One of my very favourite things to do is search charity shops for bits of old furniture and then give them a new lease of life. When I moved to Abu Dhabi I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to find anything as the market is so different here. As you can imagine, with the country’s proximity to India and Indonesia, there are beautiful pieces of solid wood furniture to be had, intricately carved and lovingly handcrafted. These are real ‘take-home’ pieces that I will want to invest in before I leave. There are also some beautiful interiors shops full of high end items (and matching price tags), and Ikea is everywhere! But we aren’t in a position to splash out just yet and our apartment is flooded with light, being on the beach front – not suited at all to dark and heavy statement pieces.
So I started looking for second hand items and look what I found:
A solid wood, very heavy and tired old cabinet that I knew would be just my style with a little bit of work. I loved the ornate detail and chunky feet:
My electric sander being packed away in a storage unit in the UK, along with all of my lovely furniture, I had to use a lot of elbow grease to remove layers of varnish, especially on the cabinet’s top, which I wanted to expose. I had a tin of eggshell paint mixed in ‘bone white’ at the local hardware store and applied it in three layers over a period of days, sanding back the ornate castings when the last coat was completely dry.
The bottom drawer handle came up a treat polished with some wire wool:
but the same can’t be said for the top drawer knobs so I took myself off to Zara Home (any excuse…) for the pretty crystal sparklers you see here. Finally, I lined the drawers with some wrapping paper from Paperchase and the cabinet was finished. It’s sitting in the hallway just waiting to be dressed with pretty trinkets!
It always amazes me what some people want to get rid of but I’m glad they do! I now have a beautiful and unique piece of furniture that fits my style perfectly and kept me happy being creative for days. Now onto the next project!