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Artist in the Spotlight - Christine O"Leary Red Rocker furniture

Updated: Jan 27

Christine O’Leary of Red Rocker Furniture with petite sunflower yellow vintage writing desk

What does a retired Occupational Therapist of 27 years with an “empty nest” do to keep herself busy?

Well, in Christine O’Leary’s case, she “Rescues” vintage furniture. As she explains,

“I am strangely attracted to the craftsmanship and artistry of a well-made antique”.

Having spent her career supporting the senior population, she has taken her passion for “making old young again” and shifted her focus from people to furniture.

Vintage Cedar Blanket Box Bench in blue and gold by Red Rocker Furniture Pittsburgh PA

Christine has always had a leaning toward creative endeavours and hobbies. From music and writing to painting and interior design, she loves them all.

So it’s no great surprise that she is so successful in her new career, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t work incredibly hard.

Her business, “Red Rocker Furniture”, is a wonderful combination of all of Christine’s creative skills and is owned and operated as a solo venture from her home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

With no storefront, the business is primarily conducted very successfully online.

Artists, in whatever medium, see “blank canvases” everywhere.

For Christine, it’s about whether a piece of furniture has “good bones” (or a solid framework).

She looks for unique pieces, always with an eye to the details, the curves, accents, and nuances.

And, working carefully and sympathetically, she brings it back to life, using paints, varnishes, transfers, and appliques to highlight details without ever detracting from the beauty of the original piece.

Vintage White French Inspired Dresser by Red Rocker Furniture

Suddenly, a tired old unwanted antique becomes trendy and coveted; it has been lovingly restored, rehabilitated, re-imagined, and given a second chance.

Christine often chooses furniture that others might think are beyond help. But, like so many furniture artists, she sees past the imperfections, its history, its past lives, and most importantly, the possibilities.

Upcycled Gray & White Vanity by Red Rocker Furniture

With no formal training in her art, Christine feels experience is the best teacher.

“I have honed my skill of mending the worn and broken pieces, maybe tweaking the design, adding some color, texture, and artistic flare. It’s a Win-Win. The furniture becomes beloved in its new incarnation. I have saved space in our landfills, contributing to sustainable living by recycling”.

Vintage Jacobean Buffet in Deep Red by Red Rocker furniture

Not only that, but her customers have a piece of furniture history that is truly unique, lovingly restored and will, no doubt, bring years of pleasure to their homes.

Christine’s mission is “to bring joy through colorful transformations while saving our planet-one piece of furniture at a time.

Go big! Go Bold! Go Vintage!”.

Red Rocker Furniture services also offer custom makeovers for client- owned pieces, in-home color consultations for home decorating, tips on accent colors, and furniture positioning for optimal flow.

If you would like to find out more about Christine and her stunning work, please visit her via the following links:

Connect with Christine via our Directory of artisans USA here

Or visit her Facebook page here

Download our FREE guide to building a successful upcycled furniture business here

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