Yeah ok. I was warned. Newborndome is no joke. Midnight feedings… sleep deprivation… a bazillion dirty diapers. How have people been doing this for centuries?!? Jk. Baby H is totally worth the effort - even if I officially can’t have a cup of coffee in the morning without it going cold.
Caleb has been fabulously supportive. Even though he is back at work, he’s found ways to give me little breaks when he can like downtime to make a craigslist run or have a glass of wine on our deck. He even gave me a block of baby-free time to knock out a new piece:
A Heywood-Wakefield Airflow Dresser
I actually scored this dresser somewhere in my 3rd trimester (I think I might have played my last preggo card to convince Caleb to help me pick it up one morning before work) - ha! It was obvious that the previous owner did not realize what a rare find they had considering they put it in their sticker-loving son’s room. Just look at the damage to the signature H-W finish!
The watermark on the back revealed that it’s a “wheat rub.” This means it was truly vintage and not a reproduction since newer H-W pieces sport their signature Amber finish. This piece could date somewhere in the 1930’s-1950’s when Heywood-Wakefield art-deco-inspired mid-century modern style rose to popularity. I debated long and hard about how I was going to tackle this project and eventually decided on:
I was seriously on the fence about restoring vs transforming. After consulting my brother-in-law the wine-cellar-building-carpenter-and-fellow-vintage-furniture-lover I realized it would be practically criminal to alter it with paint or new hardware.
First order of business to get it back to its former glory was to SAND THE HECK OUT IT. Yeah that sticker residue had to go.
After the thorough sanding came a thorough waxing.
The wax gives it a buttery finish that’s much closer to that trademark Heywood-Wakefield buff.
This is actually not the first Heywood-Wakefield piece I’ve gotten on my hands on. Some of you may remember this gimpy coffee table find from 2017 that I ended up keeping for myself.
Although a little patinaed, the coffee table had an original H-W “champagne finish” which, if you ask me, looks practically the same as the “wheat rub” on the Airflow dresser. That could be due in part to the fact that all H-W pieces are made out of the same wood: northern yellow birch.
Sealing the Airflow dresser in a wax allowed the natural golden tones of the northern yellow birch to shine.
Besides the finish, another trademark feature of a H-W piece is the sculptural lines - like the unique curves in the drawer fronts and the architectural details in the handles.
I know Heywood-Wakefields can read a little too George Jetson to some so I wanted the styling to show how it can still have its moment in the modern day. The quirky lines of this vintage dresser play well with the mod lines of my velvet cantilever chair flip and cheeky llama prints.
And I just had to pull out my face vase and add a touch or two of terracotta.
This newly restored bad boy is now available for sale if you’re in the market for a piece of American-made history! Email me for purchasing or shipping options.