Monday, April 19, 2010

A Knack for Reinvention

DIY, refurbishing old furniture, finding possibility in junk yards... All very popular right now. And none of it is new to me. While growing up, I knew many creative people who had this kind of vision.

Two that immediately come to mind are my mother of course, and also the mother of one of my many babysitting charges during high school.

Rebecca MacKenzie was mother to a cute little boy named Alexander. But in the design world, she was known as Rebecca Cross, a talented artist who at that time, painted furniture and floors with bold, bright motifs. I spent a lot of time in their house (actually two houses since they moved at some point) and saw much of her work for her own family as well as what she created for clients.

My mother had some furniture made for our house using architectural salvage and then painted it with various finishes she developed. She even started a business with her best friend, Barry Remley called Salvations (while she is no longer a partner, she still serves on the board). All of this made for frequent weekend jaunts to places like the DC institution, The Brass Knob.

While I can't say that I had the appreciation that I should back then for these creative women in my life (give me a break - I was a kid!), it did give me a different perspective on what may appear to be old junk. I can now see potential that may not have been apparent to me had my parents been accountants. You never know - but I attribute this appreciation to my early influences.

So (yes -there was a point to this) when I came across a belle maison post about Knack Studios in Greenville, SC, I was instantly confronted by the familiar. And I found the way that they take something old or plain and turn it into something new and extraordinary to be truly inspired.

This work combines everything I remember. They refurbish old furniture, they create new furniture out of discarded scraps, and they completely reinvent everything they do using finishes, color and painted motifs. Knack Studios brings art to furniture design and creates functional pieces that are absolutely unique.

To read more about Knack Studios, visit their website, Etsy shop, Flickr page, and blog.


  1. So neat - and so lucky that you grew up surrounded by such creative talent! I love that turquoise table with the red and white patterned drawers...that would so fit in my house!

  2. These are very cool, Kate! Thanks for the intro.

  3. thank you so very much for this sweet post! blessed you are to have grown up surrounded by so many talented people!



Related Posts with Thumbnails