Dovetail Furniture: Blending Rustic Elegance with a Modern Touch
Finding all the right pieces to fill out a room is an adventure in its own right. Sure, just about any furniture can furnish a home, but only a handful truly exude style and personality while offering the comfort and allure you’re proud to call your own. No matter how many hours you spend scouring the internet and small local shops during your search for those select few perfect pieces, finally stumbling upon them makes the entire journey worthwhile.
With the launch of the Dovetail Furniture brand back in 1992, creators Ted Einstein and Charlie Shaw brought all those highly sought-after elements to a single line of home furnishings. The term “dovetail” in and of itself indicates a level of quality and craftsmanship born long before technology tightened its grip on the home furnishings industry. This tongue-and-groove technique was developed centuries ago, and early examples of such work maintain their structural integrity even today.
Melding Old-World Charm with Modern-Day Style
Creating authentic solid wood furniture is an art form all its own. Taking rough, raw pieces of wood and transforming them into sturdy, elegant furnishings worthy of even the most high-end showroom floor is a process requiring a great deal of passion, patience, and talent as well as an eye for detail. Dovetail takes matters a step further, generating a variety of gorgeous distressed pieces geared toward every room in the home. From sideboards and sofa tables to bed frames and wall accessories, you’ll find an array of options designed to lend charm and beauty to a number of design schemes.
Adding Character and Age to a Newly Built Item
Bringing form, structure, and functionality to a series of seemingly random pieces of wood is a beautiful process, but transforming that flawlessly crafted specimen into a piece straight from a cache of treasured family heirlooms is a method all its own. The distressed look isn’t something you can create on an assembly line courtesy of a complicated computer program. It has to be done by hand in a series of carefully orchestrated steps.
Varying levels of aging are available, but they all start with raw, unfinished pieces of furniture to be painted or stained according to your own preferences. Painted pieces are allowed to dry completely; from there, they’re gently scuffed by hand to smooth out the surface. Craftspeople use hand sanders to round off sharp corners and remove some of the paint around the edges of each piece.
This leg of the process adds the appearance of years of use. For more extreme aging, the paint is more heavily worn away in areas where furniture is known to receive the greatest abuse. In general, this would be around bottom edges where vacuums and brooms would bump and scrape and near door handles and drawer pulls where generations of hands would repeatedly brush against the finish.
Distressing artists might tap the furniture in various places with paddles covered in nails to create the illusion of wormholes or beat the surface with chains to generate dents and dings. For solely stained pieces, this is where the process begins. All this takes quite a bit of strength and care; at the same time, the line between haphazard destruction and meticulous recreation of time and service is a very fine one. This is one of the aspects in which true artistry and attention to detail come into play.
Once age and years of love have been successfully incorporated into a piece, it’s covered in stain to help accentuate the natural grain of the wood. For painted pieces, the wood-colored stain darkens scuffed edges to further highlight the semblance of time and wear. Stains are typically wiped on by hand or sprayed depending on the size, shape, and intricacy of each piece. Before it dries, craftspeople wipe the excess away by hand, leaving heavier layers and streaks in some places for added complexity. Again, creating just the right look takes a great deal of experience and dedication.
After being allowed to dry, the furniture receives a layer of sealant to protect the wood, stain and paint from the elements. Once this has cured completely, each piece is once again scuffed by hand to remove any rough patches and prepare it for the final step, a generous coat of lacquer. It’s a labor of love you won’t find rolling off any mass-production assembly line.
One of the most intriguing aspects of distressed pieces like these, aside from the meticulous attention going into their creation, is their uniqueness. Each distinct design is certainly derived from a specific pattern, but in the end, no two are identical. You might purchase the same coffee table with the same type of finish as a few hundred other people, yet due to the human element so diligently at work in the distressing process, each has its own distinct characteristics.
Melding Beautifully with an Array of Décor Themes
For most people, images of rustic farmhouses and charming country cottages come to mind when thinking of distressed furniture. Without a doubt, the Dovetail collection fits in exquisitely with both themes, but it’s certainly not limited to those motifs. You’ll also find it merges flawlessly with
American Traditional: Inspired by the past with comfort and familiarity at the heart of its overall appeal
Shabby Chic: Incorporating a variety of finishes centered on worn and secondhand pieces with far-reaching character
French Country: Wood tones, distressed furnishings, and rustic design elements come together to create a natural, earthy feel
These are only a few of the interior design concepts perfect for distressed furniture. Members of the Dovetail line work beautifully with virtually any casual décor as well as blended design schemes. With your choice of finishes, you can incorporate this brand into your existing theme or create an entirely new one around this collection.
Bring Unparalleled Artistry into Your Home
Each piece of Dovetail Furniture is crafted with a level of passion, pride and craftsmanship all but lost in today’s cloud of particleboard dust and drowned out by the drone of computer-aided machinery pushing out thousands of cookie-cutter furnishings. The brand takes you to a time when artisans stood back to admire their distinctive work before sending it to the individual customer for which it was created. Rounding out the collection is an array of fabrics, accessories and accent pieces handpicked as perfect complementary elements.
Whether you’re aspiring for a country cottage appeal, building on a modern-Victorian vibe or anything in between, the Dovetail collection is sure to speak to you.