Amanda Brown, owner of Spruce Furniture Redesign Studio shares her secrets for transforming upholstered furniture castoffs into pretty pieces.
Q. What led you to start your business?
A. I have always repurposed old furniture for my house, and I love collecting old furnishings that tell the stories of their past owners. Spruce opened in the summer of 2007 as an outlet to rejuvenate these pieces for retail.
Q. Tell us about Spruce.
A. We have a showroom in front with a small but thorough fabric library and select reupholstered pieces for sale. Attached to the back is a large workshop where we roll up our sleeves and re-create worn-out furniture.
6607 North Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78752
Q. Where do you find great furniture to make over?
A. I’ve been known to rummage through abandoned buildings, estate sales, junk stores, and garage sales to find great pieces. We’ve gained a reputation for adopting rejects, so sometimes people stop by the store on their way to the landfill to gauge our interest in their old furniture.
Q. How would you describe your design style?
A. I tend to gravitate toward bold colors and unconventional combinations with a focus on vintage silhouettes. The details and period of a piece dictate my fabric and restyling choices.
Q. Tell us about your latest find.
A. I got this Chippendale-style settee at an estate sale in Austin. The small scale and clean lines made it the perfect candidate for a modern makeover.
Q. How did you go about this amazing transformation?
A. We took the settee down to its frame, replaced the foam, and reupholstered it in a graphic bird print by one of my favorite fabric companies, Skinny Laminx.
What She Used:
Fabric: Cloud Birds in Granny Smith Green by Skinny Laminx (skinnylaminx.com), available through Spruce; spruceaustin.com
Q. What do you love most about performing furniture face-lifts?
A. We have the best customers who give us lots of creative freedom with their furniture. Every day, we try new ideas and fabric combos to make one-of-a-kind pieces. Then, I get to pick my favorite transformations and apply them to my own furniture!
Q. Any tips for wannabe furniture rescuers?
A. Don’t be intimidated by the ugliness of a piece. As long as it has good bones, it can be rejuvenated. Before buying, check to see if the piece is heavy and has tight joints— both signs of quality furniture.
Take a Class!
Spruce’s “Bring Your Own Chair” classes walk you through upholstery basics.