HAVE A TIRED PIECE OF FURNITURE THAT’S IN NEED OF AN UPDATE? A SIMPLE LICK OF PAINT CAN DO WONDERS TO TRANSFORM A DULL EYE SORE INTO A STATEMENT PIECE.  

Deciding on furniture that will suit a small home is one of the toughest challenges. When styling close quarters each piece has to be selected with care to ensure its size fits, the feel and colour suit the room’s shape and, most importantly, it must be a multipurpose piece that can function as extra storage space without feeling clunky or oversized for the room in question.

Our living room is whopping 8 foot x 10 with a set of stairs knocking out a few feet on one end of the room. The previous owners had managed to squeeze an L-shaped red leather sofa into this small space with a large glossy white entertainment centre positioned in front of the stairs, a coffee table in the nook of the L shape and a large round fish bow in the corner of the room. It wasn’t the easiest set up to manoeuvre in and out of.

So for the last year we have been trying to decide on the best furniture to suit the space – ixnaying the fishbowl and any red leather in sight. Every few months we add something or take away something else to change how the room feels – how it ‘breathes’.

I’m a firm believer in buying secondhand. There are so many wonderful pieces of unwanted furniture in the world that it always seems such a shame (or a cop-out) to buy a new coffee table or an Ikea wardrobe. All it takes is a little digging on ebay or at a local vintage market before something perfect and full of character turns up.

When this midcentury sideboard was delivered and left by the courier in our less-than-spacious hallway, I thought we had mad a dreadful error on judging the scale of the piece. It felt HUGE and clunky and my other half looked at me like it was the most horrendous thing I had ever brought into our home. It was large, white and the old paint was flaking off.

‘It’s too big.’ He said, very matter of factly, ‘we can’t move for sideboard!’

‘Well… it is in the hallway. Let’s put it in situ. It’ll look smaller in situ.’ Wanting him to like it, I dragged it into place and immediately began styling it with books and candles to make it look like it had always had a place in our home.

‘It’s still too big – it’s really nice, I’m not saying it isn’t nice. It’s just… huge.’

‘Give it a month. If you still don’t like it after a month, we’ll get rid of it.’ And so I bought myself a month with the sideboard and needed to make it something really special, without white flakey bits of paint sticking to every bit of the floor around it.

I have never painted a piece of furniture of this scale before. I’ve painted benches and mirrors and small tables but never something with so many parts! It took days and several coats of paint before I felt the right look at been achieved.

So, there you have it – one mid century sideboard looking mighty fine in our living room!  

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