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Recently I came across a stylish and flawlessly manufactured chair that defied traditional categories. It led to scenarios in my mind in which friends and family came to visit my home, but couldn’t keep their eyes off my new, mod find. A deeply interesting lamp, exquisitely executed, had equally bewitching effects.
The creator is a local designer, Pam Dombrowski, of EDIT HOME, who possesses the deft ability to radically reenvision and reinvent salvaged furniture. Pam is an open, intelligent, and warm designer whose unassuming nature belies the tremendous talent within. She shares with us how relics are revived and forsaken furnishings transformed.
Pam has always been captivated by architecture, “As a kid, I was always redesigning in my head. I’ve always appreciated the architecture in homes.”
After moving to River Forest twelve years ago, Pam and her husband began to purchase and rehab homes in the area. While it was extremely rewarding, the sluggish economy created a lull in business that pushed Pam to rethink her career options.
Pam knew she had a passion for furniture, “I’ve always been attracted to unusual furniture pieces.” Soon she began bringing home articles from estate sales or garage sales that those with a less discerning eye might dismiss as lacking potential.
Pam’s fertile mind saw all the possibilities of each piece, “I can see the good bones, the well-made structure. These pieces have had one life. Now I am giving them a new life.”
I have to wonder: How does Pam decide whether a piece has latent, lurking potential? “I’m drawn to a piece with clean and simple lines.” She restores seating, casegoods, lighting, and more, reexamining classics in newer, cooler ways, bringing a modern sensibility to each creation.
“I keep a piece for six months because I see seven different things it could become.” Pam enjoys having a relationship with each piece, seeing it for what it is, and patiently waiting for each piece to reveal what it shall become.
Inspired by Wendell Castle, an American furniture artist know for his contemporary designs, Pam looks for pieces that set her imagination free. She sheepishly admits to having amassed a large collection of furniture that she plans to rework: a garage full of items waiting for a magical metamorphosis. “I’m never destroying [an item], but always changing it.”
Pam’s love of design has now become a new business venture, EDIT HOME, which aptly describes what she does – adding or taking away to create the desired effect, the perfect milieu. “I want luxury and beauty to be available to everyone. Each piece is unique because it has been salvaged, and it’s a great piece of furniture at a price that more people can afford.”
She is happy to offer consumers an eco-friendly option at a modest price, “[Consumers] are greener, we think about this and we’re conscious of what we’re spending our money on.” Pam’s purposeful pieces succeed in offering quality, affordability, and style.
I ask about the challenges of pioneering her own business during this unsteady economy. Pam is deeply aware of the joys and tribulations that accompany spearheading one’s own business endeavor. She focuses on the joy she derives as the designer and creator of each upcycled piece. “I am in control of what I do. I don’t compromise my artistic vision.”
EDIT HOME offers one-day room makeovers and personal decor shopping. You can find Pam's original pieces at Revision Home in Chicago or at Muse in Oak Park. Contact Pam at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 847.363.0096.