Antiques & The Arts

Transforming An Antique Armoire Into a Bar | Design Girlfriend | Harper’s BAZAAR

I’m Alia and
this is Jamie. We have been dating for a year and a month? and I just moved to Simsbury, Connecticut a month ago. A month ago? Two months ago? Three months ago. So I wrapped up my whole studio apartment in New York had it moved up here and coming from my 300 square foot apartment in New York It’s interesting to see also like the shift in lifestyle being here. Compromise is tough for me I tend to get an idea and just take off on a track What’s interesting about the projects that Jamie and I have done together is I’ve recognized that when I do that, it’s great but when I take some of his idea into consideration, it can be better. I think there could be one little special addition into the putting green room. You know, when my friends come over everybody likes to putt there now. Everyone’s in that space. So I don’t know whether we put like a wet bar in- We just have to somehow bring drinks into that situation I totally agree with you I was just thinking about how we could do it just so it doesn’t look like a bar. So what if we do like a cool old wooden dresser or like buffet or something super old and- Right. Like polo bar lounge. and then you open it up and it’s like, “Did not except this.” I just want to keep that whole Mad Men vibe in that room. whatever it is you can come up with that kind of stays within those parameters I love it. I actually feel like I won the furniture lottery. It’s the most gorgeous armoire, this wood is incredibly heavy and thick. It has the most beautiful details. It’s in the Louis style. This is definitely something to look for and when you find it it’s something to cherish. I was actually scouring Facebook marketplace like it was my job. Local, then I expanded it 90 miles, 120 miles- I found it in Staten Island, New York and I tried to drive a hard bargain but I found it and I felt Like I had to jump on it. So he actually hasn’t seen the piece yet and I am just about to show it to him and I hope he loves it just as much as I do. I’m so happy, I can’t. Babe? Let’s hope this is a win. What’s up? Okay, so you know how we were talking about the bar? Woah I know Do you love it? I feel like it really represents the The prime time Jamie brand. I had four guys trying to carry this in here. I mean it was comical. They neighbors were walking by, there was the whole Simsbury scan of like here’s what’s happening. It’s beautiful on the inside, so you wanna do what in here? So I want to turn this into the bar. One of the things that I love is that like element of surprise when you see someone using something that’s not necessarily made for that intent. In design actually, opposites work together often so the opposite here would be this very old vintage piece on the outside and when you open it up it’s this very modern glamorous, Jamie will call it, “Soho Loft Style” It’s great, I think it’s gonna be great. The only challenge with this is this mirror on the front. This door is so heavy. What I’d like to do is put a weight down there and just balance it out so we can kinda just tilt it back a little bit. What if we actually put like a reel fixture in here? A light? Maybe I can get an electrician to take a chandelier and convert it so it can plug into the wall ’cause then, anywhere you move the armoire the fixture comes with you Oh yeah, I don’t want to do one of those like battery powered lights. No. What are you doing today? No. No. Do you really want it done? Do you want me to do the double tap again for you? Let’s do it. I wanted the bar to really feel like a cozy room and mirrors actually create that effect so we decided to distress this mirror to really reinforce that old school vibe of the armoire. Scraper Sexy The way that you distress a mirror is scrape off with paint thinner on the back and a lot of modern mirrors actually have plaster or something that actually you can’t scrape off. Okay, so we’re gonna start with paint thinner and brush a thin coat so the mirror actually ages first around the edges so we are going to scrape off some strategic spots and pour the acid in those spots because what the acid will do is actually take away the mirror on the front and that’s what creates that really cool french antique distressed look. A lot of progress. So lot’s of space to do something really cool on the inside. So I talked to Calico, I actually picked out a wallpaper. did you bring it with you? I have it right here. I can’t wait to see it, I have no seen it yet. Hey guys! Oh you are just in time. I’m just being nosy. Woah. I love it! Wow. Wow. The colors in this wallapaper navies and metallics actually look really great with this old wood so we are actually preserving some of the history of the piece It looks great. I love it! Wallpaper helps create that drama of a party on the inside. If you make amazing wallpaper, call me. I’m adding an untraditional ceiling fixture into the armoire and I’ve asked Jamie, my electrician, to come help me because it really needs to be donde right. Looking great. Wow. This is great. When you’re from the midwest you gotta love a good coozie but there’s no way to make foam look chic so I am gonna actually make faux fur coozies. The first thing you want to do is create a pattern. You’re just gonna wrap construction paper around the glass so once you have that, you’ll cut out your patter just like I have here and you’re gonna find a hide. This is just a remnant which means it might be part of a bigger hide that was already cut but for our purposes that’s totally fine. So you take your pattern and you’re just gonna trace it so once we have our patter traced we’re just gonna cut it with regular scissors. And then you have a cow hide and the next thing we’re gonna do is actually create the inserts. So the backing of your faux fur hide is is actually gonna be felt because you’re gonna see through so you don’t want to see the actual back of the hide. We’re going to sow the both of them together to create a loop. A nice even line right through the hide. we’re gonna trim it down after so don’t worry about being super precise. Now we have a circle so we are going to do the exact same thing with the felt. So now we have two loops and we are going to glue them together Slowly. Then you’re going to want to let it dry actually on a glass so it molds to the shape of the glass. You can actually trim that extra half inch down to the stitch. we are going to fit it on the cup and let it dry. The coolest thing about this is this can actually just be a blank canvas but you know I’m gonna put some jewels on some. We are gonna have a Jamie and Alia bar. Alright babe. I am figuring out my hack. It might not be as sophisticated as yours but I got a ten pound weight. Ten pound weight. It goes into a drawer. You’re gonna open up the drawer and take the weight place the weight in the drawer push the drawer all the way closed. Babe, I’m done with my hack. It’s all set. What’s your hack? I put a weight in the drawer. It helps balance it. Gives it a little bit more weight. No double tap. Double tap. Rather than just put back in the same wood shelving that the armoire came with I wanted to mix materials. these gold pedestals really bring out the metallic in the wallpaper. No worries. Long ways? Yes please. You’ll notice there’s no liquor bottles in this bar. These decanters are filled with different types of liquor and have that old world vibe that really continues the theme that we’ve created the inside of the armoire around. They would be right at home on any Mad Men set. It’s pretty much safe to bet that nobody in Simsbury is going to have a carbon copy of our bar. Pretty safe to say that no one on the globe will have a carbon copy of our bar, baabe. This is pretty good. For 24 hours, I think we slayed it. I think its kind of cool that we can see the- I love it. -the wallpaper through it but you know technically when it’s distressed you wouldn’t see the whole mirror but I scraped a little too much mirror off but Got a little aggressive? I’m gonna take an L. It’s not an L. It’s a learning experience. It’s not a loss is a learning. It’s a learning. Take the learning babe. Thanks for your help. If you love to entertain in not just about what you serve. You get a lot of credit for presentation and creativity. So don’t be afraid to add your own twist.

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