Jazz Up Your Drawers

Why spend a fortune on custom made furniture when it’s so easy to personalise what you already have? In this clever DIY video, Tara from Better Homes and Gardens, illustrates  how easy it can be to transform a tired old chest of drawers into a mirrored Shabby Chic statement piece that will add that touch of glam to you space. Later on in the clip she also shows how, with just a lick of paint and some chevron patterns, you can contemporise a cheap pine dresser into something super trendy.

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Before & After: Vintage Radiogram

By Jess Binns of Hector & Bailey

It’s with great pleasure to take the reigns on today’s post for the lovely Rose and Marica from The Design Tabloid. I’d love to share with you the latest ‘Found & Fixed’ item, hot off the press from the Hector & Bailey studio. And, exclusively for The Design Tabloid, I’m going to take you step by step through the whole upcycled process.

So get comfy and I shall begin…

Let me introduce you to Maxwell. An abandoned radiogram, stripped of it’s function and in general, looking a bit worse for wear.

      1. First things first, preparation is the key to a successful outcome, that and patience. So to start, remove handle and any other hardware and start sanding. I use a combination of an electric mouse sander and hand sanding. You need to aim to take off all the old varnish in order to reveal the timber is it’s raw form.

      2. Once this messy job is complete, I washed down the radiogram with a sugar soap solution.

      3. Due to this once being a functioning radiogram, there were signs of missing shelves where large recesses sat. I filled all of these areas with wood filler and allowed to dry fully. {click on images to enlarge}

      4. The next step is to mask off all the areas where you don’t want the paint to reach. In this instance, I wanted to retain sections of wood that were just too beautiful to cover up.

      5. Once complete, I then set to work priming the unit. I only work with water-based paints for all of my wooden items, so I use a wonderful primer from B-Earth, which creates a bond and provides excellent adhesion. Being toxic free, the bond has no smell and dries very quickly, best of both worlds!

      6. Now on to the main colour. For Maxwell, I went for a shade of ‘Greige’ (a grey/beige mix!) in a water-based emulsion. First I painted all the fiddly areas with a small paintbrush… {click on images to enlarge}

      7. The large surface areas were painted with a foam roller. I find this leaves a nice, smooth finish, especially if you have time to build the layers up. I mostly average on 3 coats.

      8. To add a bit of interest, I opted for pale cream painted socks, the contrast from the greige and the rich wood works a treat!

      9. Putting the main body to one side to allow the paint to set, I then turned my attention to the handle. Looking a little tarnished, I decided to spray them cream to match the feet. First you need to prime, allow to dry, then spray on the top coat.

      10. For the inside, I wanted to create an impact by using wallpaper. This is a great way to use up any off-cuts you may have.  This is where concentration levels have to be at an all time high! Especially if you want to ensure the pattern matches on both sides. Using wallpaper paste, I attached each section with a careful eye. {click on images to enlarge}

      11. In order to make the most of the radiogram, I decided to utilize the space underneath, so installed a 3mm ply painted base. Before fitting, I staple-gunned fabric to the grill section from behind to provide a splash of colour.

      12. It’s now time to add a back to Maxwell. For this I used 6mm Marine ply with a section cut out to allow access to the low shelf. This was finished in the same colour and panel pinned on.

      13. Almost there, I re-attached the opening mechanism and fitted the newly sprayed handles. the last job is waxing the whole unit with furniture beeswax to create a protective barrier. I prefer using wax over varnish as you can build up layers over time, beeswax is eco friendly and varnish always leaves brush marks.

Please meet the finished article……!

{Maxwell and some other Hector & Bailey upcycled treasures will be showcased and up for purchase at the Joburg Food Wine & Design Fair. Be on the look out for the miss+meisie collab – Jess alongside Wendy of SketchBok/dbn.}

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {After}

Hector & Bailey’s Found & Fixed

By Marica

Today we would like to introduce you to interior designer and upcycling supergirl, Jess from Hector & Bailey. We just love the Found & Fixed section of her blog where she shares beautiful furniture pieces she has lovingly upcycled and restored. Her passion for finding lost and unloved pieces and returning them to their former glory (with that added quirky edge of course) is quite apparent. She says she has always “felt a duty to bring these pieces back from the dead.

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Server {Before}Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Server {After}Jess founded interior design company, Hector & Bailey in London in 2009 in defiance of the recession and moved across the globe to Durban. Seeking a bit of sunny skies and warm weather, where you Jess? – well, either way, we are super happy to have you join the South African ranks!

Jess is also currently working hard on a new range which she will be showcasing alongside fellow Durbanite, Wendy-Lee Douglas of Sketch Bok/dbn (the design and grown-up part of ilovebokkie) at the Joburg Food Wine & Design Fair. This collaboration, which they have named Miss + Meisie,  will also feature various SA and UK designers. They aim to make this collab a permanent fixture, selling online and hosting pop-up shops showcasing up-and-coming local and UK talent. So if you are in the Jozi area end November be sure to check it out…

I also just had to share two of her Before & After pieces – it is truly amazing how a good sanding and a lick of paint can transform these articles into trendy desirable pieces. I especially love the collection of tossed drawers she revamped. A pop of bright colour and some funky wallpaper, and now they are most gorgeous wall shelves or boxed displays.

More exciting news… Jess is going to be doing a DIY guest post for us next month where she will be showing us step-by-step how to transform something old into something new… so, keep your eyes peeled! Do yourself a favour and pop over to Hector & Bailey to see more of Jess’s Found & Fixed beauties!

Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {Before}Hector & Bailey's Upcycled Drawers {After}