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Luxe in search of wicker

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When we started planning the mother-of-all-renovation-projects two years ago we told ourselves lots of little lies.  The type of lies you need to tell yourself in order to have the courage to step forward and do something that literally scares the poop out of you.  The lies that make you think you’ll be fine living in the tiniest cottage imaginable, that it’ll be ok not having central heating throughtout winter and that what type of person can’t live without Sky TV for 6 months?

Turns out, I can’t live without Sky TV for 6 months.  But putting the middle-class, developed world crisis aside, the real bum burner for me was putting everything on the line.  Our finances, our relationship, the house we loved.  Our sanity.  And after months of pushing yourself to the limit, when you have very nearly finished the renovation, then you need to find a whole more load of money to decorate the new space and to style it.

In the planning stage I had these frankly ridiculous illusions of grandeur that the money would never run out, that everything would come in under budget and I would be able to lavish the house with luxurious accessories.  This sadly wasn’t the case as every single aspect of the project seemed to cost at least 20% more than we had budgeted for and so I had to get clever in order to achieve the luxe look that I coverted.

Strangely enough though this has meant I have learnt skills I never thought I would possess.  I can sand, drill, paint, spray, decoupage and I am mint at marbling the hell out of anything.  It has been so much fun I can’t even tell you and I am trying to convince Mr Luxe to build me a work shop in the garden.  At least there I would have more chance of hiding the second-hand project purchases that seem to keep finding their way home with me.

          ~ Upcycling finds from second-hand shops and junk yards ~

One of my most recent thrift buys was a vintage bench.  I dragged it home with me crammed in the back of the car and when Mr Luxe returned home he did raise an eyebrow as to what was this monstrosity sitting in our kitchen?  I had every confidence that it could be transformed.  We sanded it, primed it and gave it two coats of Pink Champagne Rustoleum chalk paint.  The finishing touch was some accents of gold, a new oak top and voila!

Before

after

After

before

I am simply in love with all things wicker at the moment.  It’s a real throw back to the seventies but wicker has actually been around since the Victorian era.  My favourite has to be anything in black wicker like the gorgeous chair below but I’m also loving this natural finish table, both items are from Hilary & Flo.

rockettstgeorge_statement_rattan_black_wicker_chair_main_lowres                            OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

                                                   ~ Spray Paint ~

I found a couple of wicker chairs at a salvage yard for a couple of pound each and after a good clean and several coats of black gloss spray paint followed by a top coat I’m thrilled with the results.  Don’t be put off by upcycling.  It is so worth having a go because it’s actually a lot easier than you think and at the end of it you can end up with something really individual.  I’ve tried a number of different spray paints.  This is a list of my top five.

  1. For a primer you can’t beat Wilkinson’s own brand for £3.95.  It goes on easily and makes your top coat cover better giving a flawless finish.

primer

2. Wilkinson’s own brand black gloss is also really good and what I used for my wicker chairs, again £3.95 so a no brainer

black gloss

3. One of the best chrome effect gold sprays I have found is Plastikote.  It goes on very well and gives a nice bright finish.  It’s also one of the more reasonably priced brands.

gold

4. Slightly better than Plastikote is Montana Gold Chrome.  It is marginally more expensive but offers a higher spec finish and the cans seem to last a little longer in my experience.  The cheapest I have found is from Fat Buddha.

montana

5. And finally but by no means last, my personal all time favourite, neon spray paint.  Pink neon is just life, honest.

neon

This is a wall paper sample mounted in a cheap frame that I sprayed pink.  It looks striking against the Farrow and Ball Hague Blue in my hallway.

photo

 

chair

chair 2

I hope I’ve inspired you to give upcycling a go.  Thank you for reading as always and please feel free to contact me with any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear from you.

G x

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