Rented interior style: Create & make

Hi, so last weekend was a bank holiday weekend and after a busy winter it was time to tick some jobs off the list. I moved in with Dan back in October 2016 and since then we have been adding to and finessing our interior style. As we both love a bargain and things a little different, we decided that upcycling was a cheap and cheerful way to put our own stamp on our rented flat. In the last 7 months we have pinterested vintage furniture, copper fittings and Annie Sloan chalk paint to try and piece together the look for our home. For me, I want a flat that when people walk in they can instantly see our personalities and I want our personalities to scream (in their best Loyd Grossman voice), ‘’creative, young couple who enjoy vintage sophistication and jazz’’. To be honest we’re more ‘youngish couple, who wish they had more time to be creative and drink G&Ts out of quirky glasses to make themselves feel cool’’, but hey, it’s a work in progress :-). Luckily for the most part we (myself and Dan) are on the same page, although we love vintage touches, neither of us are fans of shabby chic or that ‘french chateaux’ look, (I mean come on, we live in Bedminster!). Instead we’re into bold colours and shapes in muted tones with pops of colour, which brings me onto our first project: the TV chest.

All the vintage furniture we have bought to upcycle has all come from ‘Odds & Todds’ in Hanham, Bristol. This place is a treasure trove and like the tardis, is so much bigger on the inside. None of the pieces we have got from there have cost us over £30. That’s £30 for solid wood that did not require to be put together using an allen key. Our wallets and relationship were very pleased about this.

Vintage TV Chest

This sat aloft a load of other furniture and was labelled, ‘Mahogany Box’. We thought the cupboard would be great for DVD/video game storage and due to its age, whatever varnish was on it had worn off making it perfectly prepped for painting. Pus it was only £15! When we got it home we realised why it was labelled a ‘’box’.’ The cupboard had been nailed shut at some point, so the only access was the lid on the top. Thinking that probably wasn’t ideal once the TV was in place, we decided to re-open the cupboards. This just took a few taps with the hammer and hey presto! That is the thing about vintage pieces, they may not always be as they seem but usually any amendments are easily made. Then came the colour. I really had my heart set on the deep blue, which was an Annie Sloan custom mix called ‘peacock’. Not having the budget to ask Ms Sloan for a custom mix we opted for Aubusson Blue. I do love this colour but it dries a lot lighter than when you first apply it, although now I’ve done a few chalk paint projects, I think this is just how the paint works. I must add before I started painting I did read a few ’how to use chalk paint’ articles. I found this one the most helpful. Beginners guide to chalk paint

We finally got round to painting the fittings at the weekend and now the piece really feels complete. It’s a nice bold colour against of magnolia walls and beech floor.

Upcycled Bureau

I’ve seen a lot of these get the shabby chic treatment on Pinterest, I guess to restore them to their writing desk glory but the only writing I’ll be doing on it is via my laptop and some occasion sewing on my Toyota machine. Although this piece is in our living room it’s really going to be used by myself so I was able to go a bit bolder with colours and looks I’m fond of (don’t worry, Dan gets his own projects as well). The Bureau was hidden behind another large piece of furniture in the downstairs section of ‘Odd & Todds’. It seemed pretty sturdy and the only issues were that it was missing one drawer handle and the pull down mechanism needed re-attaching with some screws. At £25 and the fact that it came with a cupboard instead of 3 drawers like a lot of bureaus we were sold! For this upcycle I knew I wanted a blue toned grey, because this is easy to find I used Rustoleum Chalk paint instead of Annie Sloan which is £5 – £7 cheaper per pot, depending on where you get it. For the hexagon design, I just cut out some shapes from a cereal box and bought 3 different coloured matte emulsion tester pots for £1.20 each (I already had gold paint). As you’ll know from any of my blog posts this is very similar to the design I use throughout my site and it was that which inspired this upcycle. I’m really happy with it and I’m even more proud of myself that I remained calm enough to complete the stencils (I don’t have much patience). We’ve still got at art deco dressing table and dining room table and chairs to complete along with a bigger upcycle project but then I feel we will be complete…. Well until my next idea anyway.



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