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January 07, 2009

Fave Beach Cottage Makeover


I've been making over furniture for a while now, but I still pretty much wing it and hope for the best.  Mixed with my perfectionist streak this technique has proved quite successful.  My very first furniture conquest was the cupboard in the Beach Cottage entrance hallway.  I remember exactly where I got it, a wonderful, true junk shop in a market town in the middle of England.  I loved it's bun feet, the little pattern running along the top edge and the glass panels.  The old gor blimey guys I bought it from were surprised I wanted it (I bet they wished they'd said more, and back in those days I probably woulda still bought it...), that day was the first time I experienced Thrift Thrill & the first time I did the happy thrifting dance.  Ooooh yeah.  I still have that cupboard, filled with dvd's now and the glass panels lined with a gorgeous Amy Butler print...

I can't over emphasise how much I love searching for old furniture, suddenly spying a rickety old piece that's in serious need of some magic.  First I check the price tag to see if it's do-able then I stand back and imagine.  Mr Beach Cottage sometimes rolls his eyes to heaven and doubts whether what I've bought will look nothing other than the piece of unwanted junk that someone else has given away...he's often proven wrong, shakes his head and says I've 'got the eye'.  Not sure what this eye looks like but I'm so pleased I got it.

So this year I have had errrm rather a few projects that could make it into Rhoda's Before and After Party, make sure you go visit to get heaps of inspiration...I just love love love before and afters, they rock, just so amazing how you can take something and make it special with a tiny bit of effort and not just that, to be honest, it gives me hope that yes I can have a really nice home, without having to walk into a store and spend a fortune. 

The desk and chair are my favourite, kinda hard to decide considering just how many beauties I found this last few months, but takes first place because just so much of a complete transformation but together with very practical as Mr Teenage Beach Cottage bagged them for his room for his homework .  This desk I picked up for a song in a sad old state, crying out for some Beach Cottage love...I spent some time cleaning, I like to vacuum first, then wipe clean with a rag and some detergent, then go over with some disinfectant, before all the painting and new look (you can see how I paint etc, here)...it looked like this before



Then the vinyl lined chair and orangey varnished desk...



There was a very gruesome little brown table that I made over with some icy blue paint (and see more of it here) , that sang to the heavens and sat happily in the family room



And a few others that went well...(you can see more projects, how-to's and makeovers here)....I'll leave you with a few of my fave pics and say to you, if you are, like I was, a bit hesitant, have a go, it's cheap, easy, weirdly therapeutic and of course, kind apt in these economic times.




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Those look great! I love the before and afters...Shabby white is sooo pretty!

I too have this thing for furniture that is in need of a make over! I love the whole process-the hunt, the vision, and then making it happen. Absolutely drives my husband nuts! The hard part for me is if it is a really big piece and I need his help-uugghh I can't stand to wait for someone else to help me! But oh the feeling when it is done and in place-Love it! I really like everything you have done with your cottage!
Have a happy week!~Smiles~Tam!

Those are great but I especially love your porch- with the daybead- what a great space!

You always are inspiring. Mine are up too.

Really enjoyed this post!

Those are beautiful makeovers! I love transforming furniture too. I'll be sure to head back later today to check out the rest of your blog.


Wow. I wish you'd come over here and remake some of my old furniture. These looks great!!

What amazing transformations ~ well done!

i love all of your makeovers....great job..

Wonderful makeover. You've inspired me to redo an old school desk. I believe it was used by a teacher. It also has the chair. Hmm, I'm getting a wonderful vision, through this post, for what that desk can become. Thank you!

Hi Sarah :)

Amazing projects! I love how some paint and some labor can really give a whole new look to something rather ordinary.


Wonderful projects and great job on the porch!! It looks so very relaxing!!!

I love every single one of these!

I love your pictures. So, so cool. Looks like such a comfy place :O)

i know that exact feeling...i remember the very first thirfy purchase and LOVE IT.Your painted treasures are so me... I could gobble them up, I have 3 paint projects for this month and following your tutorial!! Thank you so much for showing me how to get the weathered look.

Sarah, you are just so good at these makeovers! What great vision you have. The desk and chair look fantastic, as well as all the other makeovers you have shown to your readers.

Here are the names of three Swedish blogs in case you want to see some other great makeover ideas in the light, bright Scandanavian style:

Jenny's Hem och Harmoni
Granne Med Selma
Julia's Vita Drommar

Just Google them and hit "Translate" in the parentheses because they are in Swedish. Or just look at all the photos!

Gosh so cute and so refreshing! Your whole blog and everything you do. I love it.

Spectacular transformations! They all look great.

Adorable makeovers! Just adorable!

Your pictures are gorgeous...like abook!!

Your makeovers....stunning. Night and day!

I'm fairly new to your blog and today's post blew me away! I absolutely ADORE white furniture and you show it off so well.

I lived in Oz for just over three years (up in QLD - hot hot hot!) and I've only just moved back to Scotland with my Aussie partner - I must be mad! The photo on the balcony (with the white oars leaning on the wall) has a tiny glimps on the right of a nearby house and it looks so Australian it makes my heart sore!

Thanks for the decorating inspiration!

These are a lot of fun, Sarah! And there is nothing like getting a really GOOD deal! Makes my blood race every time!


Sheila :-)

Oh my goodness! I was just looking at the photos in your last post when I thought, I totally recognise that building. Then the realisation hit me - Bowen! I have a picture of the same building, except it's all done up for when they were filming the movie Australia there! I'll pop it in tomorrow's blog if you want to have a look.

I lived in Airlie for most of my time in Oz - sheer paradise but the summer's were a killer for a Scottish lass like me!

Hi Sarah,
Love your makeovers! Especially the desk. Looks like it came straight out of Ballards!

Sarah, while you were sleeping, everyone came by to see you! You are the queen of painting furniture & I love all your projects from last year. Thanks for playing along!

Excellent! The transformations are amazing. laurie

Love your home and i still want to move in!


Just beautiful. The porch almost brings me to tears; it's everything I would want to create a relaxing outdoor space.


Wow, that chair is what impresses me the most. I think my problem is that I always bite off more than I can chew...like I don't just do one chair...I think I can do four and then I give up half-way through. I need to to it Anne Lamott style...bird by bird. :)

I feel inspired by your work to start a small project soon!

Love your makeovers. Looks amazing.

Your projects look amazing! I've recently painted my breakfast room hutch the perfect shade of creamy white and I'm getting ready to tackle my breakfast table. Thank you for the inspiration~ I'm starting ASAP. Your home is absolutely charming!


You have true style and these are so bright and cheerful! Loved them all!

I love your blog. How fun these projects are to watch transform. Looking forward to 2009
Happy Creative New year

Beautiful Job!!
Thanks for sharing such great projects with us all!
Love your scripture on your blog:)


It's crazy how just a coat of paint can really change the look of things.

Thrift thrill. Haven't heard that before. But I like it. I truly think of you when I think of those two words together!

I love your style! So cute. I love the distressed look. Great job!

Thanks foe letting me drop by!


I agree...you've 'got the eye,' LOL! It's so great to see some of your "best of 2008" projects together in one post. Though as a huge fan of yours, I'd have to argue all of your posts are best of worthy. You've done such a great job with your thrifty treasures...you have to be quite happy with your accomplishments.

Keep 'em coming in '09! :-)

Hello from the other side of the planet (Norway) This is a very delicate blog! Looks like you're good at getting things done - and your photos are lovely! French country/vintage blogs are really popular in Norway, do you get lots of visitors from us?

Hi there! Just discovered your blog- it is beautiful (I have a thing for everything BEACHY!)! And great makeovers, loooove all that's white and shabby chic!
Warmest wishes,

Your porch is my absolute favorite!

I'm telling ya right now...I LOVE painting furniture! It's part of the three R's...reduce, reuse, recycle. Very nice job.

You've done such an incredible job! Congratulations!

wow your makeovers are great!! loving the whit look with the touch of colour from the flowers and things placed on top

Love your balcony. I so badly want a couple oars for my house, but haven't found any locally.


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