Friday, August 10, 2012


Remember this photo taken from the new Ralph Lauren furniture line, Rosecliff? This charming white painted pedestal table which copies c.1940-50 mahogany pedestal tables (but is new, of a lesser quality wood and is super pricey at over $2000.00) inspired me to create a similar table using a 1940's mahogany table and redoing the surface. 

Ralph Lauren "Rosecliff" furnishing

My goal was not only to create a table with an equal or higher level of detailing, but also to offer the table at a much reduced price.

I found this sweet 1940's mahogany pedestal table at a little antiques shop around the corner--it had all of the elements that I was looking for (plus the table is 8-sided) and was in great condition. Fortunately, my son was staying with me; so Andrew did the time-consuming work of stripping and sanding that thick early 20th c. finish. (Using green products)


Next I spent over an hour at the paint store picking the perfect Swedish-inspired chalky off-white paint. And Roberto finished up the paint job. Looking good.

Yep, I did it! The table looks great.The RL table has a pie crust edge, but mine is more unique in that it is 8-sided and my 1940's table has crisper carved detailing......but this poor little table has sat in my shop because I got stuck.........very stuck!

I wasn't happy simply creating a pedestal table that was equal to or slightly better than Mr. Lauren's table. Oh, no--I had to up the anty. I also bought a larger (31" diameter), top of the line 1940's Chippendale-style mahogany pedestal table with a gorgeous shell carved baroque edge. And this table was what got me stuck.


The old finish on this table was super thick and it took many, many goings over to finally strip the table completely and then sanding all of the carved elements took forever (Andrew returned to Thailand before the table was finished).  On top of this detour, I decided that the Swedish chalky white  surface as inspired by Ralph, was a bit too boring for this super table. So I became even more entrenched in my  hole trying to decided what to do with Mr. Chippendale.  He had to strut his stuff.

Finally, last week I spent another hour (more) at the paint store and handed off the table to Juan, my fantastic lacquer person.


What do you think? I love him..  Chinese Red high gloss multi-coat lacquer!! Not quite the look that Mr. Lauren was going for.... And I wasn't able to reduce the price by 50% (my goal), but boy does this guy make a statement. (I had trouble taking photos because of the high gloss reflection--I'll try again) I might have to keep this guy--he would look great against my antique Grisaille Dufour wall paper screen. Paired with my tufted black leather sofa??
So now that I'm unstuck, I have finally posted both Ralph Lauren tables to my website. My flights of creativity usually take a bit longer than planned for, but I'm happy with the outcome.

Note: Any time you choose a high gloss or matte lacquer finish the price escalates. The finish sanding has to be just about perfect and a minimum of twelve coats of lacquer (with sanding in between coats) are required to attain the visual depth.

Jones says "hi"--if you look closely, he is helping to strip the tables and for a couple of days he had white paint on his ears.
Thanks for joining me on this crazy adventure.
Mary and Jones (and Cole)



  1. Mary your tables are both gorgeous and I wold be excite to have either one! Beautifully finished and the lacquer OMG! Great finds! Classic pieces!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artists Series

    1. Hi Karena,
      Thank you so much for your comments. You inspire me. Hope that things are smoothing out.