The Front Porch Furniture Rescue gives worn pieces new life in Falls Church.
Love that antique chifforobe your grandmother gave you but can’t seem to make it fit with your décor? Joni Foerter may be able to work a little magic. “Good furniture is timeless,” says the owner of The Front Porch Furniture Rescue in Falls Church, “but sometimes [a piece] that has a story—that you have an emotional attachment to—doesn’t match your style. We try to rescue it so that it fits your home.”
A former environmental engineer, Foerter made a hobby of flipping furniture on Craigslist before she and her husband, Dave (who works in environmental public policy and has “never been afraid to pick up something off the side of the road”), turned their shared interest in upcycling into a family-run business. They launched The Front Porch in 2012 in a small, converted house on West Broad Street, and soon after opened The Back Dorr, a salvaged furniture warehouse on Dorr Avenue (get it?) in Merrifield. In 2014, they moved The Front Porch to the other side of Broad Street, freeing up the original space to offer studios and furniture-painting classes.
Foerter specializes in resurrecting customers’ heirloom pieces, but she also sells “rescued” finds that can be customized with new stain, paint and/or hardware. She uses her own line of custom-blended paint (which has a durable, matte finish that can also be glazed or waxed for a vintage look) and prides herself on being able to replicate almost any finish. “If you can find it on Pinterest, I can paint it for you,” she says. An average-size tall dresser might cost around $150 to $200 to refurbish, depending on whether you BYO or buy in-store.
The Front Porch also repairs furniture (including caning and woven elements) and can custom-build “harvest tables”—farmhouse-style dining tables—and matching benches and sideboards, both for indoor and outdoor use. “Right now, we’re gutting a piano and converting the case into a wall shelf,” Foerter says. “We like to find ways to give things a new life when they can no longer be used for their original purpose.”