I make no secret of the fact that I have Champagne taste on a nearly always Prosecco budget. Babysham even. But then I quite like both those, so it's not always a bad thing. Not having the cash to run out and buy everything your heart desires, helps you to appreciate what you can afford, and for me, it's also a reason to think creatively, and of clever ways to achieve the odd Wearstler-inspired touch, on an almost always modest (often non-existent) budget.
But what it's not, is a reason to paint everything white and call it a day. To settle. I don't like settling.
Anyway, the other week I had a lightbulb moment. I'd been thinking about adding some decorative moulding to the dining room sideboard doors for a quite some time, or maybe some long brass handles. Something to glam it up a bit. I was perusing Pinterest and a few sideboards (crezendas for my American friends) caught my eye. Moulding and handles like my living room cupboard doors weren't the answer after all, but a full on pimp. This was my inspiration - on the left, belonging to the super talented Rosie Case who is one of my favourite Instagrammers (I promise I'm not actually stalking you Rosie, but I do LOVE your home!), and on the right, belonging to Christine Dovey (custom made, I believe).
|Rosie Case (Left)|
Christine Dovey (right)
I realised that something like this would actually be relatively simple to achieve with a bit of measuring, cut to size MDF, some more measuring, my favourite Mega Bond, some primer and paint. Obvs.
People often say that they admire my patience and drive to do these things, but honestly, it comes from my stubborn streak, and really, really, really, really wanting something. A LOT.
I think I kind of know my limitations for projects such as these, but I can never quite work out if I'm fearless and confident, or naive and stupid. Perhaps a mix of all the above? Wait, don't answer that.
The dining room sideboard is made up from five Ikea kitchen wall cabinets, that are mounted sitting just above the skirting board, with a bespoke top sprayed to match. We put this in not long after we moved into this house nine years ago, and it serves as fantastic storage. It sat quietly in the room, but after all these years I felt it needed a to stop sitting quietly in the room and be a bit more brash.
Here's a reminder of what it used to look like. This was taken not long after we moved in, and you can see that the top hadn't actually been fitted yet - it was literally five wall mounted kitchen cabinets.
Actually, this shot reminds me that an image of my dining room made it into a Terence Conran book called Plain, Simple, Useful. The sideboard is still useful, but not so plain and simple anymore!
Here's what I did:
I wanted four layers (or five including the doors themselves) on each door. I figured out that six centimetres got me nice separation between each size, still leaving the smallest one a decent size, and worked out what I'd need cut and ordered it in.
I made the panels first, by using Mega Bond to stick all the pieces together, then I caulked around the edges of each rectangle to cover any gaps for a nice finish. Then I gave them two coats of wood primer, and a light sand, as the primer raises the grain.
I removed the doors from the sideboard, and with a specialist primer (Zinsser 123) primed approximately the front outer 10cms only and the edges only. Then I attached the panels to the doors - again using trusty Mega Bond (believe me when I say that stuff works).
Once dry I caulked the edge, and gave the entire front and edges three coats of a water-based eggshell that I'd colour matched to the existing top and carcass colour.
I blame the lack of shots showing my exact process on the fact that I was mesmerised by the shadows and patterns on the panels.
The doors went back on that afternoon, and just like magic, that unassuming sideboard, was transformed into a peacock, and I'm SO pleased with it.
It was pretty easy for such a huge transformation. Time consuming, but not hard. I have so many more ideas to do similar things to other pieces.
Of course, as ever, one small(ish) change, has set the decorating domino effect into action, and I'm now plotting some more changes to the dining room, which has always been the slightly dowdy sister next to the adjoining show-off living room.
And because I can sometimes be a bit of a show-off too, I created this gif for your viewing pleasure. You're welcome.