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Marcio at home in his workshop.

Featured Article

Family Business Spans Decades

With a Little Love and a Lot of Care...What's Old Becomes New at D&M Furniture Restoration

Article by Caroline C. Barney

Photography by Caroline C. Barney

Originally published in Westport Lifestyle

A family business, D&M’s story began more than 40 years ago. Darcio Decarvalho, D&M’s founder and owner, learned the techniques of restoration from his Italian grandfather before moving to New York City in 1992. It was there that he began his own business focused on wood restoration of antique pieces. 

Project by project, Darcio built his business and eventually moved his family to Westport some 20+ years ago. Here he has continued to thrive with his local clients and is a hidden gem tucked behind storefronts on Post Road. 

Antique pieces and wood restoration are D&M’s first love. But their breadth of capabilities grows more diverse as the demand in the marketplace shifts. Much of their current work deals not just with restoration but also with modernizing old pieces, updating them to look and feel fresh and fluid with the environments they are intended for. 

Every project they tackle is a balance of finding the right colors, textures, tools, and approach. Whether this is restoring antiques to their previous brilliance or adding a modern update to outdated pieces. 

Oftentimes clients bring specific pictures or colors. With a trend towards lighter colors, think whites and grays, they find much of their work depends on careful color matching. The stains are mixed to create that “just right” look. Bleaching has become a larger part of their restoration process. Highlights of hot pinks and orange are making their way into the work.  

“There’s no system, each work requires a different approach, each work is unique,” says Darcio. 

When a project is brought to D&M they start by evaluating the piece(s) and its environment. They often go to clients’ homes so they can assess them thoroughly. 

Next, they work with their clients, who are often designers, to understand what they are trying to accomplish.  From there they can accurately price and do the work with a clear vision for the outcome. The result is beautifully restored furniture, cabinets, caning and more. 

Darcio now shares this work with his wife, Eloa, and his son Mateus (Staples ’06). Continuing the lineage of the family business. Mateus recalls afternoons after school spent in the workshop. “I’ve been coming and watching my father and learning the work since I was 8 years old,” he says. 

Each family member brings a distinct set of skills to these projects. Darcio most often takes on more traditional jobs, his decades working with wood leading those projects. 

Mateus has the sensibility for more modern work. Bringing an updated twist. This work includes restoration and updates with metals. While on the other end of the spectrum, a recent project had him recreating the look and feel of an artistic, paneled wall. The wall is at a local restaurant and the recreation of the wall was then used at a bat mitzvah celebration. 

Eloa has an eye for color matching. She is also adept at working with caning and weaving “When I was little, I liked to do crochet,” says Eloa. “I think that’s why I enjoy such delicate projects so much.” 

From walls, doors, and railings to a chair that was said to have belonged to George Washington (with a certificate to prove it), they love all of their work. 

D&M Furniture Restoration on Facebook

748 Post Road East, Westport


“There’s no system, each work requires a different approach...each project is unique.”

-Darcio Decarvalho

  • Eloa repairing a rattan backed chair.
  • Mateus working alongside his parents in their Westport location.
  • Marcio at home in his workshop.
  • A family affair.
  • Restored wicker chair. (Photo: D&M)
  • Every project a work of precision. (Photo: D&M)
  • Updated metal cabinet now in Westport Downtown Store. (Photo: D&M)