Breathing New Life into Treasured Furniture with Revitaliste
We met with Amy Frederickson, founder of Revitaliste, a company which offers full-service furniture revitalization. Think about all of the design projects you’ve worked on when your client had this old yet sad sofa chair that they just had to keep, and you thought to yourself, “That piece is not staying in this room”. Now, it’s easier than ever to transform those items into new and refreshed pieces of furniture that your clients will truly love (and will look good in your finished space!). Revitaliste’s mission is to make it simple to breathe new life into treasured pieces, whether it be a family heirloom or a flea market find. Amy shares how the Revitaliste process works, how Revitaliste typically works with interior designers, and her take on embracing technology in the design industry.
Amy, you started Revitaliste as an end-to-end, streamlined service for revitalizing vintage and pre-owned furnishings. Can you walk us through this unique, enjoyable, and frustration-free process?
Amy Frederickson: I started Revitaliste to make the furniture revitalization process transparent, convenient, and easy-to-navigate. From start to finish, the process is entirely online, so you don’t have to leave your home to give your favorite pieces a makeover. After filling out a quick questionnaire on our website to give us a sense of what you’d like to do – whether a major transformation or a subtle revamp – we’ll get back to you with a detailed quote within just one day. We also have an online design service and dedicated team available to provide design guidance with a curated selection of fabrics and finishes for your piece. Scheduling both pick-up and drop-off are also done online, and we’ll keep you up-to-date with how your project is coming along.
“It’s Revitaliste’s mission to leverage online tools to make a once opaque industry navigable for anyone who wants to revitalize their furnishings.”
Revitaliste is based in San Francisco…how does the culture and design scene in this city impact business?
AF: When I moved from New York to San Francisco 7 years ago, I was struck by the city’s distinct beauty: its mix of cultures, unique architecture and access to stunning naturescapes. That combination is undoubtedly what has drawn so many creatives to the Bay Area. For Revitaliste, San Francisco couldn’t be a better homebase. There is a deep pool of talented and dedicated artisans throughout the Bay Area. We’re partnering with many of San Francisco’s celebrated interior designers on projects throughout the Bay Area and beyond. And of course, San Francisco is known as the center of innovation and disruption in tech: it’s Revitaliste’s mission to leverage online tools to make a once opaque industry navigable for anyone who wants to revitalize their furnishings.
What are some of the most popular pieces customers bring in to be revitalized?
AF: All types of mid-century modern pieces are common candidates for revitalization these days. We restore a lot of vintage Knoll, Dunbar, Henredon furniture and seating designed by Milo Baughman, and Vladimir Kagan. We also revitalize a lot of our clients’ heirloom pieces – dining tables and chairs, bergere chairs, writing desks, and more. We are also increasingly transforming newly made pieces from brands like Ballard Design, CB2, or West Elm for our interior design clients who like the lines and price points of these pieces, but want to customize them to be more unique.
“We provide a lot of technical and design guidance to designers to ensure that the design details they’re specifying are feasible, look fabulous and will last over time.”
And what are some of your most popular fabrics?
AF: One of our most popular options is to use indoor/outdoor fabrics, especially for families with young children or pets. Indoor/outdoor fabrics have come a long way since the awning stripe – companies like Schumacher now print many of their classic designs on indoor/outdoor fabric. Perennials is one of our most popular indoor/outdoor options because of the great “hand” of the fabric, color selection and price point.
Other popular fabrics are from boutique textile companies we work with like Tulu Textiles, Timorous Beasties, Schuyler Samperton and Voutsa, all of which are featured in the textile library on our website.
How do you typically work with interior designers?
AF: We really love collaborating with interior designers. Because we live and breath furniture revitalization, we like to think of ourselves as a tool designers can tap into for all their revitalization questions. We provide a lot of technical and design guidance to designers to ensure that the design details they’re specifying are feasible, look fabulous and will last over time.
Why should designers consider using Revitaliste for client projects?
AF: We’ve heard from our design-professional clients that there are three primary reasons they enjoy working with Revitaliste: 1) the time and cost savings our project management team affords them 2) our thoughtful and expert design guidance, and 3) piece of mind that each project we work on will be flawlessly revitalized.
With Revitaliste handling all of the operational details, interior designers are able to focus on the creative aspects of their projects.
Recently, you revitalized a dresser into a changing table for Ivy Designer Dina Bandman for her SF Showcase “Lemon Drop Lullaby”….can you tell us about that project?
AF: Dina Bandman of Dina Bandman Interiors was amazing to collaborate with; she’s got an incredible aesthetic! We helped her transform a very “fussy” dresser into a super chic and totally bespoke changing table. Dina had a strong vision of what she wanted to create and we helped her determine the best techniques to achieve that design. We removed some of the intricate trellis fretwork on the drawer fronts. We lacquered the entire piece in a custom-color grey and then manually added striation (using a ruler and razor blade!) to give the piece more depth. And finally, we replaced the drawer pulls with custom-made brass escutcheons to hang the lemon yellow tassels.
Can you offer designers some tips or best practices for making the most out of Revitaliste?
AF: Let us obsess over the details: using Revitaliste saves designers hours spent going to and from workrooms, scheduling movers, and sorting through thousands of fabrics at the design center. We offer complimentary fabric procurement services for designers; we handle the administrative tasks of ordering and tracking fabrics. Additionally, we offer design guidance which can be as collaborative as a designer likes. Consider Revitaliste a design assistant: even the most seasoned interior designers ask us to help source fabrics, finishes and trims for them! And of course on every project, we take care of all the logistics and micro-manage the entire revitalization process.
“Using Revitaliste saves designers hours spent going to and from workrooms, scheduling movers, and sorting through thousands of fabrics at the design center.”
In your opinion, why should designers embrace the digital age and take advantage of softwares such as Ivy to manage their business operations?
AF: As a startup in the interior design space, Revitaliste understands the amount of work and attention to detail that goes into each and every design project. In comparison to other industries, the home decor industry is still catching up in terms of tech tools: everything from coordinating contractors to sourcing materials is often a manual, laborious process, and designers have to juggle a lot of moving parts to keep a project on track. We love that Ivy has created software specific to design project needs, like customizable proposals and tear sheets, which help designers share their vision for revitalization projects super easily.
What’s next for Revitaliste?
AF: We’ve got a lot happening this year! Firstly, we’re very excited to share that we’ve recently launched Revitaliste in the Los Angeles area. Although we receive projects in our San Francisco workrooms from all over the country, we’re now officially offering our revitalization services on the ground in Los Angeles to accommodate the high demand of projects we’re seeing from this vibrant, design-loving city.
Another exciting development is that this fall, we’ll be launching an online textile library with over 5,000 of our favorite printed textiles, all in one place. These fabrics were curated by our team and pulled from lines at both boutique and established fabric brands, and we’re thrilled to be able to bring them all to a single platform for super easy sourcing. Stay tuned for the launch!
Ivy is the # 1 software for designers. To learn more about Ivy, schedule a demo with an Ivy Guru who can show you how designers use Ivy to streamline their workflow and make more time for what they love, design.