Nautical Cabinet Makeover

I found this cute little cupboard in the gutter.

Needless to say within a few minutes it had magically teleported itself to the back of my car.

I knew that with a little love someone would eventually prefer this little guy inside their home so got to work painting the body in rich ebony before distressing and sealing it.

Well, that was the easy part though because here’s the main reason I imagine it was on the curb to begin with….

Someone had been waaay too zealous with an electric sander.

Not only is there chipboard showing through the veneer, those lines you can probably make out are actually deep ridges!

Sure I coulda just filled, sanded and painted the whole top though I wanted to make a bit more of a statement than that.

Enter….my good friend gift wrap.

I adore gorgeous paper and for some reason have always been drawn to vintage maps – which I thought would be just perfect for this project.

The sheet of gift wrap I bought wasn’t quite big enough to cover the whole top of the cabinet so I took it to my local printer who scanned, enlarged and printed a new copy for just $20.

I created an accurate template using baking paper which I could use as a guide when cutting it out.

Once cut to size, I gave the map a few light coats of clear matte spray.

This just helps protect the ink and stops it from running if the paper becomes too damp during the gluing or final sealing process. It also helps to stiffen the paper and avoid bubbling.

To attach the paper I applied a pretty thick coat of slightly diluted PVA to the cabinet (you could use Mod Podge – I just didn’t have any) then smoodged (hey, it’ a word) my map into place.

I then applied about five coats of satin clear sealer using a paint brush making sure to cover all of the edges really well.

To tie-in with the map theme I also created these cute little compass knobs using basic DIY decals. Anyone with a printer and standard copy paper can do this at home! You can check out my full tutorial here (or read-on below for a summary).

Simply paint a plain timber knob any colour you like then find or create a design on your computer and print it out onto normal paper.

(It’s best if the background colour of your design matches the colour of your knob so it blends in seamlessly).

Here’s my compass design if anyone wants to use it. Just re-scale it to the size you need.

The process of attaching it to the knob is basically the same as that I used for adhering my map to the cabinet top.

Give your image a few light coats of clear matte spray, cut around it closely and then glue and smoodge it into place on your knob. Finish with a few coats of satin sealer to protect it and voila!

Making these was easy and the possibilities are practically endless – you could use letters, numbers, symbols, little clock faces, nursery rhyme characters for a kids room, sweet little birds…anything!

Anyways, a few final before and afters just for comparisons sake….

I hope you enjoyed this little project.

I know it can be tempting just to scroll down and check out all the photos though if you have time give it a read too cause I tried packing it with a few handy hints.

 

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Master Bedroom Mood Board

So, here’s the plan….

As per my initial brief I want the room to be light, neutral and earthy with a slight eclectic edge.

A predominantly white, cream and taupe palette with lots of natural texture, rustic old timber, chippy paint, some greenery and a few metallic elements should do it!

It can seem a bit depressing to compile a whole heap of really cool images in a mood board knowing you’ll never actually have the exact pieces (like that awesome apothecary chest and brass lamp…in my dreams!) so it pays to remember it’s the overall feel of the board that counts. The amount of hard work you invest in creating your room through resourcefulness and good ol’ fashion elbow grease is where the true reward lies.

So, I am slowly getting there – darn that pesky day job – and promise to keep you guys in the know all along the way.

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One Chair, Three Ways

I figured this little blog was in need of a fresh ‘afters’ injection following all the ‘befores’ ugliness of my master bedroom in progress posts – it’s slowly getting there though and I promise lots of (hopefully lovely) after shots to redeem myself.

Anyway, in the mean time, I thought I’d share this fun little comparisons refurb.

You may remember seeing these chairs before on my blog.

I scored a few of them for $5 each off eBay. I was hoping to use them in my dining room though when I went to pick them up and saw them in person I knew straight away that wasn’t gonna happen. They were huge – and hugely wrong for my dining room.

Given they were big enough to be used as occasional chairs I thought I’d refurbish them individually and pair each one with a co-ordinating footstool to make cute little ensembles.

The first chair got a black ‘toile and ticking’ makeover.

The footstool was made from scratch and cute vintage castors were added to the feet.

I hand-painted a little french inspired emblem on the rear of the head rest just for something a bit different – and because I may, or may not be, slightly obsessed with anything resembling typography :-)

I decided to invert the colour scheme for the second chair and go with predominately white. It’s amazing how just changing the colour of the chair frame has given such a different feel.

Again, the footstool was made from scratch and the feet are actually cut down old side table legs.

It was back to black for the for the third chair though in a more rustic style inspired by french grain sacks. Seriously, who doesn’t love them some hessian (burlap)? Sigh…

The little stool was a curbside find. It just needed a fresh coat of paint and some new upholstery.

I hand-painted the stripes on the stool with craft paint after marking out some narrow lines with painters tape.

I designed the cushion artwork then printed it onto iron-on transfer paper. I cut around the outline of the graphic pretty exactly before transferring it so there was little visible transfer film.

All of the chairs have really beautiful, intricate pressed-backs.

So there you have it! Now, just for comparisons sake…

 

Which one do you prefer?

I’m a pretty neutral girl myself and these are all kinda conservative though I’ve still got one left I’m hoping to makeover in a more out-there theme.

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Second-Hand Furniture for the Bedroom

Yep, it’s true, I’m gonna attempt to put all that stuff in the same room together and (try to!) make it work – with a bit of TLC and some cute decor I think I may just be able to pull it off!

For me, one of the most fun and rewarding things about decorating is the process of hunting down a collection of bargains and then bringing them all together in an imaginative and harmonious way.

I guess it’s like a big puzzle, not one of those glossy thousand piece ones though, it’s more like a ten piece kids puzzle with dog-eared corners and even a missing nodule here and there which when put together right, although maybe not perfect, still fits snuggly and tells a story.

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A Starting Point for the Bedroom

I’ve been meaning to tackle my master bedroom for ages and have half-heartedly been planning a scheme and searching for new goodies to furnish it, though for some reason I never had enough motivation to really get stuck in….until NOW!

NOW I seriously can’t wait to kickbox the heck outta it – don’t feel sorry for it though, it deserves it, trust me.

So, here’s the plan….

What’da ya think?

It’s a pretty small, irregular space with two doors, one large off-centre window and a built-in robe which takes up one entire wall. Rather than pretend the room’s proportionate, I’m gonna play up the asymmetry with some mis-matched furniture though will give balance to the overall scheme through consistency in colour, style and decor.

Now, I gotta apologise cause I don’t have any before ‘before’ photos of the room (as it was when we first moved in). The walls were green, the trim and doors were brown, there was a massively ugly light fixture, worn-out dirty berber carpet and completely see-through bright blue curtains – just lovely.

We got rid of all that pretty quick-smart so here are some more recent ‘before’ pics (cringe, I can’t believe I’m putting these out there – please be kind!).

Okay, now do you see what I mean about it needing its butt kicked?
Honestly though, let’s just say those pics weren’t taken on its best day.

The furniture is all outta my room from when I was still living at home with Mum and Dad – a bit sad, I know, though we had zero dollars just after we bought the house and never really got around to getting anything new (i.e. nice).

We painted the walls Dulux Chalk USA and all the trim and doors gloss white (as per the rest of our house) and although I would have l-u-r-v-e-d floorboards it wasn’t to be (not for now anyway) so we put down some nice plush carpet.

Hence, a new blank-ish canvas was born!

Soooo, that’s my starting point.

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