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Heritage Furniture

The timely process of restoration

Restoration or refurbishment is the process of repairing, fixing , modifying, repainting and repolishing an item of furniture.

It can often be a lengthy process, as repairs especially to antique pieces that are hundreds of years old require skill, patience and craftsmanship to ensure every detail is completed successfully whilst often keeping the delicate infrastructure intact, especially the case with veneers, paper thin and fragile, the successful repair of these can really make or break a treasured heirloom.

The argument for restoration is a strong one, sustainably wise and of great sentimental value, the journey of restoration is often an emotional one.

The adventure of restoration provides us with such a sense of satisfaction . Being involved in our clients’ family history and being able to restore a much loved item of furniture for them is one of the best things about our work. Being privvy to such an evocative journey reinforces our love of why we do the things we do.

There is so much history in each and every piece, a tapesty of lives interwoven and we are honoured to be able to enrich each and every piece of furniture, albeit it a tiny child’s chair, or grandmother’s dressing table, a great great grandfathers chair or a favourite aunty’s dining table .

Restoration is a gift for now and the future

A forgotten dressing table , some would say has seen better days …

A forgotten dressing table , some would say has seen better days …

An old dressing table is now a gorgeous new bathroom vanity

An old dressing table is now a gorgeous new bathroom vanity

Cultivating traditonal style

Silky Oak is a wonderful traditonal timber, popular in use for its rich mellow grain and durability for furniture making which is most likely why it was so prevalent for manufacturing in the early 1900’s and beyond.

When refurbishing this large bar area, Silky Oak was a natural choice the goal was to keep the traditional decor and enhancing the heritage features of the area.

With the inclusions of new pelmets, panelling, skirting and door panelling we enhanced the design asthetic providing detail and character to the existing area.

silky oak bar pre restoration
completed bar restoration with detailed panelling

Brisbane City Hall Restoration

Bywater Design are extremely proud to be the official heritage  furniture restorer for the Brisbane City Hall Restoration Project.  During the past months, we have been very busy restoring the wonderful furniture in City Hall.  Many of these pieces date back hundreds of years and carry with them so much history and character.

gilded mirror city hallA wonderful slice of history involved in  the  restoration project, was the repair and re-gilding of this wonderful gold mirror.

Dating back to the 1800's, the 24 carat gold mirror originally from Europe was bequeathed to City Hall and now after a detailed repair and restoration this commanding and majestic piece, which incidentally stands over 2 meters high, now takes pride and place in the newly refurbished Media Room in Brisbane City Hall.


Also included in the many facets of this project was The Restoration of The Coronation Chair for Queen Elizabeths II's visit to Australia in 1953.


er chair restoration

We look forward to sharing more photos and stories on the Brisbane City Hall Restoration Project, including the wonderful refurbishment of the original Shingle Inn Booths.