Furniture Face-Lifts: Outdoor Living
Cheryl Maeder-Antonio, owner of Gardenhouse outdoor furniture, shows how she transforms unkempt patio furnishings into fresh and bright outdoor accents.
Meet Cheryl Maeder-Antonio
Q. What led you to start your business?
A. I spent my early twenties in Switzerland, where I first picked up a camera and fell in love with vintage furnishings. I now work as a fine-art photographer, and I opened Gardenhouse in 2007 with my husband, Gary (an artist and metal sculptor), as an additional creative outlet. We used to spend weekends searching flea markets as a way to relax, and now we get to do it for a living!
Gardenhouse, West Palm Beach, FL
Q. Tell us about Gardenhouse.
A. Our storefront was a former Baptist church in the historic Northwood Village. We gutted the building to its raw concrete walls and floors, then painted everything opalescent white and silver to create a light and airy backdrop for colorful furnishings. We also added a back patio, with Italian marble floors and an enclosed pergola, where we display some of our furniture, such as dining sets.
437 Northwood Road
West Palm Beach, FL 33407
Q. Where do you find great furniture to make over?
A. I travel to antiques shops, estate sales, and flea markets around the country looking for pieces from the 1940s and 1950s. We’ve found some great vintage pieces at The World’s Longest Yard Sale, which stretches through several Southern states.
Q. How would you describe your design style?
A. I focus on outdoor/indoor furnishings because I see those living spaces as a whole, not separate. I like combining raw finishes with elegant fabrics and vice versa for a “vintage-gone-modern” style.
Q. Tell us about your latest find.
A. I got this vintage metal outdoor sofa at an estate sale. It had a lot of character, so I was drawn to it.
Q. How did you go about this amazing transformation?
A. I treat each furnishing like a piece of art. I removed the paint on the frame and restored its raw metal finish. Then, I built new square cushions (the tufted ones were too fussy) and covered them in crisp white marine vinyl with red patent leather piping.
Passion for Design
Q. What do you love most about performing furniture face-lifts?
A. I love taking a piece that others would pass by and transforming it into something that’s new and contemporary. I love to make the ordinary extraordinary!
Q. Any tips for wannabe furniture rescuers?
A. When you’re imagining how to refinish a piece, think outside the box. Be original, take a risk, and play with a color scheme that works for you, not what you think others would like.