Sunday, 25 April 2010

Painting Thrifted Furniture

Here are the colours I have chosen. The tabletop here is in "Pavillion Grey" and the little pot pourri bowl is in "Mouse's Back". I bought the table (actually a little music cabinet holding my stereo) in a second hand shop about five years ago. It was originally a lovely rich mahogancy with walnut inlay, but it didn't fit into my house at all, so it has been hiding up the back of the boxroom for years. I was going to throw it out, but since coming back from the lovely Bruges house, I decided to paint it. So four coats of paint later, and here it is.

The little bowl belongs to my sister. She found it recently in a second hand shop. It is a nice shape but it was a hideous bile yellow green colour, so I painted it. It painted up nicely since it is a stoneware pottery. I did offer it back to her but she said to keep it since it looks nice in my house - nice sister.
I have still to find handles for this cupboard: I think I might have some somewhere in the shed, so I will go hunting for them later.

The paint is from Farrow and Ball. The cupboard was sanded down, then 2 coats of undercoat/primer, then 2 coats of the eggshell.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Painted Furniture Inspiration

Our rented holiday house in Bruges had the most lovely light airy feel to it. It was a 4 storey traditional townhouse, probably several hundred years old, but decorated in a modern cleanlined style. What I particularly liked was the painted furniture. Here in the bedroom at the top of the house is a little painted desk. If you look closely you can spy my latest crochet project.

And here in the same room is a little wardrobe finished in the same lovely soft grey colour. Now these pieces of furniture are not grand or especially expensive looking. I think they probably started life as the orangey pine most of us have had in our houses at some time. But don't they look nice all painted up.

Here in the bedroom on the first floor is a lovely wooden painted bed. The dark walls are not really to my taste, but they do set off the painted white furniture beautifully.

So, you can guess what happened. I came home, and my house looks shabby. Mismatched colours of painted furniture, red here, blue there, compete with pine and oak and mahogany furniture. It just looks so cluttered and mismatched. The green velvet chesterfield and the gold velvet chaise in my living room just look too colourful.

So, before you can say "Farrow and Ball", I'm off looking for grey paint. I would never have imagined that it is so difficult to choose grey paint. There are green greys, blue greys, steel greys. Yikes - I've chosen 242 by F&B plus the lovely named "Mouse's back". Pictures to follow.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

In Bruges - Easter Decorations

This is the fourth time we have visited Bruges at Easter. It feels like a second home. People ask us if we have family here, if we have a house here, but no, we are just visitors. We have no connection to Bruges, other than we all love it.

At Easter time, the people of Bruges seem to decorate. It is not just commercial decoration in shop windows, but the city itself seems to sprout eggs and chickens.

Here are some delightful chickens, or is it "hens" - I'm never sure, lol. These are decorating the upstairs windows of a pub down a little side street.

And here is a close up of the little hens. They look a bit like papier mache to me. I like the fact that they are a bit wibbly looking, and I like the expressions on their faces - it looks as though they are chatting to each other.

Here's a little egg in a wicker circular wreath, draped around a lamp.

We cycled around a corner in an ordinary street in Bruges, and spied - an egg tree.

And finally, there is the commercial face of Easter in Bruges, lest we forget, a 1m high chocolate bunny. My dentist will be pleased to know that I left it where it was, in the shop window.