Classic Design

Best Furniture Restoration, August 2004

In a nondescript warehouse a few blocks off the 405 freeway and Vermont Avenue, Raoul Brenassay of Classic Design will take a rare George Nelson “Coconut” chair, hand-carve new foam to match seamlessly the tapered, bending original, and then cover the concave seat in a chartreuse wool that neither sags nor pillows. Herman Miller entrusts the restoration of vintage Eames chairs to Brenassay, who at 14 was apprenticed in the art of drapery and upholstery in Paris, but the tapissier will just as gladly remake the leg of that old table your grandmother passed down to you. Perfection has its price: A hot-glue job on a hockey-inspired Frank Gehry “Cross Check” armchair is $500; an eight-foot custom sofa, $7,500.