Old Desk to Dining Table

This is one of my favourite transformations so far. Sure, it’s not very fancy and won’t blow your mind though I just adore the unpretentious lines and character-filled patina of this piece.
Here’s the table before, looking very lonely and feeling sorry for itself:

And now:

Originally a teacher’s desk, this old table was missing its drawer and had quite a heavily ‘distressed’ finish after years of service. I found it on eBay for $10 – score!

After an initial tidy up and light all over sand the drawer cavity was filled by gluing and caulking in a piece of scrap timber – much easier and faster than making a whole new drawer. Once dry, two drawer fronts (which I already had thanks to my junk hoarding!) were then glued and clamped over the timber infill to create faux drawers.
One coat of acrylic primer, two acrylic top coats, a light distress and then an acrylic seal coat followed by the addition of two turned timber knobs completes the look of the base.

The honey-toned timber top was badly worn and looked tired though I really wanted to retain its character so I needed to enhance and add depth to the patina. After a light sand, three score lines were added to give the appearance of old boards (you can read that tutorial here) then a diluted walnut stain was wiped on and allowed to seep into all the grooves, marks and gouges before being wiped off.

The stain helps mute the overall tone yet creates subtle variations which gives the timber a tactile appeal. Looking at beautiful old wood like this just makes you feel all warm and fuzzy!
The top was finished with two coats of danish oil. I can’t sing the praises of danish oil highly enough. It’s super easy to apply, provides a protective coating and gives a mellow lustre which is hard to achieve with regular sealers – love it!
Again, just cause I can, here are the before and afters:

Mirrored Furniture

Not far from my workplace is a gorgeous furniture store. Of course, I’d never actually purchase anything from said store (lovely as everything is) and must confess I really just went there yesterday to dream, sigh, stroke the furniture, study the furniture, then, let’s just say ‘borrow’ any good ideas for myself, when I spied a gorgeous rococo style mirrored dresser.

Done right, mirrored furniture can add a lovely sense of glamour to a space, and whilst it wouldn’t necessarily work well in my own little cottagey home, I do kinda like the idea of it. So, I studied the dresser in the store and convinced myself that, yes, I could DIY that (one day).

The Makings of an Entryway

Following is some information regarding costing and details of how I achieved the look in my entry.

Sorry, I can’t recall its name or brand (poor, I know) though it was purchased new from a home decorator centre. It was my favourite and the most appropriate out of all the thousands I looked at so fortunately, when it came to checking the price, I was pleased to find it sitting in the lowest bracket.
Mum and Dad (who informed me they were wallpaper hanging experts after going through the early 1980’s revival) helped me hang it one week while hubby was out of town. He got a pleasant surprise on his return – or so I like to think.
$120 (for two rolls)

I looked everywhere for ages to find the right table for this space.
The proportions needed to be ‘just so’. I was more than prepared to refurbish and modify a pre-loved one if need be, though eventually this brand new rustic weathered cedar console showed up on eBay. It was just right.

Wreath – Found at a post-Christmas sale at a furniture store – $8
Cases – They look like vintage chests though are actually new reproductions purchased from a discount clearance store – $18 (for both)
Large Wire Basket – I purchased this from a special boutique store using a gift certificate we received for our wedding – $0
Terracotta Pots and Plants – Just your stock standard cheap pots and plants from a local nursery – $30
Lanterns – Again, new from a discount clearance store – $15 (for both)
Wire Basket and Twine – I painted the basket (originally gold) after finding it at a local charity store and added some cheap hardware store twine – $7
Picture – The frame I already had (it’s actually from my bedroom when I was still living with Mum and Dad!). I just painted and distressed it then added some scrapbook paper – $1
Urn and Jug – Both found at local charity stores. The jug was purple and gold crackle so I spray painted it white – $6 (for both)

TOTAL $285

It could have been more thrifty without the wallpaper and with a cheaper table though they were perfect for the space and sometimes you’ve just gotta splurge a little (by ‘splurge’ of course, I mean be less cheap).

I can’t wait to show you some more spaces. The entryway is one of my only complete rooms so it will be fun to share all of the evolving ideas and projects I have planned and in-progress for the rest of my house. I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts and suggestions too!

Industrial School Locker

I’ve mentioned previously my slightly obsessive adoration for industrial home accents and now here’s a little industrial style project of my very own!

I know, probably not to everyone’s taste (and certainly much too cool to fit in at my little cottage) though I love the eclectic edge and character items like this can bring to a space.

Here it is before:

I left the patina in pretty much original condition – which, for pieces like this, really is the essence of their appeal, all that banged-up and rusted metal telling the proud story of a former life.
I stencilled the retro typographics for that little eye-catching point of distinction.
With no-where for this piece to live at my place it was recently sold by auction on eBay.
So, with my retro locker now in someone else’s house, I was still languishing for an industrial ‘something’ for my own home when yesterday I came across this little beauty:
Eeek! Squeel! An absolutely adorable vintage card file cabinet. And now it’s mine!
Currently sitting in quite a precarious and inappropriate position on an inadequate little side table in our study/junk room, it just needs a bit of a tidy up and then I have plans to modify it for use as a re-purposed table of sorts in my up-coming living room re-do (oh yeah, more on that to come soon!).
The timber’s actually quite a bit darker than depicted and just oozes time-worn charm. It’s complete with all of the original escutcheons and locks.
Yes, I think I’m in love – again!

The Painted Hive Entryway

At only 1.1 meters deep x 1.6 meters wide (3.5 x 5.2 feet) my tiny entryway doesn’t even rate a mention on the floor plan! An inch either side of the photo below and you’re straight into the living room or hallway.

Sorry, I don’t have a before pic though if you can imagine a little undressed space with worn beige berber carpet, timber toned trim and a dirty apple green wall that’s pretty much it!

I knew early on that I wanted wallpaper somewhere in my house and this space seemed the perfect candidate – its location is discreet enough not to dictate the tone for the entire house though perfectly positioned to create a nice first impression.

We painted the trim white and re-carpeted then waited for an appropriately priced and proportioned piece of furniture to come along. You see, when the front door is opened it leaves a clearance of only 30cm (12 inches) so whatever I chose needed to be accordingly narrow. Eventually, a lovely weathered cedar console showed up – perfect! I had envisioned all white against the wallpaper though the tone in this table seemed just right as is.

I must confess, I change the decor around in my home ALL THE TIME (much to hubby’s annoyance) though currently have the console adorned with clearance and thrift store finds, fresh lavendar and rosemary, some re-purposed knick-knacks and a few special pieces.