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Finishing the Old-Fashioned Way

February 27, 1992|SUSAN GEMBROWSKI

Whether you're home alone, entertaining guests or spending a quiet evening with your family, you want where you live to be a comfortable and inviting place that reflects your individuality.

A little innovation--adding a carefully crafted table, a new fabric to your chairs or a front-yard seating area--can give your space a fresh outlook.

North County has scores of craftsmen and designers creating custom and customized furnishings for the home. It has nurseries to help turn your landscape into an intimate garden. It has shops that supply you with the materials you need to do things yourself. It has creative people with ideas you're free to borrow, or if you like, hire to put their talents to work just for you.

On the following pages, a report on some of what's happening on the home front in North County. While others may be content looking to the future, Larry Ciuffo is proud of his Old World outlook.

"How we differ from everybody else is we are continuing to make and finish furniture the way it was done a century ago," said Ciuffo of his 17-year-old family-run business in Poway.

"We're trying to keep alive the techniques of staining, lacquering and fine finishes as well as furniture construction (from centuries ago).

"You can find a lot of good craftsmen, a lot of good woodworking in this area, but you don't find anyone who can do the right stains and finishes."

Ciuffo makes the stains, as well as the furniture, by hand to match customer needs. To repair antiques, Ciuffo has a range of knowledge including hand-carving, gold-leafing and caning of furniture.

"We have one lady now who had a (antique) dresser shipped from another state," Ciuffo said. "The movers broke off and lost the legs on one side of the dresser. We are carving it and matching it exactly without having to redo the entire piece."

He works with interior designers, contractors and individual clients. The company can make custom furniture from any period. Cost is a basic $90-per-hour rate, although each job is bid independently.

L. Ciuffo Studios, 15010 Pomerado Road, Poway, 748-8518, hours: Mon.-Fri. 7 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sat. by appointment.

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