When we moved into the farmhouse in November, it took us a wee while of sorting through furniture which had been left by my in-laws and deciding what we wanted where. We are far from finished this process, but the main rooms are in a layout that Tom and I both like, and we started to see where we needed new pieces. We came from a 3 bedroom house, so we were clearly going to be short of enough furniture to fill the farmhouse. After the first couple of months I realised we were in need of a few new tables, chests of drawers, mirrors and the like, so I started to trawl Gumtree looking for cheap bits of furniture that would suit the house, or that I could do up to fit in with our style. First on my list was a narrow hall table/console table.
On a rare baby-free day (thanks Auntie Elaine!) I headed off to a local antique centre, Drum Farm Antiques on Old Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh. This place is a total treasure trove of battered pieces of furniture, and more quality antiques. I was glad I went without James as there were teetering piles of dusty furniture, stacked within a huge shed and carrying him through it would have been hard work! After a good scout around and a bit of indecision, I found a mirror that I thought would suit our bathroom, and a narrow desk with lift-up lid which the owner told me had originally been a Victorian washstand, modified to be a desk. A small amount of haggling and awkward maneuvering of the desk into the car, I was soon trundling back round the bypass with the desk rattling away in the back.
I was torn with indecision over both items, whether they would look better in their original style, or whether I should upcycle them and give them the Annie Sloan treatment. As I had recently attended an Annie Sloan workshop, I thought I’d give it a go and do some more chalk painting.
I did the mirror first, as I have been desperate to finish off our new bathroom ever since it was installed in December.
I wanted a slightly distressed look to it, but as it had a lot of delicate decorative plaster mouldings I thought I’d better look up different techniques for distressing. I found some helpful tutorials that suggested distressing the paint using a wet cloth rather than sand paper. So after a good brush down with a dry paintbrush to clean the frame, I taped up the mirror and added a coat of Old White.
I allowed it to dry before rubbing a wet cloth over the bits I wanted to distress. Finally, I sealed the frame with clear was as best I could using a soft cloth. I was pretty pleased with how this one turned out.
There are still a few finishing touches to add to the bathroom, but I’ll share progress soon.
I chose Paris Grey for the hall table/desk as I am going to be painting the hall in an off-white so I wanted something fairly neutral but that would stand out against the colour of the walls. There are lots of lovely grey desks on pinterest, and after lots of image searching, I decided to go for it and just paint the desk already!
It took a fair few coats of paint to cover the dark wood, and I think our dining room was far too cold as the paint has more texture in it than I would have liked. But overall, I’m pretty pleased with the finished piece.
I finished it off with a metal jug of fresh flowers, a lovely lantern from Planet Flowers, a basket from Next and a cosy blanket. The hall is in desperate need of a new coat of paint. I’m currently working on all the doors (there are 15 doors in the hall. FIFTEEN!), and skirting, and then I’ll need to psych myself up to paint the stairs which are concrete. And then we might look at getting a new carpet… The list is endless, but it’s quite exciting what a transformation just one new piece of furniture can make.