Friday, 25 July 2014

Upcycling a table

These last few weeks have been a whirl wind of activity in our home.  Last prom, last time wearing a school uniform, and last school leaver’s service.  In the afternoon heat, waving the school programme in front of shiny faces, we sang, we stood, we sat,  we clapped, we sang, we stood and we sat again and then we watched a DVD compiled of school trips and days out, from their early days as little boys and girls to their last days as young men and women and I realised how quickly it’s all passed by… we shuffled out, wiped tears, sniffed, drank toasts and congratulated, hugged, patted backs and shook hands and lastly said goodbye…to lost rugby socks, forgotten lunch boxes, pens, lunch money and books,  ever thankful for lasting friendships, countless sleepovers, laughter, shared experiences and camaraderie.   So to my Son, I am immensely proud of who you are and the man you are becoming. Thank you for finishing strong.

I’ve also been having a lot of fun.  I absolutely love finding something for FREE and changing it into something useful and beautiful.   When we were doing the little house project, the house was derelict and full of rubbish, and most of it went straight to the tip.  But in the corner of one room was this old wooden table, which looked quite sturdy, and I felt not yet ready to be dumped.  I knew I could do something with it.  Initially I thought about sanding it down and giving it a coat of Annie Sloan old white …but then I started thinking of an ottoman and how good it would look covered in a deep tufting.

So this is what it looked like before the makeover:

and this is what it looks like now, ignore the clashing fabrics, it’s merely been placed here so I could take photos… it will be moving to a new lounge soon in a much calmer two toned setting of grey and off white.

I didn't want to use expensive fabric, that sort of defeats the object of finding something for free, but I wanted it to look good, so I went for a simple rose design in canvas cotton by Ikea for £6 a metre.  I used my trusted upholsterer Lesley and gave her my brief.  Whilst Lesley was busy with the top half, I got painting the framework.   I used Annie Sloan Paris Grey which I had left over from another project.  The tufting is simply beautiful, you still get to see the design and it works really well with the painted table legs. 

I've been on the beach along with a couple of hundred other people this afternoon, it's been a scorcher! And although I'm not one to complain about the weather, it’s school holidays and the last thing we want is bad weather, but a storm is approaching and with it the wind…and I am just ever so grateful for the breeze!

So have you ever done anything like this?  Do tell!


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Gold shelving

I still have a little wallpapering to do before I can show you the entire room so I'll share the Ikea hack that I did for the dining room project.

I had visions of  the classic James Bond movie, Gold Finger whilst doing this! I had been looking for the right piece of furniture to put into this just over 50cm wide space when I realised that the Ikea Vittsjo would be a nice snug fit, only I didn't like the black.

I knew gold would be a better option and tie in with the mirror and the chandelier, so we spray painted it with some Montana Gold spray paint which I ordered from Amazon.  I replaced the faux wood with mirror which I had cut to fit the shelving to ramp up the glam factor.  

I wasn't sure which gold spray paint to use, so I went online to see which was the most popular and then I chose Montana Gold which apparently graffiti artists use all the time.  I found Montana Gold paint to have a really good even spray without having to press down too hard.  We sprayed the whole shelf and still have a little left in the can.  I suggest doing this outside where the fresh air can absorb the fumes.  We gave it two coats, waiting about 10 minutes in between coats and then left it for about half an hour to make sure it was completely dry enough to bring inside. We didn't need to prep the metal beforehand as it was brand new.  It dries to a lovely silky finish, not quite matt and not really shiny either.  It’s not going to get a lot of touching in this room so it should last quite a long time.  I did think about gold leaf, but I didn't want to spend loads on this shelving.  I just wanted to up the elegance factor which I think it did.  I also spray painted the little plant pot holder you can see on the top shelf...I love how it’s turned out, especially the mirrors which reflect the pieces on the shelving!

Are you enjoying the weather?  We have been so lucky down south, lots of bicycle rides and picnics on the beach.

Have a great week!

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Guest room dressing

On Saturday I went to Selina Lake’s Vintage Fair in Guildford, fortunately the rain held off but only just.  The Guildhall was jam packed full of lovely vintage goodies, linen, crockery, fabrics, beautiful vintage crockery, as well as a few pieces of select clothing and the most gorgeous hats by GilFox.  So with lingering memories of all that lovely floral fabric and the rest of that lovely vintage stuff, I thought I’d do a post on creating a vintage style guest room.

The guest room is usually the most forgotten room in the house.  Left for last, it gets all the cheap bedlinen and the lumpy pillows…blehhhh!!! It’s time to jazz up that dull little room, get rid of all the junk that’s been plonked in the room and turn it into a vintage bedroom to dream in.

Guest rooms are ideal for using your creativity.  Because you don’t sleep in it yourself, you can really go to town with decorating it in your own personal style.  Whether you like vintage décor or industrial modern, the principle elements in ensuring your guests enjoy their stay remain the same.

It’s always a good thing to spend one night in your own guest room so you know how comfortable the bed is and whether the pillows are lumpy and if the bed needs an extra blanket.  I want my guests to feel so comfortable in my guest room, they want to move in!  So we have to start with a comfortable bed.  Add a mattress protector for extra comfort and for protecting your mattress, it will last years longer if you do.  I like my duvets to be goose down.  They plump up nicely, keep in the warmth in winter but are cool in summer.  DON’T go polyester in the guest room. Sleeping in Polyester feels like sleeping on sandpaper…don’t do it.   Make it special.  Dress the bed in good quality 100% cotton or linen.  Pretty up the pillows with some lovely floral pillow cases.  Use feather pillows for a good night’s sleep but keep a few allergy free ones in a cupboard in case your guests are allergic to feathers.  Drape the bed with a lovely wool blanket and a few interesting cushions or a vintage floral eiderdown. If you’ve got the space add a bedside table or chest of drawers and a reading lamp.  Leave a couple of your favourite books or magazines for any late night reading.  

Hang a mirror on the wall or propped on a chest of drawers.  Don’t leave the walls bare.   Add some pictures, photos or a mixture of both.  If you’re going the vintage route, you could even use washi tape to stick some unframed photos of whoever is visiting, so that they get a sense of feeling welcome and at home.  Always give your guests more towels than what you think they’ll need.  They’ll appreciate it.   Hang some floral curtains at the window.  If the window overlooks a busy street, it’s a good idea to have fairly heavy drapes lined with blackout lining or better still install some Purlfrost here   A vase with a few handpicked flowers from the garden always get a compliment and just before your guests arrive spritz the room with a fragrant room spray  or leave a bunch of freshly picked lavender on a shelf and close the door. 




until next time!