Shabby to Chic - Transforming Second Hand Furniture

It's been just over a year since my husband and I bought our beautiful 3 bedroom Victorian home and besides the occasional glimpse in a photo I've not yet dedicated any blog posts to the interior of our home. When we moved in the house was completely empty save for the pieces below as we couldn't wait to be rid of the cheap (and pretty useless) furniture which had seen through the two years we'd lived in our tiny rented flat. Our house was a blank canvas and we couldn't wait to make it into a beautiful home!

Being a fan of country cottage, shabby chic style decor has its perks. The look can often be achieved with very little cost. Although the shops are full to bursting with shabby chic paraphernalia, they most often come with a steep price tag. However, if you have the time or inclination to shop around and regularly visit charity shops and car boot sales, you can find some lovely pieces for a very small cost.

The walls have been decorated with Laura Ashley wallpaper and Farrow and Ball paint and we splashed out on new furniture for our bedroom, but a large part of the house has been decorated using second hand furniture which I adore. Each piece is unique and irreplaceable which makes our home feel all the more special.

Welsh Dresser - £30
We spotted this in our local Sue Ryder store when we still lived in Loughborough and I was so delighted to find a Welsh dresser for such a low price. It was a pain lugging it up 3 flights of stairs and having to store it in our tiny hall, but since we've moved it's had a nice home in our spacious kitchen. We sanded it down, applied an undercoat and a couple of coats of matt white paint before adorning it with pretty things.

Before


After

Standard Lamp - £2
We picked this up at a carboot sale for a mere £2, much to my delight. We re-wired it to be on the safe side and I painted the base in a white eggshell paint. The shade was pretty grubby and we had planned on recovering it, but the cream and duck egg went well with our Laura Ashley wallpaper. This is where our Miele vacuum cleaner came in handy! I popped it on the upholstery setting and the dirt just vanished!

Before 
(How teeny was the old kitchen!)

After

Breakfast Stools - 3 for £5
These stools were a brilliant find in an old factory building selling all kinds of second hand furniture. Our kitchen has a breakfast bar but I'd only seen modern breakfast stools being sold so these were perfect for keeping in with the country cottage theme. We roughly sanded them down to make the seat a lighter rustic colour then I painted the back rest and legs with an undercoat and a coat or two of white eggshell paint. It was immensely tedious but I love the finished result.

Before

After

Pine Bookcase - £70
We had a lot of books stored in the cellar so I was desperately seeking a reasonably priced pine bookcase that would suit our home. I eventually found this one on eBay and it looks perfect in our dining room filled with a few of our favourite books!
Anyone else like sprucing up old furniture?

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