Houston, we may have a problem…

Hello, my name is Gemma and I am a shopaholic.  To be precise, a thriftaholic.  Like most women I love to shop.

Before Luxe in the Cottage I mainly bought clothes.  And shoes,  yes lots of shoes.  To the point that whenever we moved house (and if you’ve been reading my posts you’ll remember that I have moved house frequently) the moving people liked to make several comments about ‘how many pairs of shoes does one person actually need?’  There are 365 days in the year, so go figure…

I am now the very proud owner of Luxe in the Cottage.  This has resulted in me no longer spending copious amounts of time shopping for clothes.  Well, to be fair, the crazies put paid to the shopping anyway.  Shopping with a five-year old boy and his impatient father who needs to be fed at regular intervals otherwise he is likely to lose the plot was not something I wanted to make a habit of.

When we bought Luxe in the Cottage we knew we wanted to improve it and so when we moved in and over the ensuing years before the renovation started we never bothered to buy any new accessories or furniture.  When the renovation was finally finished and we moved back in our existing furniture seemed to disappear in the new larger spaces.  We needed stuff and lots of it.

Image Rockett St George

And so I broadened my shopping horizons.  I love quirky, unusual pieces, the likes of which Rockett St George sell to maximum impact.  If the company founders Jane Rockett and Lucy St George would offer to come style my house with their entire product range I would probably give them my first-born child in exchange (Darcey, if you ever read this, let it be known, I wouldn’t really have given you away, only if they had thrown in the Cloud Velvet Chair….I am JOKING!  I love you more).

Image Rockett St George

Charity shops are great.  I took one of my best friends to one recently and she was admirably brave.  Initially she couldn’t get past the smell of ‘old people’ but after a while she started to appreciate the rich pickings on offer.  I have found some super little treasures and also some right turkeys.  I always know when Mr Luxe gives me the raised eyebrow that I might have pushed the boundaries of ‘quirkiness’ just a little too far.

One of these potential turkeys was a sideboard I picked up.  The picture showed it as being a potential contender for an upcycle but after getting it home my confidence started to dwindle.  It absolutely stank, it was bowed with water retention and the wood veneer was coming away in several areas.  Mr Luxe was not convinced but I was determined that something could be done with it.

Sideboard before

My first job was to give it a bloody good sanding.  Using the Black and Decker Mouse sander that I purchased from B&Q, I sanded the sideboard all over, paying particular attention to any chipped edges and also the drawer rails so that the drawers would slide better on them.  Using wood filler I filled the handle holes then re-sanded the area after it had dried.

The painting took quite a bit of time as I wanted to get the finish as good as I could.  I’ve found after experience that it is better to do several thin layers of paint rather than one thick layer.  Make sure your paint is well mixed and your brushes are clean and dry.  I used Rust-Oleum Gloss Black chalk paint in Liquorice.  This went on very nicely and gave a brilliant glossy finish, just what I was after.

My plan was to paint the top two-thirds of the sideboard in black and the bottom third in gold. I considered using spray paint but ruled this out as it was a large area I was covering and also I wanted better control.  I opted for Rust-Oleum Metallic Finish Furniture paint in Gold and I didn’t regret it.  It needed three thin coats to get the desired effect but I was very pleased with the finished product.


Sideboard after

The finishing touch was Skyscraper Knurled brass handles from Dowsing & Reynolds.  The stunningly modern solid brass handles contrast perfectly against the glossy black.  They are available in bronze, brass or silver and the combination of their solid finish and intricate design give a real sense of elegance to the finished product.

Skyscraper Knurled brass handle in gold from Dowsing & Reynolds

Dowsing & Reynolds not only have a fabulous collection of hardware, they are also purveyors of a downright lush selection of lighting selling everything from pendant lights and retro table lamps to industrial wall lights and vintage style light bulbs.  I was particularly enamored with their selection of designer light switches, one of my favourites was this beautiful Smoked Gold dimmer switch.

Image Dowsing & Reynolds

As always, thank you for reading.  My next project is going to be decorating the living room so look out for the next post where I’ll take you through my ideas.  Lots of love G x

p.s. I know I am missing a handle from my picture.  I’m sure I ordered two of the knob ones but can only find one.  I am hoping the puppy has not eaten it.

p.s.s. I will keep you informed.


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