A drab art deco inspired drawer set – made fab once more.

Another DIY quick fix.

 My mum kindly got this set of art deco inspired drawers for our nursery THANKS MUM!!! She picked it up second-hand from a fabric store, they had used it for display and storage. It was in somewhat of a dilapidated state, but still one of the best condition pieces we’ve ever had to restore.

top view before restoration


front view before restoration

The worst part, and really the only restoration necessary was to the surface sealant. There was also one bakelite handle that was missing vital pieces and a couple of stickers stuck to the top.

Hubby removed the handles and gave it a quick sand to remove all of the stickers and original sealant which had a green hue base notes in the colour. The dark colour, although gross masked the differences in the wood really well. We inspected it for any signs of  nibbly creatures and there was no sign, which we’ve found to be very rare in older wood furniture.

We couldn’t identify the wood, it looks to be a native NZ hardwood wood possibly Totara. On closer inspection the piece looks to be handmade possibly in the 40’s to 50’s in the style of the 1930’s art deco geometric period. It looks to be made by someone who knew what they were doing when it came to handling wood, but they probably were not a cabinetmaker by trade. There are tell-tale signs in that – all of the drawers are slightly different sizes and the drawers faces, sides and panels are cut from different parts of the tree and the feet are shaped but not detailed, so it makes me think this piece is a ‘homer job’ and not as old as the art deco period of which it mimics.

The piece, like all of our other restoration pieces is made solid and well and because of that it should last 50 years more. We’ve been extra lucky with all of our finds over the years! The bakelite handles are a real treat and another clue that it’s probably a lovingly assembled 50’s piece. One of them as I mentioned above is missing some pieces, we’ve not managed to fix it yet but I plan to replace the missing bits with pieces of shaped dowell and give them a faux finish to match their bakelite siblings. You can see the damaged handle in the pic above on the bottom drawer.

It’s a small perfectly sized piece for a childs room and if our little one is anything like us, she love it and take it with her when she leaves home one day. If not, that’s fine too as it fits well with all of our pieces. 

This whole project was eerily similar to the golden oak shortboy we restored in 2013 that now takes up residence in our lounge room. Same sort of condition, size and proportions as the new piece.


Yes, they could be siblings, or at least cousins………


Let me know what you think?

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