Better Than New Fine Furniture Repair was formed in 1998 in a Scottsdale 900 square foot apartment living room with a tool box, a few hand tools and a brief case. Dan Oldejans with his recent art degree tucked under his arm went out to conquer the Phoenix refinishing and repair market. Not the easiest at first with looking quite young and people being skeptical of his skill at such a tender age. Everyone always thinks of the “craftsman” as an older heavy set guy with a beard and an apron. Soon though after catching a few breaks from a few key furniture store managers Better Than New was off and running. For the first 5 years Better Than New focused on retail furniture store clientele. They provided in home touch up and repair on new furniture that got dinged or dented on its way from the store or the warehouse. They still have some of those clients to this day such as Ethan Allen, Copenhagen Imports, Crate & Barrel and Polo Ralph Lauren just to name a few.
Since that time Better Than New Fine Furniture Repair has branched out and advertised to attract the home consumer and also began doing full furniture refinishing and restoration. They take a piece from being ready for the dumpster back to a fully restored heirloom all in our Tempe, Arizona facility. We are still a small company with a few choice master craftsman and Dan Oldejans still with his repair apron at an arms distance away. All the employed craftsman have been trained by Dan personally and “get“, what the level of expertise is that both Better Than New and the customer expects and deserves.
Also in 2007 Better Than New Kitchens was born, a kitchen refacing and refinishing division of Better Than New. News of this amongst local designers traveled fast and currently Better Than New Kitchens does as many as 30 kitchen remodels per year with a special refacing team devoted to the same caliber of excellence that Better Than New is known for in its furniture restoration work. Each job is unique in the kitchen refacing world so it requires detail and precision. This was a natural progression from their furniture restoration background.
I would like to tell you a little about myself, I was raised in the Midwest in Rockford Illinois. I moved to the Phoenix area 21 years ago to pursue my musical and artistic dreams. In the process I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Studio Art. I have shown my art in galleries all over the United States. I started Better Than New Fine furniture Repair in 1998 while attending A.S.U. I had been working part time at furniture stores and furniture repair companies while in college. We began in an apartment in Scottsdale with a few hand tools. Quickly we grew to having an actual shop in Tempe and then eventually Tempe and Scottsdale.
Since that time a lot has changed and we have grown. I was the co-star of Beyond Repair T.V. show on HGTV in 2009 and have written several articles for the DIY network for their on line presence that supports their television network. It was a great experience bringing insight to the world about furniture restoration. I also learned a lot more about my craft in the preparation for the T.V. show. I felt it was prudent to further advance my education in restoration. I read many more finishing books and tried all kinds of new repair techniques .I wanted to be the most knowledgeable master furniture restorer I could be, especially when going in front of an audience each week of over 600,000 people.
I also started Better Than New Kitchens in 2007 which is a cabinet refacing and refinishing company. We now do as many as 30 kitchen renovations per year with an incredible crew of master craftsman that I personally trained each one of them to achieve Better Than New standards. We recently acquired a large shop and office facility in Tempe AZ with all of the fun now under one roof. We restore new used furniture of all kinds from a 300 year old hand made antique rocking chair to a mid-century Eames dresser to a contemporary Ethan Allen dining set that just needs a color change to update the look to fit with current design trends. We are the leading specialist in the United States with Teak and Rose wood refinishes and touch up. We strive to do the best highest quality work with the best products available. We just don’t cut corners …ever! We have never been the cheapest in price in town, but we have always been the best. I personally am involved with every project and am a self-proclaimed workaholic and perfectionist.
Whether it is a kitchen or furniture restoration I want to do the best possible work with the highest level of craftsmanship and ultimately full fill what the customer needs are. I’ve always said” It’s not my vision it’s the customers vision and it’s my job to educate them on the possibilities, provide skill and craftsmanship and great customer service”.
Daniel Oldejans: I am half Italian and half Dutch and am originally from Rockford Illinois. I attended Thomas Jefferson High school where I graduated in 1990. I then went for one year to Rock Valley Community College. The next year I went to Illinois State University. I then moved to Tempe Arizona in July of 1992. I attended Mesa community college for one year and then was enrolled as a part time student at Arizona State University. I received my B.A. degree in Studio Art, Magna Cum Laude.
I enjoy spending time with my four dogs, tennis, backpacking playing retro videogames and darts. I have also been an avid table tennis player and love to swim and be active in general. I have owned my own small business for 18 years and try to give a 110% at work and play. I love people and truly enjoy talking and learning about other people’s life experiences. I have a great affinity for animals and have recently as of two years ago become a vegetarian. I also love to laugh and make others laugh. I have been involved in music all my life and have a small recording studio in Tempe named Sock Monkey Recording Studios. I have been a lead singer and songwriter several semi-professional and professional bands throughout the years. I currently am a lead vocalist at my church on the worship team.
My dream is to someday build a log cabin as a second home and to spend more time traveling to Europe. I have been to Germany, Prague, Scotland and Great Britain. I truly feel that learning from other cultures and traditions has been an enriching part of my life.