In which Chintz vs Scandi chic…

Remember this little gem from Magpie?

Well, the transformation is now complete… I didn’t realise until I started, but the stool came apart like a very satisfying 3D jigsaw so I started breaking it down straight away.

Next I gave each piece a rough sand down with some glass paper. This isn’t strictly necessary when using a paint like Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, but I still like to give it something to grip to, you know?! Then on to the fun part! I got it into my head that I was going to use ‘Paris Grey’ until I spent an hour unpacking boxes and realised that I did not, in fact, own any Annie Sloan in ‘Paris Grey’. I could, of course, have ordered some online or run  a ‘Google’ search to find my nearest retailer up here, but I was determined to only use stuff already in my possession so my choice was ‘Cream’, ‘White’ or “Paloma”. I went for Paloma which, despite how it appears in these photographs, is a slightly warm putty colour… I loosely reassembled the main frame whilst painting so that I could avoid putting wet pieces on the floor… 

After two coats (I did the second one outside as you can see and it was bloody freezing!) and a short time to dry, I then waxed each individual piece with (surprise surprise!) Annie Sloan Clear Wax and put them to one side to dry overnight…

In the meantime I turned my attention to the seat pad – luckily my staple remover and pincers made short work of the existing staples and I was able to remove and chuck that revolting green PVC cover…

But then came the agony of choosing another fabric! In my head I’d imagined a gorgeous Scandi print of some sort, but the only thing I could find in uphostery weight in my stash was this, which just didn’t seem to go…

I nearly wet my pants when I rediscovered this forgotten about piece of vintage bark-cloth left over from a lampshade making course (I’ll show you the shade sometime!)….


But ALAS! It was not a big enough piece to cover the stool….

Next up was this stunning printed french linen…..

… I wasn’t happy with the size of the images though, and thought that they’d got lost in such a small sample.

The auditions continued with both bright and muted fabrics….


Just when I was about to concede defeat and jump online to buy something new, I came across this cotton/linen blend from John Lewis lurking at the bottom of the pile. Et voila! It might not be as striking as a rich Scandi print, and may well veer dangerously close toward ‘chintz’, but I kinda liked this one.. (Especially with my ‘re-use and re-purpose’ ethos in mind – I picked this up for a pound at a car-boot sale last year!) 

With that decided I needed only to hammer everything back together with some wood glue…

…before adding the re-covered seat pad to finish! 



Ok, so the staging in that last shot is a little contrived, but I don’t work at some swanky magazine and have to make do with no props, poor light and a basic ‘point and click’ camera!

What do you think?

For those of you that struggle to see the joy in breathing new life into old objects – firstly ‘shame on you’ and secondly, I do have other news! 

In between playing out my personal homage to Changing Rooms (do you remember that?! We used to LOVE it didn’t we?! Britain went mad for a bit of Linda Barker and a can of spray paint but, trust me, tap it into YOU TUBE and watch a clip back and you’ll wonder what we ever saw in it!) Nathan and I also trotted off to investigate the nearby town of Ballater.

The place had the most distinctive ambience, and yet I cannot find the words to describe it. I guess it’s the juxtaposition between feeling really cut off and isolated in between these sprawling mountains and of picking up on the great sense of community that this naturally brings about. Our trip focused, of course, on food. We visited a nice bakery, bought venison sausages at the butchers (Royally appointed venison sausages!) and then had lunch at a VERY warm and cosy Deeside Inn..

And that was that, really…. It got pretty damned chilly, so after a few hours of wandering about we decided to clamber back into the car and head home, but not before stopping to admire this wonderful view….


More soon,





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