After this particularly harsh New York winter, which saw my home heatedto inferno-like levels, I headed to hardware emporium Gracious Home in searchof a remedy for dry, cracked wood and leather surfaces.
I explained my situation: a 19th-century French farmtable literally splitting after six months spent next to a scorching radiator.Without missing a beat, the clerk suggested Christophe Pourny’s Furniture Tonic($18). I have since become a huge fan of this Brooklyn-basedfurniture restorer’s product line that includes serums, creams and pastes –all designed to nourish various woods, leather and stone, and restore theiroriginal lustre, grain and hue.
Pourny’s CV is certainly impressive. Raised in the south of France, he spent years in his parents’ antiques store – and later at his unclePierre Madel’s shop in Paris’s Rue Jacob – learning about everything from strawmarquetry to intricate wall panelling and custom reproductions. In additionto working with such noted designers as Jamie Drake and Robert Stern,Pourny is also an official restorer for the City of New York, and was recently enlistedto repair George Washington’s writing desk for City Hall, among otherhigh-profile projects. In short, he knows antique furniture and finefinishes. It will come as no surprise, then, to learn that his product range isamong the best I’ve tried.
All of Pourny’s lightly scented formulations are made from NorthAmerican seeds and French essential oils, and all are free of harsh chemicalsand preservatives. I started with the basic Furniture Tonic that is infusedwith walnut and linseed oils, and it worked wonders moisturising theaforementioned farm table. This tonic is made in small batches and can beordered in natural, lavender, rosemary, cedar, sandalwood and bergamotvarieties, and each is beautifully bottled with a chic label.
I have since moved on to the larger Furniture Care Kit ($115) that,alongside the tonic, includes Color Reviver (excellent for reviving surfacesafter sun damage) and Leather Serum & Paste that, in addition toconditioning upholstery, also brings shoes, handbags and belts back to life.Small tins of beeswax-infused Paste Wax add another natural way to safelypolish delicate surfaces. All of these come smartly packaged in a wooden box –now available for global delivery.