Painting tired and mismatched furniture is the best way of updating your décor in an economic and eco-friendly fashion. Whether you’re looking to inject some colour into your home or bring an awkward piece of furniture in line with your existing scheme, a lick of paint and a touch of imagination can really make a difference. For me, if I’m looking for something new, vintage and salvaged furniture wins hands down in terms of originality and value. Don’t let revolting colours or peeling paint put you off though – once decorated, these unloved items will scrub up a treat, and reward you with something that is totally unique, perfectly at home in it’s surroundings and a darn sight cheaper that any alternative!
For those with a love of pattern, although I’m probably a tad biased, the Charlston lot (images above) were a great example of how to transform ordinary pieces of furniture into objects they wanted to surround themselves with. Believing that the enjoyment of beautiful objects was one of life’s chief pleasures, Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant used the entire house as their canvas, painting walls, fireplaces, door panels and furniture – often sourced from local auction houses and junk shops.
A slightly less ambitious and more streamlined approach would be to simply coat your chosen piece of furniture in one solid colour, white of course being the fail-safe option. However if you’re working with an already fairly neutral décor, I’d be temped to use this as an opportunity to bring in a splash of colour and liven up an otherwise subdued space.
For those that don’t have the time or inclination to pick up a brush, there are those that will customise your beloved but dilapidated furniture for you. Companies such as Ghost Furniture (www.ghostfurniture.co.uk) can transform even the most mundane looking item into something quirky and beautiful.
Lou Rota’s work (www.lourota.com/) is another great example of how to rework some magic into second hand items – reflecting her passion for the natural world and deep-seated recycling ethic, Lou’s eclectic range uses collage and decoupage to transform unloved objects into highly desirable home-wares.