratifying and feeds my soul.”

 
 

The Fringe & Scribble Ottoman

Super sturdy and a timeless design, this iron based bench is built to last. Casey and her team re-invisioned its next chapter with a sexy twist.

 
Iron foot stool ready to be reupholstered
 

We reupholstered the footstools with “Graffito” fabric in salmon/cream designed by Kelly Wearstler and added a playfully chic fringe, “La Terre” from Samuel and Sons.

 
What is the value in customizing new pieces vs building/fabricating fully custom?    CH: “By purchasing new, relatively inexpensive, Big Box items, we demonstrated that you can take a highly accessible piece and give it the same custom look without paying the price of a fully customized piece.”

What is the value in customizing new pieces vs building/fabricating fully custom?

CH: “By purchasing new, relatively inexpensive, Big Box items, we demonstrated that you can take a highly accessible piece and give it the same custom look without paying the price of a fully customized piece.”

 
 

The Published Table

While it has a very utilitarian appearance, this faux-cement cube also a fabulous blank-canvas appeal. Casey and her team created a masterpiece.

 
Simple cube side table ready to be refinished
 

Casey found an intricate collage-like wallpaper from Weitzner called “Kodiak”. It’s made from tiny pieces of magazines from around the world. We wrapped two sides of the table in this paper and then sealed it in a heavy coat of high gloss clear lacquer to create a decoupage effect. We trimmed the other sides using a hair on cowhide trim from Samuel and Sons. And finally, we lacquered the base in a high gloss black.

 
What was it like working with Revitaliste?    CH: “The Revitaliste website gave us inspiration on what we could achieve with the finishes we chose. We enjoyed collaborating with a team full of energy, knowledge and willingness to push the limits of revitalization!”

What was it like working with Revitaliste?

CH: “The Revitaliste website gave us inspiration on what we could achieve with the finishes we chose. We enjoyed collaborating with a team full of energy, knowledge and willingness to push the limits of revitalization!”

 
 

The Veil Table

Who doesn’t adore a little lucite in their life! Casey and her team are no exception…but they chose to create an other-worldly veiled effect on this clean lined piece.

 
Lucite table ready to be transformed
 

We wrapped the full table in an exquisite wallpaper called “Nimbus” from Weitzner. The fibrous nature of this paper makes the translucent lucite table visible. To ensure that the table is not only beautiful to look at, we sealed it in a high gloss clear coat to also make it functional and spill-proof.

 
What was the motivation behind this collaboration?    CHD and Revitaliste strive to see potential in places where others may not. We want to show others that the ability to redesign a piece of furniture is not out of reach and can be a fun creative process. At CHD we are all about pushing the limits of design and we thought that collaborating with this creative, entrepreneurial, and female-founded business was a no brainer! We both love furniture with a story.

What was the motivation behind this collaboration?

CHD and Revitaliste strive to see potential in places where others may not. We want to show others that the ability to redesign a piece of furniture is not out of reach and can be a fun creative process. At CHD we are all about pushing the limits of design and we thought that collaborating with this creative, entrepreneurial, and female-founded business was a no brainer! We both love furniture with a story.

 
 

Thank you to Casey Howard Designs for the opportunity to collaborate on these incredible transformations!


Wondering how to customize your own new furniture? We’d love to collaborate!

Start by requesting a quote here.

 

“afters” photography by Annie Meisel Photography