Join us for our new series: Stories Behind the Refinishers. We'll be bringing you into the world of different refinishers as we learn why they do what they do! 
Guest post by: Laurie of Cottage Harbor Homes

I’m Laurie and I rescue furniture! If you’re not a refinisher like me, you might not quite get where I’m coming from.

There’s just such a fulfilling feeling I get from finding a great, solid piece of furniture that has seen better days, and transforming it into something that will have many years of use ahead of it. 

As a kid I remember my parents dragging me to antique shops and I hated every second of it. Now that I’m a mother, I drag my kids and I get eye rolls like you wouldn’t believe.

The details, beauty and hard work that went into building things long before modern machines and assembly lines existed, fascinates me. The thoughts of who may have used that dresser, and who looked into that mirror, and how they may have dressed, etc., is awesome. 

So many people don’t feel the same appreciation for furniture though, and I can honestly say that the vast majority of the pieces I refinish for commission are found at the curb on junk day.

Understandably, people don’t have the time to fix a drawer, or sand down the scratches. That’s where I step in!

My husband and I get alerts from friends on a weekly basis letting us know that there’s an “antique secretary on the corner of…” and “solid wood dresser in front of…”.  Not everything I get is antique but most of it is at the very least, vintage. 

I’m usually very in tune with what style and color I want to work with when I first lay eyes on a piece of furniture, but there is one piece that took me 4 years to decide what to do with! It is the dresser in my bedroom. It used to be my grandparents’ and I have many memories of it being in their home. When I took possession of it 4 years ago, I knew I was going to refinish it, but I had no idea what I was going to do. I had such a creative block when it came to that piece!

Finally, last winter, on a whim I decided I was going to give it a fun, beachy look rather than a neutral safe vibe I had been leaning towards. I found an older can of paint in my basement that was the perfect shade of turquoise, and I have to say, we love the way it turned out!

I hung a vintage map of the Florida Keys that we thrifted in Key Largo right above it to set the scene. That whole process is saved in my Instagram highlights! 

Check out Cottage Harbor Homes for more great content!

I'm Laurie Andrisano, a stay-at-home-mom turned small business owner when I decided to refinish furniture and open an Etsy shop a few years ago. It all started after my husband and I found an antique on the curb that needed some love, and quickly blossomed into Cottage Harbor Homes - a brand through which I express my beachy cottage style every day! There's just something about making furniture beautiful again that I find therapeutic. I love seeing a piece for the first time and thinking about what color, finish or look I want to go with. Documenting the transformation just makes it that much more fun and through it I hope to show people what they can do with a little bit of love and paint!

You can see more of Laurie's work at:

Thank you for sharing your refinishing story with us, Laurie! Make sure to head over to our post on Facebook and Instagram to tell us why YOU love to refinish furniture!

1 comment

  • Posted on by Sandra
    I love Laurie’s appreciation for antique and vintage pieces.

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