Feeling Blue


Transforming a vintage bargain
Transforming a vintage bargain

My husband and I recently overhauled four vintage chairs that we picked up at a salvage shop. While we loved the wood, even after we’d sanded it down it was still pretty scratched and worn, and varied by chair. So a little polish or a re-stain wouldn’t have done much good. A lot of the furniture we’ve been picking up lately is teak – different vintage finds that we’ve loved back to some form of life. We love the colour of the wood, and the durability. With two cats running around (you’ll meet them later) we need furniture that gets better with time and will wear with us. We’re finding teak to be a great option for that.

No matter how much we love the colour of the wood, our home was beginning to feel a bit teak-tastic and one-dimensional. I love contrast – a bit like a song, I like a good chorus, but the verses are important as well. So on a particularly grey London day, we decided we needed a bit of mediterranean blue in our lives. We’re not hopping on a plane anytime soon, so instead we opted for paint. The idea for the chairs was born.

After sanding the chairs down (this is seriously time consuming if you want to do it right), we primed and then painted three coats. On the actual seats, I removed all the upholstery staples by hand, only to find a second layer of fabric underneath. These had been re-done once before! While I loved the surprise, the pattern wasn’t really for me. So another round of staple removal finally showed us the foam cushion, which was in pretty great shape (not exciting enough to photograph though). I cut up an old cotton sheet to serve as a layer between the foam and our upholstery fabric, and stapled that down first. I then cut and covered the seats with some fabric we picked up at John Lewis. With the bright colour, we wanted to go subdued on the pattern, so picked a cream tweed to keep things fresh and clean, but add a bit of texture.

These little jewels greet us every morning for breakfast, and every evening for dinner. We love the colour and they are very comfy too. The table we have at the moment is a big, rustic wood table, courtesy of our landlords. It doesn’t really go, but we want to wait to buy a table until we buy a place so that it will fit the space properly. But at least part of the kitchen feels like ours.

What furniture have you brought back to life lately? And what’s your take on wood vs. painted? We love both.


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