My name is Kelli Fox-Kieffer, and I am the owner/designer of Aunt Ruh’s Attic LLC. I am an Interior Designer who decided to leave the residential design industry to begin a new business refinishing, building, reclaiming, and repurposing furniture. It’s been quite the journey over the last 5 years.
It all began while working with my interior design clients, who wanted to save and incorporate their heirloom furniture pieces, but had no idea of how to accomplish it. You know, those pieces of furniture that you inherited from your parents and grandparents, the ones relegated to the attic, the basement or a spare bedroom. It’s the piece of furniture you can’t get rid of for sentimental reasons, but you can’t visualize it being usable in any room of your home. It’s also the piece of furniture that was constructed by a craftsperson and built to last…unlike many furniture pieces today.
Generally, the furniture required a simple repair and refinishing, but other times, the furniture required multiple processes of removing layers of old paint, repairing major damage, or restructuring a piece to fit into the modern home esthetic. As an Interior Designer, I studied furniture construction, and the periods in which they were built. I also knew what pieces could be refinished or repurposed, and the ones that should be left as is because of the value they held. I knew how to paint strip and/or refinish furniture from helping my mother, who learned from her uncles (you can read about them in the about section of the blog.) What I didn’t know, and had to learn, was how to construct original pieces, repair major damage to existing pieces, and how to deconstruct and reconstruct furniture. That’s where spending time apprenticing with a master cabinetmaker/furniture maker came in very handy when going full-time with the business.
Starting Aunt Ruh’s Attic was truly a leap of faith moment in my life. I loved the creativity of it, the problem solving, even the saw dust and dirt, but could it succeed as full-time business? I’m happy to say…so far, so good. I get to work from home (in the shop in our garage) listen to great music (when not using power tools) work with fantastic clients, and still earn a living doing so. No complaints here.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be posting photos and videos of my work for you to see. Hopefully, it will give you some ideas of how to save those relegated pieces of furniture. I’ll also be doing tutorials of how to refinish furniture, paint strip furniture, repair, and some paint techniques I’ve discovered along the way. Keep an eye out for those.
Thank you for taking the time to read my first post.