Sunday, 31 August 2014

Grandads vintage wallpaper...

I'm back from trips to the Isle of Wight and Devon and no DIY has taken place. Perhaps when Connie goes back to school this week but I've hurt my back so perhaps not.

I have a whole summers worth of second hand scores to share but I want to start with a post about my late Grandads house in Devon. My Grandad passed away 13 years ago but his second wife, my step grandmother still lives in the large Edwardian house.

I stayed there earlier this month and asked her if I could share the fabulous wallpaper with you. I think there's something for everyone here. So come on in.

In the huge hallway is a pretty pink toile de jouy above the dado rail and a soft pink below. Elegant and classical.

In the sitting room things get a little bolder...

I love this design and I think it works as the room is so large so it doesn't suck all the light out of the room. This is on just one wall.

The kitchen was decorated in the 1971. I think it shows...

Again, just one wall is papered. To give you an idea of scale, that fireplace is above shoulder height.

In the drawing room you can see the oldest wallpaper in the house.

This was the best room for receiving guests. It's very elegant in here, if somewhat shabby chic. 

Here's the ceiling moulding at the top of the room above the door.

Fabulous high ceilings

On the staircase, below the dado is anaglypta with so many layers of paint on it. Very English.

See the bakelite light switches? Grandad painted everything. Perhaps I get that from him. 

In one of the bedrooms is this greek themed wallpaper. 

Here's the door to give you an idea of the scale...

A piece of wallpaper was used under the glass finger plate on the door too. The other walls are a soft grey.

On to the bathroom with this mustard yellow...

 another bold choice with the orange woodwork.

In the back bedroom, is this fabulous paisley design.

Some strong colour on the fireplace too.

The next landing up has this doll wallpaper. My grandmother loved dolls...

Isn't it amazing? Those dolls are huge!

Last of all, what was my dads attic room and what would have been the servants room originally.

I'm guessing another 1960's paper. Hopefully decorated after dad left. 

Around the same time, all the furniture in here was painted in gloss hot pink. 

So you see, the feature wallpapered wall is not a new thing. My family invented it long ago! And the desire to paint everything is clearly in my genes, even if the colours I choose are less bold. 

I hope you enjoyed a wander around this beautiful house.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The ugly dresser completed...

Hello stranger! Time has gotten away from me. I've been visiting my dad, working on an epic piece of furniture and focusing on my daughter as it's the school hols.

I'm halfway through the kitchen, so it's a perfect time to wander off and do something else. A kitchen break. I was itching to finish the ugly dresser.

So I did. Ta daa!

Let me remind you how it started out...

It didn't fit the wall, see how it cuts accross the door frame?

The top was not looking good.

I wasn't loving the plywood back or the black shelves.

But I LOVED the paintwork. (What was left of it.) It really was love at first sight with this piece. All the problems with it could be fixed.

I put a new tongue and groove back on the cupboard section. Much better than the plywood. And although it's inside the cupboard and no one sees it, I couldn't leave it looking so new.

I stained the wood with a mixture of tea and thinned down black acrylic paint. Much better.

I scraped and sanded the top, not too much as I didn't want to ruin the beaten up finish. I cut sections off the sides and top cornice so it fit my space perfectly. I sanded and stained the cut edges so it didn't look newly cut.

Halfway through, it was looking better but still needed a tongue and groove back for the top section and I needed to lose that black paint.

There was no simple way to do this. I painted all the paintwork, the black and the cream, very carefully, so that it would all be the same colour. I had to paint around each and every flaked of piece as I didn't want to lose that! This piece really was a labour of love.

I dark waxed it all so the new paint looked original.

wood bleached top

I used wood bleach on the top as I love the super pale look. (Did you know that using wood bleach and tongue and grooving something are two of the most fun things to do on the planet? )

The new tongue and groove back was stained darker and then also bleached to match the top.
Then I put it all together. I really wasn't sure about the wood finish behind the shelves. I thought I might paint over it.
But when the china was all in place, I loved it. I think that the china stands out more against wood than it would do against a painted surface and I'm so thrilled with the way it all matches up.

So here's the before...

And now...

Right then, better get on with that kitchen...

Ivy and ElephantsElizabeth and Co.

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