Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Before & After: Vintage 'Fashion Flow' Set

Walking through the aisles at the last Sacramento Antique Fair, I saw a stack of furniture that I had to go check out further.  There was a twin headboard, foot board and rails set up with a desk set up in the middle, and all the pieces of another twin bed sitting alongside. I fell in love with the vintage vibe of this set immediately!

These pieces all had metal cutwork accents: The head board and foot board had strips about 4" wide metal cut work accenting them.  The wood was a blond burl wood but had lost its finish and had lots of nicks and scratches on them.   

 I wasn't quite sure if this piece was a desk or a vanity until I found the beautiful beveled glass round mirror that went with the set.  There was also the little apron piece that held the mirror in place sitting in the pile! So I determined it to be a vanity but it could also be a desk if someone didn't want to use the heavy beveled mirror. The vanity had the same metal design under the drawers on each side.  This cut work metal design was also used for the cup handle hardware on the desk. 

This closeup really shows the condition of the wood - this desk/vanity was definitely well used.  Inside one of the top drawers I found a tag that read "Fashion Flow Furniture".  I looked it up on the internet and couldn't find much but did find an ad from 1937 - which I think fits about the era of this desk/vanity, and the dealer said she bought it at an estate sale in Reno.  So if any of you know anything about it let me know!  I debated whether I should restore the original finish to let the burl wood show through, but after closely scrutinizing it, I found the burl wood pieces were actually veneer so I started sanding it down and getting it ready for some paint magic!

Oops! this picture is upside down - still learning!! First step was to remove the hardware.  These had multiple layers of paint on them and the paint was chipped off in places.  I set them aside and sanded and primed the wood parts of the beds and the desk/vanity. 

While the primer was drying, I took some fine grit sandpaper to the hardware.  
These cleaned up well and looked like brand spanking new metal once I got done with them.  The multiple layers of paint must have protected them from rusting over the years. 
But the shiny metal wasn't going to look good with my shabby paint job, 
so I primed them and painted them white.

This close-up shows the desk/vanity all finished.  The cup pulls look great and repeat the pattern of the metal mesh at the bottom of the desk.  You can really see the mirror apron here and it also has that great metal mesh detailing. 

Here's a full front view of the refinished desk/vanity - I hadn't cleaned the mirror up yet!  A friend gave me the little vanity stool - I need to recover it since it is a little dirty but I am not sure if I want this one to stay with this vanity.  I have two more vanities I am working on and I like this stool better with another one!  Plus, this piece could actually be used as a desk so it may need a different type of chair.  What do you think?

The pair of beds will be great for two kids that share a room once I get done with them!

Multiple sandings to get the yellowed and cracked varnish off and then again after each coat of paint and I was able to get a smooth finish on these beds.

Then of course, another sanding to distress them when the painting was all done!

Here is one of the beds all finished!  The yellowed finished is now gone and the beds look fresh and ready for a new home!  I can just picture this set of twin beds in a pair of sisters' room with some of Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic comforters on them!  Oh - and some cute pillows!  I love pillows!!

And last, but not least, the desk/vanity WITH the mirror!!  I couldn't get a picture with the mirror outside because the mirror needs to have a wall behind it to support it.  It is now in my space at the store - you can see some of the little girl stuff in my space reflected in the mirror - but this vanity/desk would be perfect for any big girl as well - I hope it will be cherished by whomever takes it home because it has been one of my favorite pieces to refinish!  Who knows - I may just bring it back home and put it in my Hollywood room - after all - the 1930's were part of Hollywood's Golden Age!

I'm linking up to these parties!


  1. Great transformation! It looks so fresh and clean - reminds me of the Swedish or Scandinavian furniture now!

  2. Hi, friend! I'm admiring all your creative posts here. Can you please share them at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there at the party :)

  3. This set turned out beautiful! You are right - I haven't seen this kind in all my hunts either! Those metal mesh details on the pieces look a lot like caning! Wish I could see them in person! Good Job!

  4. I just bought a beautiful hutch from Fashion Flow, and I am scouring the internet for more info on this company, if you find out anyting more I would love to know....

    1. I just bought a tiger maple vintage hutch/china cabinet made by Genuine Fashion Flow also and from my research on the internet it appears to have been made in the made 1930's and is a an art deco piece. Apparently this furniture was made by man named B.P. John in Portland Oregon. If anyone has anything to add to this it would be appreciated. :)


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