Monday, 11 June 2012

Bedside Cabinet Makeover


Thanks so much for all your advice and tips re the the whole blog header/photo thing. It's reassuring to know that some know as little as I do - I always assume I am the only one not to know things! I am leaving it as it is for now because, really, it's only a blog header photo and there's more to life (like blog content, taking photos, reading other's blogs, commenting on other's blogs and generally being part of this gorgeous online community).


Today I have a mini-makeover to show you. Well, not really a makeover. More of a gentle spruce up, a bit of light DIY. We have two bedside cabinets from IKEA. We've had them for a few years and I can't say I've ever really liked them. We bought them because they were cheap, inoffensive, had good storage and we needed something quickly. I would have liked something more vintage but when you've got tiny babies/children, going to IKEA, with it's baby friendly facilities and delicious meatballs, is a great deal easier than trawling around endless car boot sales, antique shops and reclamation yards.

We can't afford new ones (and why buy new ones when the ones we have are perfectly fine?) even though I do adore this one, from The Sleep Room.


So I got my paintbrush out. A rather uninspiring "before" photo:



I decided to just paint the top and the door as I like the contrast between painted and unpainted wood. First I sanded it with heavy grain sandpaper, then with a finer grain, always going in the direction of the grain of the wood. Then I gave it two coats of undercoat and three of top coats, giving it a light sand and wipe down between each coat. I ordered new drawer knobs from Anthropologie. They had so many, it was hard to choose. I love that shop. I wish there was one nearer us. I'm not convinced they match that well but hey ho.


John (oh, I love that man) rang me one day and said "I'm in Waterstone's and they have this book in the bargain bin for 99p, it looks like your sort of thing." I asked for more details and it turns out he had found a copy of Lotta Jansdotter Stencils. I am a big fan of her Scandinavian inspired retro designs so, in a calm and restrained manor, I shouted "BUY IT NOW" down the phone, then did a little happy dance. Unhappily, stenciling did not turn out to be the easy peasy activity I'd hoped it would be and many ways were tried, sanded and painted over before I ended up with this, which I'm not overly pleased with but can't bring myself to do it again.




Then the fun bit; arranging, playing, finding pretty things to put on top of the cabinet, pottering. For me, the best part of any DIY project, be it something small like this or decorating a whole room, is the final reward of making it all look pretty when the messy work is done.

I feel I should point out that I have never in my life worn that eye mask.

A Fortnum and Mason tea caddy (I stole the idea from here, although my flowers are somewhat less splendid), in the prettiest shade of blue, holds supermarket roses and lavender from the garden.



New books in beautiful jackets. The jacket design of a book matters a lot to me. It was a great pleasure to buy this new copy of The Great Gatsby to replace the £1 Penguin copy I bought when I was a student. 




It is far from perfect, but I like it. I like it because it did not cost much, yet I feel like I have something new in the room, and that makes me happy.


Have a great week everyone, and thank you for being here and reading.

32 comments:

  1. Fab job as always - don't do yourself down lady it looks wonderful - and the styling is just perfect. I love your tea tin - I'm on a massive food tin kick at the moment having bought several things in the indian supermarket knowing I would never eat the contents but just because the tins were so pretty!

    I was going to get the book from the library but oh my that is so pretty!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Got that tin on my jaunt to London. Using it for flowers makes up for the exorbitant price of the tea! I'm glad it's not just me who buys food items purely for the packaging. xx

      Delete
  2. Looks gorgeous! Amazing job - I'm eyeing up the doors on my wardrobe and thinking about what to do with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well do you know, I am having the very same thought, as we have a hideous 1980s built in wardrobe and I think I could perk it up with these stencils!

      Delete
  3. That does look lovely - all spruced and gorgeous. I wish I had the incentive with our furniture, all hand me down and old - I really could do with doing something with it.

    Just beautiful,

    Nina xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nina. I somehow feel easier about painting some IKEA tat than a lovely antique because then if it all goes tits up all is not lost. But how lovely to have a home full of hand me down, well loved vintage furniture.

      Delete
  4. Oh, I absolutely love them. Your talents are endless!! I looked at the choice of drawer knobs on the anthropologie website and just for the pleasure of looking and choosing and looking again, I could come up with the plan of a little renovation project myself. But I think it would be safer to employ you, both for ensuring that the project does actually get finished before I retire (in some 30 years if I am lucky) and for the guaranteed good looks of the end result. What do you say?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My talents are quite limited, I assure you! Aren't the door knobs on the website gorgeous? I would happily have used most of them. What's your project, before I sign myself up for something enormous?? x

      Delete
  5. it looks beautiful...very stylish and i ADORE those pretty knobs, i feel very naughty noseing around your bedroom though ;o)
    have a great week
    love jooles x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee - trust me, it is the most presentable, tidy corner of the bedroom. The pile of dirty clothes, magazines, alarm clock, dressing gowns, tissues etc were out of shot! Not sure I'm brave enough for that much of a "reveal"! x

      Delete
  6. Love what you have done. Like everyone I am loving the door knobs and your styling is lovely x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - I want to find something else to paint just so that I can order more door knobs!

      Delete
  7. This is such a great post - so many lovely things (those book covers are amazing!) - and your makeover looks great! I love the knobs too. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was thinking that none of the blues actually match each other but am reassured by all the generous comments here - thank you. x

      Delete
  8. This looks fabulous. I love turquoise, white and teal. In fact that lantern would look great in my lounge.
    I've been thinking of doing some sort of paint job with my old pine dressing table and this has inspired me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that dressing table! I've always coveted it. You could just paint the top, that would still work, then just sand the rest and give it a coat of clear varnish. xx

      Delete
  9. I really like the colour of the stencil and the handle. The room looks lovely, I love those book covers too, I have a few of them and they are so pretty they make me happy! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Charmaine - I was unsure about the colours but you have made me feel better. I love a pretty book cover, I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging. x

      Delete
  10. Wonderful - I love it all! And those pillow cases are so pretty.

    I have an eye mask that I bought of a whim (thinking it seemed like a good idea - I mean lots of people are doing it!) only to discover that I don't enjoy wearing it at all. But I still keep it on my nightstand. It's pretty and it suggests "luxurious sleeping" I guess. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love those pillowcases. John "tolerates" (hates) them but since it's usually me who changes the bedding, I win! I know what you mean about the eye mask - it's so uncomfortable but I can't bring myself to get rid of it. It says Breakfast at Tiffanys to me.

      Delete
  11. You are so creative...I love it! The door knobs are great, too! And those pillow cases are so pretty! Your bedroom is so pretty. Love all the soft colors...very soothing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't usually do matching colour but we have a lot of blue in our bedroom and I quite like it. You are so lucky having Anthrolologie everywhere in the States...

      Delete
  12. just goes to show that there's no need to do a piece all over when a couple of areas makes it look so different and so much better. i think you did a great job, and well done on going for it with the stencilling.
    looks great in your room now (and love the lantern and dust jackets too!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Monica :-) Think it will be a while before I get the stencils out again though!

      Delete
  13. Hi Gillian. What a wonderful makeover, it looks fantastic. Super styling and gorgeous soft colours, the sweet bedthrow is adorable.
    I had to laugh about the eyemask....I always wondered if anybody wore them! :D ........other than the lone ranger that is! ;D
    Karen x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lone Ranger, lol! I know, they are faintly ridiculous. (by the way the rest of the bedroom was a total tip, anything deemed not pretty was chucked on the other side of the bed!) x

      Delete
  14. What a lovely project! Those turquoise handles - yummy! You've given the whole piece such a lovely fresh look - I associate that very much with all your makes - really special. And yes, I know exactly what you mean about the books and their jackets. It's why I will never get a KIndle - i love the feel (and smell) of real books too much.
    E x
    PS So echo your recent comments about the rain. Absolutely DREADFUL here yesterday. Today drier but so grey and so chilly...... : (

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you for such kind words. I'm with you on the Kindle (although i see how they can have their uses for travel etc) but there is not a more perfect or portable item than a paperback book.

      Delete
  15. I think we need to petition Althro to move North, although I am not sure my bank manager would agree.
    I too love Lotta and love what you have done to the cabinet too

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, an anthro in Leeds, that would be wonderful. But too tempting. It's probably better for our household budgets if they stay safely in London! x

      Delete
  16. This looks great! I'm on the hunt for inspiration, because I scored some bedside tables on Freecycle and want to do them up!

    Check out my crafting blog at

    http://makingthingsbeautifulagain.blogspot.co.uk/

    :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda, nice to meet you! THanks for stopping my - I'm off to visit you now! Gillian x

      Delete

Hello there! Thank you for leaving a comment. I read them all and I always try to answer questions, although sometimes it takes me a while.