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Friday, January 21, 2022

Bringing new life to antique furniture in Mérida’s north

A version of this feature previously appeared on Yucatán at Home's print edition, issue 1.

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Juan Pablo Tintore enjoys restoring antique furniture back to its former glory and is known for his colorful touch. Photo: Juan Pablo Tintore

Juan Pablo Tintore has long loved bringing life back to vintage furniture through the art of restoration. Long before “Tintore Muebles Vintage” began as a business in 2015, he had already been collecting furniture for well over a decade. 

A mid-20th-century piece on display outside of Juan Pablo Tintore’s workshop. Photo: Courtesy

Before opening his showroom, he mostly restored furniture for fun or to add style to the apartments which he was renting. However, as his expertise grew and he started to run out of room, he decided it was time to turn his passion into a business.

 “This is something I really love, it gives me such joy to turn a piece someone else saw as disposable into a work of art!” Tintore exclaims with a grin. 

Tintore utilizes a variety of techniques in his work but is most fond of restoring furniture in a way that features rather than erases evidence of wear and tear, while at the same time ensuring functionality and sturdiness.

While some people may prefer furniture that looks new, Juan Pablo Tintore feels that stripping furniture of the features which make it unique is to erase its history and rob it of character. Photo: Courtesy

Tintore says that his customers are very diverse. They include international residents living in large homes downtown, but also local families wishing to restore pieces of furniture that they may have inherited from a parent or grandparent.

Aside from furniture, Juan Pablo Tintore often takes on other projects including the restoration of antique doors. Photo: Courtesy

Antique furniture in Yucatán can be found at any price range in garage sales, shops, and occasionally for free on discarded heaps on sidewalks. The most coveted styles include pastel-colored art deco and French-style provincial furniture. However, Tintore tells us that his favorite pieces tend to be the less ornate — but more functional —  traditional Yucatecan furniture of the early to mid 20th century.

Juan Pablo Tintore tells us that early 20th-century furniture is somewhat hard to find, as, after a generation or two and a broken leg or hinge, these pieces would often end up being used as firewood. Photo: Courtesy

When asked about his greatest finds, Tintore recalls an occasion in which he stumbled upon a treasure trove of antique furniture inside an old hacienda in Mérida’s south. 

“The new owner wanted everything out as he wanted to redecorate from scratch, so I was more than happy to buy up the entire lot. There is nothing I love more than when treasure hunting pays off like that!” he says.

Tintore Muebles Vintage is located in Mérida, Fraccionamiento Las Américas, near Dzitya. Photo: Juan Pablo Tintore

Telephone: 999-242-0764; Instagram: @tintoremueblesvintage

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