Krizia Villanueva of Oak + Olive Vintage

October 7, 2015

When Krizia Villanueva found found some dresser drawers at a garage sale, she didn’t think they were going to change her life. “I wasn’t like ‘oh I want to start refurnishing furniture now,” she says. But as she turned the drawers into shelves in her home in Madison, WI, she realized how fun it could be, and she started doing projects here and there.

Krizia had been working as an occupational therapist for seven years at the time, which she still does on an on-call basis, but she was looking for something more. “I’ve always been artistic, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled at work so I got into design and reading magazines and blogs on DIY, and I just became obsessed with it,” she says.

Vintage dresser

As Krizia started refinishing and painting more pieces, she began to toy with the idea of opening a modern home and garden store, and her husband suggested she start by selling her pieces online. Thus, Oak + Olive Vintage was born on Etsy. Krizia has also had her furniture placed in local Madison stores, and she does commissions and ships to clients from around the country.

Oak + Olive furniture

While each piece is distinct, Krizia has a weakness for adding modern twists to mid-century furniture. “I like things to be comfortable but modern,” she says, “with earthy colors and warmer tones.” She likes bohemian looks and distressing darker colors, and stays away from all white. “I painted something just stark white once and I was so unhappy. It needs to have more warmth,” she says.

Ideally, Krizia says people should have one or two painted items and keep the rest of their home more basic to avoid looking overwhelmed with contrasting colors and designs. Painted pieces add “little pops here and there” of personality.


While her current projects and OT shifts keep her busy, there are always new ideas running through her head. “Designing knobs, drawer liners, my own brand of accessories…” Krizia lists off possible things to come. “I want something bigger to happen,’ she says.

Meanwhile, you can read about Krizia’s beautiful pieces on her blog, where she talks about her listings and design process (and shares lots of photos!). Follow Oak + Olive on Instagram, Facebook, and of course, check out her Etsy store!

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