I thought I’d focus this post not so much on the how to, but the what to use in terms of recycled items. It’s not only good for the environment in terms of less landfill, but saves money, time in terms of shopping trips, packaging, and fuel going to get/having delivered the resources.
I haven’t just recycled the chairs, I’ve used elements from a sofa bed in this and other projects; so this is one of a series. The sofa bed just didn’t fit the style of our house, but it has foam, wadding, webbing for seats, wood etc. There’s a lot to reuse.
In this case I ripped off the material that covered the padding on the frame of the sofa bed and found foam and wadding that was clean and ready to use.
Here are the chairs pre upcycle…
…..you can see the seat pad is quite thin and it’s quite low down. This is because the part that covers the chair dips down and the seat pad nestles in there. I wanted to smooth out that area so I could just cover the seat with material rather than reproduce something like this…
I removed all the nail heads first. As you prise them off they become too irregular to nail in again and I want to replace them with gimp braid trim anyway. Nevertheless I think they may be able to be salvaged for another project. Perhaps seperating out the reusable ones, and then removing the twisted nails from those that can’t be used. The latter can have their heads used by gluing them on, with the salvaged nails used spread throughout the project.
The material I’ve used to cover the interior of the chair was one I’d bought online at minimum expense from a discount supplier on eBay. The material was originally distributed by Next and is this lovely lavender velvet. It’s also very thick, so good for an upholstery project. As there are two chairs I knew there wouldn’t be sufficient to cover both entirely, but I’d already considered using a second complimentary fabric on the exterior. I was really pleased with the result when completed.
Throughout the project I reused the padding that was already there, as the chair had evidently been reupholstered in its life and these were in good condition.
I took the original apart and sewed the new interior sides and back together in a similar style. However I couldn’t get it as snug.
Oh, and I also built up the seat here.
I hand sewed the gimp braid, adding a stitch every cm or so. I think it gives a cleaner look than the alternatives.
The telephone table was actually lovely. I’d bought it online in the U.K. prior to our move to France from someone who did upcycling and sold pieces on eBay.
I especially loved the seat and plan to do something with the fabric.
So why did I decide to change it?
As it was half seat, half table it was difficult to place it in the house. When telephones were a new invention and you had one at a fixed point in the home this made sense. Answer a call, sit and have a chat. Need somewhere to store a phone book? There’s a little slot.
But….that’s not what we do now is it? Since the 80s we’ve had hands free phones, not to mention our lives tied to mobiles. We’ve seriously considered just keeping mobile phones. The only thing that stops us is an emergency scenario where a fixed phone could save lives.
You know where it is.
Since moving here the telephone table has been under the stairs. Too wide to fit in snugly under there to make use of its seat, it was wasted really, with its positioning against the wall running into the stair treads.
The creation of the vestibule area and the evolving sitting room encouraged me to look again at the piece.
I thought I’d share here because, even though this is the simplest of upcycles, it might give you ideas so you can save a similar piece in your home.
This isn’t a how to, just a you could. But here’s how it was….
And here’s how it is…
Everything is recycled. I removed the seat pad, shelf and back and then I took some old seat pads to make an upholstered bench.
The seat pads where from a set I’d bought for garden seats that I loved. They had a paisley pattern with a gold shimmer. However the pattern, including the shimmer, faded and it ended a dirty grey.
So I split three sides of the pads along the seams and used them for the padding on the bench. I then used a staple gun to secure it in place with the clean, but bleugh, material as a lining.
Then I used the left over velvet form these chairs as a cover, before trimming it with piping and ribbon.
As I said in this post I’m grateful for the chance to slow down on the decorating front and take it a little easier over Christmas. The trouble is when you’re minds been full of something for weeks on end then it’s difficult to switch off isn’t it?
This year, just like last, I had silly expectations of what it is I wanted to achieve by Christmas. As the saying goes, it means I might not reach the moon, but I do reach the stars. Lovely. Yet you don’t get to enjoy the celestial view when you’re exhausted!
With that in mind I have targets I want to achieve by this time next year – but whether I achieve them or not, by Autumn I’m going to take my foot of the gas decorating wise and approach Christmas time differently. Sidenote; hit subscribe because knowing me this paragraph will not age well 😂.
With all this in mind I’ve decided to set myself twelve decorating goals. Some of them are relatively small and some are big and will take a lot of time. Many of the small ones will run consecutively with these larger projects, so they can be finished by November when I hang up my tool bag.
With this in mind I’m doing these twelve days of Christmas posts to inspire me, and hopefully you, for the work ahead.
This first post on bookcases and reading areas encompasses two goals; the bookcase that I want to build in the living room that I spoke about in this post on my American style French Country updates. The latter half of the post will focus on future projects, namely the long hallway on the first floor landing and the reading area I would like to create in the attic.
The last may not be done for a couple of years yet, but it’s good to mull things over.
So, firstly to the living room and the bookcase I want to build this year.
4 How to’s
I love the price and style of these; especially the last one as it shows you how to add library lights and incorporate your speaker system.
Well those were examples of how I planned to do the bookcase, but I thought I’d share some inspiring bookcases for corridors as we have one going from the ‘family’ side of the house towards our guest rooms on the other side.
Landings and Attics
This project is waaaay in the future, but we have an attic with an incredibly high ceiling and lots of space. It has a tall central window and the layout would mean that there would be a large landing area. So I’ve often thought that we could do it up to have additional guest rooms in the future and the landing would lend itself to a great reading area.
As the roof is so high the small room that’s already up there has a false ceiling. It makes sense to continue doing this when we create the additional bedrooms to make them easier to heat. So I was thinking that a split level area on one side of the space might be cool; the other side would be used for additional storage.
I’ve started decorating the living room for Christmas, so this post is as much about that as the development of the French Country style. By the way, for images of the decor lit up at night follow me on insta.
I have a habit at Christmas time of removing a lot of my decor accessories to better display the Christmas decorations. Then, following twelfth night and when the latter are packed away, I take out my old friends again. It’s so good as it gives you an odd pick me up when you’re past the festive cheer. I’ll update you when the decor is in its purer form.
As you can see I’ve squared off the living room, as I talked about in this post. This means that rather than have one, long, oddly shaped living room we have a still large, square space. The couches face each other, both in faded lavender shades that match despite their differing patterns.
The couch that acts as a room divider is the smaller of the two and was the second one that I’d ever covered. I bought both fabrics at bargain prices at different times and was so pleased with the cost and their suitability. I share how to get bargain fabrics here.
The bigger sofa has a scalloped edge that I’ll be posting on soon.
This space is defined with a neutral rug and the re-purposed table sits perfectly in the middle. Even though I’ve maintained the table’s wood, it’s pantina compliments the painted, vintage pieces.
This includes the French Grey table that I shared here and I’ve repositioned below this wall of vintage, French photos and etchings. Here are some close ups of them.
Many of them are local landmarks such as the cathedral and church in nearby Coutances….
Saint Michael’s mount….
it’s equivalent in Cornwall….
and the ruins of the Abbey d’Hambye….
along with a Madonna and child….
In the re-purposed buffet I have throws ready for use, a basket to hide toys that the kids have dragged through from the play room and my beautiful Art Nouveau bust. It’s faded beauty suits its new home perfectly.
I teamed these bird prints with the oval mirror that I painted gold from a dark mahogany.
The final piece of furniture I upholstered this year was the loveseat in lavender linen. I added the trim that I later used on the Aubusson curtain to hide the tv. I really like it and I’m thinking of removing the structured skirt of the small couch to replace it with something similar.
You can see that I have lots of luxurious velvet cushions along with the simpler cotton, Christmas ones. I really like the combination as it seems to reflect my liberal use of glass with the more vintage elements.
Lastly I painted the fireplace in this soft grey. It makes a huge difference to the room – so much lighter and brighter. We knew we couldn’t put a fire in there after the advisor came around, so we will probably keep the fireplace there with the Art Nouveau wood burner there just as it is. The fairy lights give a fire effect with none of the hassle anyway.
One of the reasons for this decision is it’s going to be expensive and messy to remove the fireplace. I think it’s got metal within its structure, as well as concrete and piping. If we remove it I don’t know if it would even be successful. So I think a project for next year will be to straighten the flu area with plaster board and add moldings to compliment the rest of the French Country look.
I already have some beautiful Art Nouveau sconces in the form of Mucha style busts that I plan to put on either side of it, and I also have large damask tiles from Laura Ashley. I think I’ll put the tiles on the back walls and pair them with a simpler grey tile on the floor. Then I’m going to soften the solid block of the mantle by extending it with a shelf and cornice.
OK, I’ll stop brainstorming now and get in with showing you some close ups of the Christmas mantle decor.
I’ve already posted on how I’ve hidden the TV.
Behind the small couch I’ve put the marble and iron pastry table, typically found in bistros in the past. The grey marble suits the room to a t, and the weight keeps the couch in place even when the kids bounce on the couch when they sit down.
I bought the lamps to go on the repurposed buffet top, but they are so tall they touched the chandelier wall light that’s there. So I ran an extension lead from the tv side, covering it to protect people from catching their foot on the wire.
As it runs from the tv side it’s not a normal passage. At the moment it has Christmas decor on the mirrored tray, but I’m going to try and use items that have a dual aspect so that you’re not looking at the back of everything.
In this second half of the room you can see the goblet top curtains that I made during the year. I’ve added beads, buttons a velvet ribbon to them – what can I say? I’m a girl who loves trim!
I’ve already shared about the wicker sofa and cupboard. I just wanted to show you the table that I painted again when I decided to really define the room’s style. I love round tables that you can fill with photos like this. Here it is in its black and gold form with the compass motif. It looked good but I couldn’t put as many photos on without hiding it.
And on a sunnier day today…
I’ll be moving the wicker sofa to where the rose chair is eventually. The rose chair and ottoman will go elsewhere in the house and I plan on covering a small sofa we have in white and putting it against this wall.
I also plan to take up about two thirds of the wall in bookcases. This will give this side of the room a more clearer purpose of reading area. With all the sunlight streaming in it’s perfect for that.
Following on from the difficulties we face getting a wood burner in here a longer term plan is to move the dining room, which is currently through the bi fold doors, to one next to where the kitchen will be. In its current room there is a chimney and hearth. If we’re able to open it up and get it working we’re going to put a fireplace in there and use it as a music room.
If that all goes ahead I’ll move the ottoman in there and have more formal, French style swatting in there.
One last plan for the room is the bi fold doors. I want to put some form of cornice above them and the entrance door too. In the meantime I’m content with the vintage door handles.
No more work in this room until the new year. Between now and the 24th it’s just Christmas stuff. How’s it going where you are?
I shared my research on hiding the tv in this post. Of course I wanted a French Country style solution to match the decor and I think I found it in this Aubusson tapestry…
Here is a close up of the tapestry…
It goes perfectly with the faded lavenders of my decor, as you can see from the side arm of the couch.
As you can see I’ve only hung it like a curtain. In the image that inspired me the tv was set in a wall. However the walls in our pre 1850s home are solid stone, so that just wasn’t an option for us. There was however an alcove already dug out of the wall and I took the door off this so that it could easily store our electrical equipment. You can see that here in the shot of the curtain drawn back ….
When we want to watch tv we just move the curtain aside, pull the tv out and angle it.
I hid most of the wiring in some plastic covers. We can’t afford an electrician to come and rewire so that the outlet is directly behind, so I’ve made do with this extension lead stuck on the wall. It’s not as pretty, but you don’t notice it watching tv. Then, when you’re not watching and the curtain is drawn, you don’t see it at all.
I sewed the Aubusson onto a pre-existing, linen curtain. I added the velvet ribbon and the lace trim to finish it off.
The curtain already had the embroidered M monogram and I thought this complimented the curtain and room superbly.
I’m going to share a last touch of DIY with you tomorrow- transforming a modern, plain in built cupboard with moldings to give it a French Country style. Here’s a sneak peek of the cupboard….
You can see the top of it in the corner of the room. Subscribe to be notified of that and an update of the living room in its new style.
By the way, let me know what you think and how you solve your tv dilemma.
This is a very brief post today; I just thought I’d share these images that have inspired me whilst I’ve been thinking about how to style not only my sofa table, but a bookcase that I’m working on to go in the living room.
Obviously I’ve chosen many of these as they can be described as French Country. However I’ve also chosen them because of what they’ve used to display.
I like the use of baskets, symmetrical lamps, stacked books as well as other touches. What’s interesting is how some stylists have used many items (I probably veer to that side) and others have let the furniture speak for itself.
Take a look and I’d love to hear your feedback- which ones do you like and why?
I’ve spoken about how I was trying to develop a cohesive look for our living room and I shared how I was inspired by American French Country decor.
This part 2 isn’t about aesthetics so much as how best to use the lay out of the room. The room itself is an L shape, and as a result it’s a little “bitty”. A bit here, a bit there. FYI – I’m about to go through why I felt this was important, so feel free to scroll down for the options to hide your tv.
With the huge corner fireplace (still hate it) the part near the dining room has a chunk of its floor space missing along with the dreaded L shape.
The tv outlet is on a wall near to the doorway with a glass cupboard just next to it, making it tricky to use the space well. Particularly as this is the narrowest part of the room.
Furthermore there is a wall with bi-fold doors leading to the dining room and one with a semi circle of windows leading onto the garden.
In addition to all that we got some disappointing news this week. I had someone round to advise me about the fireplace. The only option that worked was the conservatory one and that is estimated at 7-8,000€. More on that later.
Eventually I thought that to make the best of the L shape I should have two separate sections; a tv and reading section. I plan to put a floor to ceiling bookcase in the sunny side of the room as well as comfy sofas. I also plan to divide the room with a sofa – so it will look something like this…
This floor plan is just a sketch; in reality the central sofa will sit back a little so it’s not directly in front of the tv.
However at present the tv cabinet was taking up a good chunk of the connecting area, so to make the sofa divider work I had to wall mount the tv (on the plan you can see the symbol for it just above that central tv. I really didn’t want a big tv on the wall – it’s hardly a part of French Country decor. So I started to look around on the internet for ideas to hide it and these are the solutions I came up with.
1 Behind picture screens
There are lots of different options to do this, and you can find lots of examples on Pinterest for how to do it. I would have loved to do this, but as the outlet for the tv signal is in between the door and window it would have been difficult to fold them back conveniently.
2 Behind a bi-fold painting
I liked this option the best. Notice how they’ve put plug sockets directly behind where the tv will be mounted and inset the whole thing in the wall. Gorgeous!
3 Behind a standing screen
It was whilst I was painting that I suddenly realized that just standing a screen in front of the tv would have the same affect as above without the hassle. Then I realized that with my girls running round it wouldn’t be practical for us. But if you have older children or are generally child free then this could be your perfect solution.
4 Inside a cupboard
You could convert an existing cupboard to do this. However it would take up valuable floor space.
5 In a wall mounted unit
Similar to above.
6 Behind sliding screens
these are great options, but the window and door again.
7 Behind bi-fold mirrors
I love these! Love them!
They look a little expensive though and I haven’t seen anything like it in France.
8 Behind a map
A great idea for a more eclectic home.
9 Behind a tapestry
This. This is my French Country solution. I’ll update you soon on how I’m putting it in place.
Do any of these solutions suitable for you? Or have you come up with something else?
As I said in the coffee table post, I’d gone off ours. In fact I’d started to feel that all the decorating decisions I’d made recently were going in the wrong direction. It just didn’t feel right, you know?
Then I realized that there was a lot in this room I liked, but that it was a hodge dodge of themes and I needed one instead of several, competing themes.
You see, I have this painting….
which you can see in the how to tufted ottoman post. It has an Asian influence, and there are these glass pieces that you can just see the bottom of the picture below, that have a similar feel.
The small bookcase, which you can see in the photo with the oil painting, go with the new coffee table as both are country pieces.
Then there are these more modern pieces along with the Art Nouveau prints……
This bistro table, in the shot above, is French. Th marble and iron can give it a modern feel even though its a traditional item.
I’d painted the round table black (this post) as I was thinking there should be an overall Art Deco feel, and that would have gone well with the. ore modern pieces and perhaps the Asian ones too. However, it didn’t feel like ‘me’ or ‘us’, you know? Then I made the velvet ottoman and that’s when I realised I have a dual personality room. In fact, there are so many personalities here that it looks like a James McAvoy character…
One side offers you a cup of tea and a slice of cake, the other offers you cocktails and a night on the town. You can have a cup of tea and a glass of wine room, but in my view when it comes to decor metaphors tea and Singapore Slings just don’t work. So, rather than continue I thought I’d take stock and get a clearer theme.
As we have a very traditional dining room, with the bi-fold doors leading onto it, I’ve always wanted the room to be able to ‘flow’. However, this side is definitely more modern in it’s make up. So how was I to connect the themes?
This is why I originally came up with Art Deco. But, I’ve never truly been a fan of that period. For me it’s too minimal. Beautiful yes, stylish absolutely. But, I like more warmth and it always feel cold to me.
So, along with the flow, and as I knew I’d have to remove some of the elements in here already, I started to think purely in terms of the things I couldn’t un-do simply. After all my hard work upholstering this came back to the lavender in the sofas for me. From this I started to naturally think of French Country.
Obviously what we know of as French Country isn’t really; it’s more American, French Country. But as I studied it to get ideas of where to go now I came up with these themes.
1 Pale fabric
If you look below French country is normally depicted in terms of white linen. I don’t have this at the moment, but my lavender material is a close proximity.
I have further furniture to upholster shortly and concentrating my mind like this has helped me to focus on what to buy. In this case it will be ecru or white fabric. The two should go together well.
If you look in this first image I love all the linens that sit well with the white painted wall mouldings and country table that’s similar to our new coffee table.
The bottom, left image has light patterns in the chair upholstery which, mixed with the other light pieces, doesn’t detract from the modern, French country feel.
The image below, right also has the white painted wood; this time a little more shabby chic in its pain treatment. I like the way they’ve introduced colour and texture in the cushions and the metal table with shiny items on it. It seems that you can introduce more glamorous elements.
2 White coloured furniture, with details
As well as light upholstery French Country continues its characteristic brightness with woodwork that’s light in colour. The white can be whitewashed on or distressed chalk paint. Both of these methods highlight the shape of the wood beneath.
The first image has a white washed table, but the nail head trim, tufted sofa keeps the room looking polished.
The second image the sofa table is again white washed, but this has a far more rustic feel. The sofa is more utilitarian in its shape and texture of fabric, and the cupboard doors and wicker basket are also rustic.
In the third the chest of drawer is painted in solid, white paint and slightly distressed. The piece is obviously old, and looks as if it could have not been painted recently due to how the colour is applied. The whitewash technique suggests a more modern and therefore recent decorative decision, in spite of its more rustic and equally aged surroundings. A subtle difference, but a big difference in the tone between the two images, no?
You can see in images four and five how the use of paint and surroundings give such a wide variety of personalities to the rooms, in spite of being similar at first glance.
So I am left wondering, what character do I want my room to have? I lean towards the first image; classic, clean, a little sophisticated but traditional. Yet I also like the fourth which has a lot of these elements, but doesn’t appear quite as polished and seems cosier somehow.
3 Light, wooden furniture
As you can see from the images below this light wood is similar to our new coffee table. This type of wood gives a lovely rustic, warm feel and if you have a lot of whites can stop the look being too clinical.
The first image is certainly more rustic, and feels more vintage. Whilst the third image feels more English country. Yet I lean more to the second for this room due to its modern structure and the use of glass and silks in the accessories. Our house is a central, village house and so going too rustic would feel like we were not complimenting this part of its identity.
4 Light grey, or blue painted furniture
As well as the white woodwork this blue grey look is very popular. I’m going to think about this for at least one of our pieces of furniture, just to break things up.
As I said in my last point, the location of the house influences how I see it decorated as much as my personal tastes. therefore, if I’m leaning towards a more refined tone I think the last piece is the most reflective if that style. It seems to be highlighted by a gold wax rub, rather than distressing to bring out its features which makes it less shabby and more chic.
5 Ottomans, chaise longue and structured sofas
Whether they’re over stuffed, cane or elegantly crisp all these pieces hark back to the elegant times of France past. They’re subtle and refined.
I bought a piece of cane furniture recently which isn’t as detailed as the top, right hand one, but that may be a benefit in a more modern setting. I like the way this first sofa maintains the natural colouring of the cane, but teems it with a white paint that seems to have featured the detailing with a dark wax when it was sealed.
6 Faded rugs
You can have off white rugs, but these faded, romantic rugs bring warmth as well as colour. In the bottom image the pops of teal veers away from the norm of the French Country palette, but the bright whites maintain the mode.
I’ve obviously included that image because I would like to include the teal, tufted ottoman I talked about earlier.
7 Black and white prints
These architectural prints add elegant interest and look wonderful in structured groups. They also add to the feeling of lightness that is synonymous with this style of decor due to the prominence of white.
8 Scenic oil paintings
I’ve seen these grace walls in French homes often. Yet in real life I tend to find that people have photos of their own surroundings that are from the dawn of photography, showing their village or area in a bygone age.
Certainly when we’re looking at American, French country style these portraits of the type from the era of France in terms of the Sun King are a popular addition. In reality, as they often depict the nobility from pre-revolutionary France, they’re not as popular here. It would be the equivalent of Americans having George V on their wall.
10 Wood carvings
Again, in terms of being used as artwork, this is an American addition to the French Country genre, but a beautiful one. There are lots of intricately carved piece of furniture that sell at brocantes though and I think it would certainly be an inexpensive and stylish addition if I bought an ancient armoire, salvaged the carved doors etc and gave them a distressed, chalk paint treatment prior to hanging them on the wall.
Or needlepoint. Whether on rugs, as above, or hung on walls or on cushions I see a lot of these in brocantes. Sometimes they’re incredibly big and I’m tempted to buy some and use them in chair upholstery. I’m in the process of buying one at the moment to use it to hide our tv in the front room. It needs my husband to hang the tv first, so this may take a while before I post! (I don’t trust myself to hang it, I’m not sure I would be able to make it sturdy enough).
If you’re going for modern French country the use of glass is always a good addition. With it’s light reflective qualities it compliments this style of decor superbly.
I already have many photo frames which are mirrored and so these images are inspiring. I love the fireplace and although we couldn’t go that route, too expensive, it does epitomise what I mean in terms of going from the very traditional dining room to the more modern structure of the living room.
There are many examples throughout the post, but as I will have to insert something I thought I’d focus on these two here. I especially like the black on the right hand side as it is dramatic and looks more chic.
Again, plenty of examples up and down the post, but I really like the right hand image.
15 Silver and gold items
Subtle use of gold turns the theme from too country to a little more elegance. But, in my view, only a touch is needed.
The example below is Venetian and is evidently expensive. Mirrors are always beneficial in decorating, but having them in this style of decor adds to the light feel.
17 Clocks – tall and on mantles
I already have an ornate mantle clock, but I adore these tall clocks. There are many in the local brocantes, but they may not work and are often full of woodworm. You also have to have floor space if you’re opting for this choice. Although our room size is large in comparison to the houses I’ve lived in, its L shaped layout would make the inclusion of something like this difficult.
I love the paint scheme below by the way.
In the images I’ve used they are predominantly wooden, white and with a distressed appearance. However I have predominantly glass lamps. As I’ve said previously reflective glass is more of a luxurious addition, but I think it can be included here. It’s starting to become apparent that the room may well reflect more of a traditional Parisian French look, than a provincial one. Unless I start to trim down some of these accessories and place them elsewhere in the house that is.
19 Monogrammed linen
I love them and you can find a lot in French brocantes. It’s also synonymous with American, Southern decorating style. The images below may well be more of those examples than French.
I included the velvet cushion here as it’s a modern take on the traditional embroidered monogram and I’ve actually just bought some cushions like this. I think I feel a project coming on.
You can see more ornate versions throughout the post. These would certainly be more towards the country end of the decor style.
Simple whites in the images left and centre, as well as transfer china wear all look good as part of this style of decor. Notice how the first and last images use the china to display greenery.
22 Religious statues
Some people just use these purely as decorative items, I obviously use mine liturgically. I prefer a simpler method of display when its not a particular feast day or season as a result.
I love botanicals and they’re a beautiful way to enhance the sense of calm, light and a ‘home for the ages’ feel. If I go for the architectural option I think I’ll leave this for another room and visa versa.
24 Painted tables – roses
It doesn’t just have to be tables, but other pieces of furniture. Yet I find this type of illustration popular among pieces in the local brocante. They tend to be expensive too. I hope to show you how to decorate an item in this style in future posts. In the meantime you may want to take a look at my secretaire post.
25 Natural elements
Along with the botanical prints natural elements are a must within this decor style. Simple greens, or those shaped in topiary are beautiful. Hydrangea, or Hortensia as they are more commonly known in France, are very popular here. As you can see below and throughout the post orchids are a more stylish option. Here we have jardinieres, oval shaped pots that are used to display flowers and plants. You can put water in the bottom so the plant doesn’t get bogged down and they come in many materials there is always an option to suite your room’s mood.
I love the style, but I have to work with what I’ve got. even though I live in France, I’m still restricted by upholstery fabric – as I’ve already mentioned – as well as room layout, and decorative items Ive areaway got. Although Im happy to go ahead and change things, I have to be realistic about how much I can spend. So part 2 of this is going to focus on lavender/lilac in this decor style.
I’m changing some of our living room decor – I’ll go into this more in another post. Today though I thought I’d share this little, big find that I discovered at the brocante. I had been searching for something with character and this seemed to fit the bill with its pantina and beautiful, turned legs. It’s a table that I had to reduce down, but it’s still wonderful and to be honest I genuinely like the height. No more bending over to put my cup down.
This is what it looked like when I first brought it home. Unfortunately it’s on its side in the hallway, but you get the idea.
The first thing I did was look underneath to see how it was secured. All these slats of wood are to allow a central leaf of the table to extend it. That leaf no longer exists and I didn’t want a table that big anyway. I think the combined height of this was 2-3 inches, so that seemed a good place to start reducing the table.
A hefty screw driver managed to get out all the screws without too much difficulty. I’d actually paid 9€ for the table. As my DIY journey continues I’m starting to develop an idea of just how much things cost, and believe me these screws alone would set you back that amount new.
I had the choice, do I further reduce the legs on the table? I knew if I did that a lot of what had appealed to me about it would be disguised. Do you see below where it would be natural to remove the top part of the posts leaving the first curve? The trouble with that is the lowered edge of the table would hide this first curve from view. I thought that would be a shame, so took a wait and see approach.
Each of the tops of the posts had a round piece of wood jutting out to fit into the slats connected to the table. I didn’t have the tools to make a similar hole in the table top directly, so I decided to screw right into the table. I was thinking at this stage that I would paint it and slightly distress the finish to highlight the shape.
Along the way I originally thought the central columns had to go, but I managed to review this later.
I reused some of the slats to join the tables like this….
… and then added the legs in the same direction so that they also joined the two halves of the table top together.
I reused the screws which have a slightly rusted look and actually blend with the table really well. I submerged them into the top by taking a wider screw bit and doing this about halfway into the wood to make a slightly deeper hole at the top for the screw head to nestle in.
As they’re so well disguised I’m not going to paint the table, or even refinish the top. I like the worn, characterful wood. We decided to live with the height for a little while and then when we’re certain we’re happy with it I’d unscrew it, glue the legs and rescrew it all together to make sure it’s sturdy.
Here’s the table looked at that point…
Here’s the patina…
You can see the screws don’t stand out.
Oh, and here’s what the kids liked to do….
After we’d lived with it a while we definitely liked the height, but I kept looking at the table legs thinking they looked unfinished. Then when I was chatting to my mum I picked up the central column and compared it to the table. It had been too tall you see, so I wondered what the difference was.
I could see a slight crack between the table top and it’s wooden apron and the difference was minimal. Keeping the central column straight I marked where this crack was on each leg then sawed across. Then this could be slid in the middle.
This is where we are now…
I’ll update you soon on my plans for the room. In the meantime let me know what you think in the comments – I’d love to hear from you if you’ve used a re-purposed item for your coffee table.