Updating Furniture

Reupholstering and painting furniture is one of the easiest ways of getting unique furniture without the hefty price tag. I can honestly say that I have bought only three pieces of furniture new for my little house. Everything else I have inherited, ‘borrowed’ from my Dad or Nan, given to me by friends, or bought from secondhand stores, garage sales, and opp shops. I even found a table on the side of the road! What I have ended up is a house full of unique pieces that reflect my personality and tastes. As my tastes and styles evolve and change, so does my house but I always follow one rule- keep it feeling hyggeligt, a danish term for that warm, cosy, comfortable feeling you get.

I have at times ended up with more furniture than I need and when that happens, I have sold and given pieces to my friends!

I thought I’d share three of my favourite pieces of furniture and the stories behind them.

Bedside table

beside table

This is a little table that my friend gave to me. It came from a store room at her work and was going to be dumped at landfill. We then got our hands on a second one!

Choosing colours was the hardest part but I decided with a bold colour from British Paints “Grand Turquoise”. I gave it one coat of primer, 2 coats of paint then gave it 2 coats of clear vanish to give a nice gloss and a durable surface.

I love the end result. It’s a beautiful pop of colour in my otherwise very calm, pale bedroom!

Dining Table

dining table

This is the table I found on the side of the road. I had my neighbour help me get it home and once there, I had no idea what to do with it. I eventually got around to sanding it, stopped to buy a cordless sander, got it back to bare wood and then left it for another week. My flatmate suggested that I should paint just the legs so, I used the leftover “grand turquoise” paint from my bedside tables and gave the legs a rough coat of paint before sealing the whole table in 2 coats of clear vanish. You can see wood tones coming through the paint on the legs which adds character. Once done, I still had no idea what to do with the table as a) I already had a dining table and b) it was too big for my house. My flatmate then announced she was moving out and since she had very little furniture, I gave it to her as a house warming gift!

Bekväm Ikea stool. 

I don’t count this as furniture but as it lives out in my kitchen and I use it everyday (I’m five foot tall), I’m including it here. We all know how the Ikea Bekväm stepstool look new and you see them all over home design blogs but this is on of the best things I’ve bought. To personalise mine, I painted the legs orange (British Paint’s “Worldly”). I also gave this a couple coats of vanish for easy cleaning.


Updating my Bedroom

It was a long overdue project. Update my bedroom. I had ugly, custard yellow walls, purplish trim and liked nothing about the room. Time to change that.


I had already bought a new bed base (out of necessity as my old bed had broken), painted the bedside table, and made a headboard but the walls were horrible.

I started by moving everything into the spare room and painting the walls and trim white. I had the perfect opportunity to do this when my hot water system cracked flooding my entire house. I then set about moving everything back in.

My bed is an Ikea base with storage drawers (the Brimnes in white, queen size) and difficult to move. When I eventually got it reassembled, I had set it about ten centimetres too close to the wardrobes (I have a tiny bedroom). I solved this problem in an unconventional way- I removed the wardrobe doors.


By doing this, I could also tuck my antique chest of drawers in the wardrobe and have minimal furniture in the room itself.

I went back to Ikea to get a curtain rod and simple white curtains (used 2 pairs) to cover the wardrobe. I hung the curtains at ceiling height and had it cover the entire wall so it doesn’t look busy. Whilst at Ikea, I got new frames and 2 picture ledges (one long, one short) to put above my bed. I also got a new lamp (the Hektar in bronze colour) which clamps on to the end of the picture ledge.



I have only one bedside table- the room is really small and if I put the other table in, it will get hit by the door.

I also got new curtains for the window (the same as the wardrobe wall) and bought a shadowbox frame for a Japanese fan that a friend brought home from Japan as a souvenir. At my father’s house, I saw the old Singer sewing machine base and decided it was perfect for a small dressing table. As it was sitting in the backyard, it was rusting and I’m claiming I ‘rescued’ it. I had to clean it up and paint in black satin metal paint. I also spotted the piece of marble leaning against the fence (I had been told it was my grandfather’s) and it was the perfect size for the top.






That’s it. That’s everything in my bedroom. It took a bit of work but it didn’t take too long to achieve everything.

The round-up:

Ikea- ‘Brimnes‘ bed base, ‘Vivan‘ curtains (3 pairs in total), ‘Räcka‘ curtain rods, ‘Betydlig‘ wall/ceiling brackets and curtain rod holders, ‘Hektar‘ Lamp with clamp in Bronze, ‘Mosslanda‘ picture ledges (55cm & 115 cm), ‘Ribba‘ & ‘Fiskbo‘ picture frames, ‘Kallax‘ shelves (similar- mine are about 5 years old, no longer stocked), ‘Kvarnvik‘ round storage boxes (blue no longer sold but now comes in grey)

Quilt cover (old)- Bed Bath N’ Table, White table lamp– Kmart Australia, rattan/blue basket (old) from Freedom Furniture.

Reupholstering Chairs

I’ve reupholsted a few chairs, the first ones being very simple- stapling fabric to the bases and gluing them back down.

The first chair I reupholstered- my mother's old bentwood chairs that now live in my kitchen/ dining room
The first chair I reupholstered- my mother’s old bentwood chairs that now live in my kitchen/ dining room

The hardest part about this chair was cutting the foam for the cushion.

The next chair I did was a little trickier- still not too difficult though. All I had to do with this one was remove the old fabric (it was a blue rose pattern), use that as a template for the new fabric, and then staple the new fabric to the chair.


I was really proud of how this chair turned out- it now lives in the corner of my room in front of the window


The next two chairs were the hardest. I bought them for $15 for the pair and it was a mission just getting them into the car!


One of them was more damaged than the other so I decided to fix it up and paint over the damage. I choose to paint it in the British Paints “grand turquoise” colour that I had leftover from the bedside table.


The other one was in near perfect condition so I chose to sand it back and re-vanish it.


The wood under the stain was a gorgeous colour! Next up was fabric choices! I went with a grey hexagon pattern for the turquoise chair and couldn’t decide on the wood one so I left it for several weeks before finding the yellow spot fabric on a clearance table!

The hardest part was making new slipcovers for the cushions. I unstitched the old ones and used the pieces as a template- allowing extra fabric around the edges and then took my time stitching it together. image

I was much faster on the second chair covers!


I couldn’t be happier with the end results!




The turquoise chair lives in my living room and is my favourite spot to read in and probably the most fought over spot when I have friends/family around.
The yellow spot chair was sold to a lady at work for $50 and looks perfect in her living room- like it was always meant to be there!