I thought that it would be nice to share some pictures of a piece of furniture that we have recently up-cycled, taking it from a kitchen unit to a smarter piece for the living room.
This is how it started out its life, about 13 years ago now. It first lived in the kitchen of our last house (it was based on a John Lewis of Hungerford design and copied for us by a local carpenter). It was then used in the playroom in our current house to store the children’s games and my work files. For a while the doors lived in the shed whilst I went for the “open plan” look. But then they came back again – slightly worse for wear! After the recent works on the house, the furniture was returned from storage and the unit was put in the living room whilst it awaited its Cinderella moment.
As part of the re-modelling the downstairs of the house, I took a look to see what could be done with this piece. It wasn’t cheap to have made and I’m not a fan of chucking things out unnecessarily but it really did need a new lease of life.
So a local carpenter took the top and bottom apart, removed the doors then he sanded and painted it in Moles Breath by Farrow & Ball.*
The four wooden panels in the top doors were taken out and replaced by glass,which I had cut to size. Then the hinges and handles were replaced and the inside of top unit was papered in this Shanghai Garden wallpaper in Fuchsia – a Designer’s Guild paper from John Lewis which had a lovely metallic background.
It all sounds so easy doesn’t it? But it took 5 days for the work to be completed. It was no mean feat for the carpenter to overhaul this big piece of furniture but I really love it now. It has two shelves to go in it and then it will be used to display photographs and glassware. For something similar, try this bookcase from Ikea (£275). It looks great as it is, or it would be easy enough to paper the inside back of the cabinet before assembling it and change the handles, to give it a twist of your own.
*I bought the water based eggshell from Farrow & Ball which was specifically designed for woodwork. However our carpenter used it as an undercoat only on the basis that being water based, it could just be wiped off. For the top coat, he sent me packing to a Dulux trade paint centre where they mixed an oil based eggshell which is much harder wearing. Apparently only a few places will mix an oil based paint now as it clogs up their paint mixing machines – but the trade centres will do it. So I hope that’s helpful and not just a load of useless waffle!