Feature of the Month : May

Grace Interiors welcomes our ‘feature of the month’ posts. We have decided to feature a creative artist from the northern MN area each month. These people make us – interior designers and decorators – lives so much more simple with all the incredible work that they each do. From furniture to art pieces they add a special touch to each room we renovate and decorate.

May’s feature of the month is Cheryl Wisneski, owner of Hopping Wren Furniture, LLC – a furniture refinishing company in Duluth, MN. Her finished pieces are amazing; she sells pieces and does custom work for people as well. She did a custom piece for my sister-in-law – who introduced me to the company – and it turned out stunning! Cheryl has been gracious enough to take a minute out of her busy life to answer a few questions for all of us so we can get to know her and her passion a little better.

Tell me a little bit about yourself

I am a northern Minnesota girl who spends more time in her husband’s garage than anywhere else in her home. I have a wonderful hubby of 20 years – who helps me tremendously with repairs of furniture and is the hauler of most things heavy – a 23 year old beautiful daughter, a 19 year old son who is a United States Marine – OOHRAH – and an 11 year old fur baby named Vinny!  I love painting furniture, but the most favorite part about my job is when people come by and pick up their finished product. It makes me so happy to see the smiles on their faces! I love my work. It will never seem like a job because I enjoy it so much!

What got you started refinishing furniture?

I took a chalk painting class a couple of years ago with my now friend Noreen Peterson. I was hooked! After finishing my small white board project, I moved on to end tables, chairs and dressers. I now tackle china hutches, bedroom sets and dining room tables and chairs! I turned it into a business last fall and have been busy ever since!

Why Hopping Wren?

We used to live in the Willamette Valley of Oregon and hops are popular there! I even have them in my yard here in Minnesota! And, I live on Wren Drive. Hopping Wren….sort of catchy!

 What is one tip you have for others refinishing furniture?

If I could give one tip to someone interested in refinishing and painting a piece…every piece of furniture has a story. The older the better! Just like people, something might be a bit dented and rough and needing a little bit of love to make it shine. Every table, buffet, chair or dresser is valuable. Just like people are 🙂

 What is your favorite paint to use?

My favorite paint to use is Unique Belonging’s chalk based paint. The shop itself is now closed, but the paint can be purchased at shops in Superior and Duluth. It rocks, to say the least! Great coverage, awesome colors and a container goes a long way! In a pinch, I whip up my own.

 What is one tool or product you can’t live without?

One tool that I couldn’t live without in the garage is my sander. I LOVE the process of distressing furniture. I LOVE IT!

See, I told you her pieces are stunning.

I am biting at the bit to find some old furniture pieces that I can bring to Cheryl to have refinished for our home. Cheryl, be prepared! 🙂

You can contact Cheryl on her Facebook Page – Hopping Wren Furniture, LLC – also, make sure to check out her blog here.

She can be contacted for custom orders at (218) 341-3328 and ckjwhiz@hotmail.com


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