Jessica Godsey began refinishing furniture as a creative outlet to help relieve stress. It soon blossomed into a full-fledged brand, as one can see while browsing her beautiful projects on the Oak & Grain Refinishing website and social media. She also has an excellent eye for styling her home and recently added a lovely variety of hardware from Nostalgic Warehouse. She how Jessica mixed hardware for a cohesive look throughout her home in our latest blog post.
Please give us some more details on Oak & Grain Refinishing. How did you develop it, and what sets it apart?
Oak and Grain was a hobby that grew out of the pandemic. I'm a full-time ER physician assistant with a creative side that I hadn't tapped into more than making an occasional wreath or homemade Christmas card until Covid. It was a dark time for me in an already grueling job, and I didn't have all my healthy outlets to relieve that stress. In search of a fun hobby that would keep me occupied at home, I refinished my childhood dresser in the dining room of my 800 sq ft apartment, and I was hooked.
The ability to flex the opposite side of my brain than I typically use in my job brought me so much joy. It gave me a sense of fulfillment that very few things ever did. I then started buying pieces on Facebook Market and was shocked at how quickly I could sell them once refinished. My casual hobby quickly turned into a little business, almost unintentionally. Before I knew it, Oak | Grain was a brand.
My attention to detail, determination to maintain the piece's integrity, and clean and classic style set me apart from other refinishers. There are so many furniture "flippers" out there, but what I do isn't flipping for a quick profit - it's genuinely breathing new life into a piece so it can live an entire second life.
Since then, I've purchased my first home, which needs a lot of love. It's not my dream home with all its early 2000's builder grade finishes, but I'm determined to make it "me." I've already started adding charming touches with thicker trim, painted doors, and new door knobs with the help of Nostalgic Warehouse. I plan to revamp one room at a time with relatable, budget-friendly DIYs and focus on all the small details that make a BIG impact.
Did you do a remodel on your entire home? If so, were there specific rooms that were more challenging than others? Why?
We've lived in our home for less than one year, but so far, we've redone our primary bedroom, primary closet, and upstairs hall. There is SO much to do still, but we are trying to enjoy the journey and are grateful for the minor updates we've made thus far. Our next and probably biggest project is the kitchen, which started in Spring 2023.
How did you choose the hardware featured in this project? What attracted you to Nostalgic Warehouse?
I've always loved the classic Craftsman style. This stems from growing up in an early 1900s Craftsman-style home. The long plate details and crystal knobs of the door hardware in my childhood home are something I vividly remember. To bring a little more charm and a homey feeling to my first home, I knew I needed something special that standard hardware stores couldn't offer. The Prairie Long Plate with New York Knob is the perfect nod to the timeless look from my childhood home but with a modern flare. I incorporated a Classic Rosette with a Fluted Crystal Oval knob to our contrasting black-painted bifold laundry doors to bring in the crystal component without feeling too glam. I'm so impressed with how paint and adding real hardware to those boring bifold doors really dressed up the space.
How long did this project take to complete?
Adding hardware to the doors took less than two hours. Completing the bedroom and the hallway makeover? Those spaces each took several months to complete.
Will you use this hardware again in other projects/areas of your home?
Absolutely! I'm trying desperately to steer clear of the builder-grade bore for my home. The attention to detail that Nostalgic Warehouse has for its products is really the attention I hope to bring to all areas of my home. The tiniest of finishing details are what make a home beautiful and unique.
What is your design style, and how do you incorporate those decorating decisions within your home?
It's hard to label my style because I bring in a lot of elements, but 'Timeless with a twist' is probably the most accurate. Mixing a few funky things with classic touches is my goal for every room. Keeping the details true to a classic style grounds your design and gives you the freedom to add a few fun, less traditional accent pieces.
Where do you find design inspiration?
Pinterest, TV shows like Downtown Abbey and Succession, and of course, homes like those in my childhood neighborhood.
When starting a project, how do you organize and plan for it?
I start by creating a Pinterest board. Once I have a general design direction, I move to Canva and create a mood board to incorporate decor I already own as much as possible. In Excel, I'll make a list of things I'd like to purchase and do a little research on the cost of each of those items. Over weeks to months, I'll scope out discounts or dupes of similar decor. I also like to watch FB Market and thrift shops for similar items at a bargain or pieces I could refinish for a similar look. Once I have the money saved up, I'll dive into the project.
How did/do you choose a house to buy and renovate?
For our current home, the location was vital! Unfortunately, we purchased in a seller's market. Raleigh (listed #3 for the hottest housing markets when we were shopping) has very few single-family homes in the downtown area, making options incredibly limited. Location is one thing you absolutely cannot change. Everything else… we can work with.
What are some tips for readers who wish to make a transformation in their home?
Pay attention to the details! Take note of classic design details - these will be your best investment because they will stay in style. Vintage touches have already passed the test of time.
Are you working on any other properties or projects?
I always have little furniture projects that keep me busy. I'm refinishing a headboard for a friend and have a commission secretary being dropped off at the end of the month, which will be amazing! Talk about a classic piece of furniture.