Thursday, May 22, 2014

Introducing Brasilia - The Big Reveal

Everyone remembers this post right? What about this one? No? That's okay, I forgive you ;)

I have obsessively hunted for a dresser, credenza, hutch, ANYTHING from the mid century Brasilia line by Broyhill. The problem? These pieces are the equivalent of the holy grail in the world of furniture. They are hard to come by, and hugely expensive (think $800-$1300 in my area) when found. Being the craigslist whisperer that I am, I refused to give up hope that one day I would stumble upon one for a reasonable price. I religiously searched not only thrift stores and estate sales, but my craigslist, and the craigslist in any city where I had any connections what-so-ever (if you have never used and you are an obsessive weirdo like me, check it out. You're welcome.) Aunt in LA? Best friend in Texas? Friends in Washington? Cousins in Oregon? The list goes on and on.

One day during one of my routine nation wide searches, I came across the ad I was waiting for. There she was, in all her glory- an entire Brasilia hutch, covered in government issued green paint, mine for the low price of $80. I couldn't stand it! My heart was racing, my palms sweaty... I had to have it. I didn't care how much restoration needed to be done, someone had to save this beautiful iconic piece! I anxiously typed out an email to the seller offering to buy it site unseen if she would hang on to it for me while I arranged for shipping. Fifteen minutes later she responded with a firm "no." She just wasn't comfortable with dealing with a buyer she couldn't see in person. I begged, I pleaded, nothing would change her mind. The next day as I was whining to my mom about the situation, she looked at me (totally understanding my insanity because, well, let's face it, I inherited my crazy from her) and said "you know you have a cousin in Oregon." The rest as we say, is history. A HUGE thank you to my cousin Brian and his wife Debbie who were willing to rent a trailer and drive an hour to pick up this piece, and then stored it in their garage while we waited a month for the shipping company (thank you!) to pick it up and haul it to me.

Being as excited as I was, it may come as a surprise that once it arrived, the Brasilia sat in my garage for a year before I attempted the restoration. To be honest I was intimidated. At that time I had never once restored anything, and I was somewhat terrified of using the Brasilia as my experiment piece. So it sat, while I worked on other projects and learned what I could along the way. Now, a full year later, I can finally say it's done. Well, the bottom half is done. I may need another year to gather the willpower to restore the hutch portion. The Brasilia was by far the hardest piece of furniture I have restored to date. It very near killed me. The sanding... oh the sanding... and the chemical stripping... it just never seemed to end. The day I could finally slap on that first coat of stain was fantastically rewarding. Even more rewarding was the day I could move it into my house!

Without further ado, I give you my very own Broyhill Brasilia :)



Drumroll please...


How can anyone resist this hardware?

Home at last :)