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Thursday, June 7, 2012

That was then...this is now

There's no accounting for taste...or following fads. Apparently some long-forgotten mid-century decorator was enamored of the Asian style espoused by designers such as James Mont and made a few after-market changes to a Paul McCobb Irwin Collection credenza, and this is what sat in our warehouse for a while, awaiting a makeover. Solid mahogany was hidden beneath black lacquer, and shiny, ornate Asian-style hardware led the eye away from the amazing travertine marble top, which should have been the focal point of the piece.

Paul McCobb Irwin Collection credenza with "enhancements"

But that was then...and this is the same credenza after we had it restored to its former elegant simplicity.


Paul McCobb solid mahogany credenza
with brass hardware and  travertine top
Irwin Collection by Calvin

In the 1855 poem "Andrea del Sarto," the poet Robert Browning used the phrase "less is more," which a decade later was adopted by architect and designer Mies van der Rohe. If ever a piece of furniture illustrated that principle, it's this credenza.

12 comments:

  1. What a transformation! To see past the gordy and brash details was well rewarded! Nice work team! :)

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    1. Thanks! You'd never even know it was the same piece, would you? :)

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  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! We're very happy with the results.

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  3. I'd like to shake the hand of whoever did this restore! What a fantastic save!

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    1. I think you'd enjoy meeting Hank Tosh, the person who does restoration and refinishing work for us. His work has become legendary around Dallas, which is quite a feat for a man as young as he is. He is considered by many to be the best H-W refinisher in town...or perhaps in the whole state...since people from all over bring their pieces to him. I think you'd enjoy a look at his website. You'll find some amazing photos in his Gallery section, and don't miss the Before and After shots there.

      toshmahal.com

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  4. WHAT? I can't believe anyone would have done that to a credenza with wood that gorgeous. So nice that you restored it to it's beautiful beginnings.

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    1. It makes me downright embarrassed...and contrite...about all the furniture I "antiqued" green and blue in the late 60s and early 70s. :)

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  5. Excellent restoration, looks great. The natural look of wood is %100 better. If it had been a cheap low quality piece i'd say knock your socks off to whoever owned it and change it to suit your style, but don't mess with the modern classics.

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    1. I agree completely. My SIL and I toy around with the idea from time to time of putting color on some inexpensive no-name pieces, just for fun. But to mess with a piece like this is almost a sacrilege.

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  6. Gorgeous piece - I can't believe someone would do that to it in the first place.

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    1. I'm sure someone was very proud of it, even if we can't imagine why...:)

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