Saturday, 16 February 2013

Can I make a silk purse out of a sow's ear?

There are one or two (actually, many more!) little jobs that I've been wanting to tackle for ages. More pressing jobs have meant me putting them to one side. This weekend, fate was on my side!

Wardrobe space has become a bit of an issue in our house. I have to confess this is largely down to the fact that having recently taken up a part time job I have had to go out and buy a whole new work wardrobe having been a stay at home Mum with a very flexible work life for quite a while. I dumped most of my working wardrobe a few years back, only keeping the odd bit to drag out when needed. More regular work has meant more clothes. (Yay!) Oh. My husband, who happens to be reading over my shoulder, insists that I should also mention the "unnecessary" (his opinion...certainly not mine!) amount of shoes and boots spilling out of one of the cupboards! 

I set about looking online for a wardrobe which would have to go in one of the children's rooms. No room in ours. Blimey. Aren't wardrobes expensive? I checked out all the usuals...Ikea, Marks, BHS, JL, LA etc. etc. None of them had what I wanted really. Not for what I wanted to spend, at least. I confess I haven't got a clue when it comes to Ebay so that was not an option. Step forward my brother and sister in law.

As you know, they are moving house in the next couple of weeks and had in their current house, a wardrobe made by my Granddad in the 30's. Not what one would describe as a 'looker' but I can see the potential (the wardrobe, not my Granddad. I'm sure he was terribly handsome!), especially as it was free! On the positives, it is made of solid oak and rather more sturdy than the flimsy efforts I had been looking at. It also fits perfectly into the space.

On taking delivery of the wardrobe (pictured below in its raw state.) my husband got all excited and enthused about its firewood. How opportune, that with that cold snap out of the way and the promise of milder weather on the horizon, that we should start thinking about re-stocking the wood pile!!! 

Oh no no no.  It is so easy to transform an uninspiring piece of furniture into something more pleasing to the eye with little effort or expense. My husband is not convinced. He questioned why I would put time and effort into papering inside something? It was pointless responding, but I said it anyway... because I know it has been done and when I open the wardrobe I get a glimpse, if only a tiny one, of some pretty paper. Fell on deaf ears. This then reminded me of a quote by the designer potter Jonathan Adler in an article last week, when he said when it comes to decorating, 'the wife is always right, unless the husband is gay'!

Inspired by pictures of wardrobes with papered interiors I have set about transforming this ugly duckling into a beautiful swan! I will post the finished article in the next day or so before more wallpaper shopping for my shoe cupboard!

I spent £22 on a roll of John Lewis wallpaper ('Cowslip') and have made a start on papering the inside of the wardrobe. Over the next few days I'm going to give it a lick of white eggshell on the outside and paper the inside of the doors, change the door handles and 'hey presto!' New wardrobe. See below, my start and some lovely images of papered wardrobes to inspire you. You could also paper in a recess or alcove...or a study/work area to differentiate between the rest of the room.

Cowslip paper £22 John Lewis


  1. Love this idea! gorgeous paper you have chosen. May have to have a go myself, did you use normal paper paste to stick the paper on? x

  2. Love this idea! Gorgeous paper you have chosen. Just have to try this one. Did you use normal paper paste? x

    1. It has really lifted what was a bit of a 'clumpy' wardrobe. Just normal wallpaper paste did the trick, yes. One roll of paper might not be enough depending on the area you want to cover and the pattern repeat of the paper.(I was quite fussy and lined it all up!) I will have to buy another roll to finish off the doors but still cheaper than a new wardrobe and any extra paper will definitely be lining another cupboard or a drawer!x

  3. I fear that Mr Schmidt may well be eating a rather large slice of humble pie soon. If not the whole pie. Can we have a pic of that too?! X

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