Our office was working quite well storage-wise after we revamped it. Then I started working from home and suddenly the room was overrun with the supplies, equipment, paperwork and work-in-progress that comes with running a stationery business. As well as storage space, I also needed more surface area for assembling and packaging jobs.

While I love my office and think it’s probably the most cohesively-designed room in our home, I’ve also felt that the contemporary white look didn’t quite fit with the rest of the house.

With all that in mind, I set about finding a traditional storage unit that could use a splash of colour.

buffet before 1

This art deco buffet was perfect… and only $50 (can I get a WOOT WOOT?).

Now, before I hear cries from wood-loving folks that I have commited sacrilege, can I just point out that it was not in good shape at all. It had been sitting in the shed of someone’s beach house and looked as if it had seen a hard life prior to that.

buffet before 3

buffet before 6

buffet before 2

Here she is now:

buffet after

How did I choose the colour? I thought I’d break up the grey, yellow and white with a bright, contrasting colour. I found inspiration in the miniature swan chair, which you can see at the bottom of this photo of the office shelves:

Alicia office after 03

Back to the buffet… as you can see, the brass handles were quite tarnished.

buffet handles before

They’re not perfect, but the Brasso did a pretty good job. I also added a new pull to the glass door as it could only be opened by the (missing) key.

buffet handles after

That was the easy part. Then came the problem of getting the bloody thing upstairs. Remember this is not one of your modern flimsy plywood numbers, this is a solid timber piece and by god is it ever heavy. Also remember that we have a steep, narrow staircase at the end of which is a very small landing.

I don’t know how on earth The Man and I managed to eventually do it, but we did. Personally I think it should go down in history as a feat of human strength. If walls (and buffets) could talk, I doubt they’d agree though: unfortunately they got a bit knocked around with all the manouvering and had to be touched up.

chipped wall

chipped buffet

To save you scrolling all the way back up, here’s the quick before and after:

buffet before 7

buffet after

Phew! My idea of a quick makeover turned into quite the epic project, but I love how it turned out, even if I now owe The Man a month’s worth of back rubs.


12 Responses

  • Whoo-hoo!!! What an awesome job. I love the color and the determination to get it in place. I currently have a dresser sitting in my living room that I am painting and today I was wondering how I was going to get it down the narrow hall into my bedroom. I love re-using old pieces and at $50 you couldn’t get a new cheap flimsy piece that cool!

  • LOVE it!!! I adore turquoise… Can’t wait to see it in place!

    • Thanks ladies! Amy, it is in place but you’ll have to wait til I tidy up so I can zoom out and show the rest of the room too 😉

  • Lovely! Can I ask what paint you used? I’m currently painting an old wardrobe and have bought some Dulux Shampoo for it. I haven’t cracked the tin yet (just finished priming) but I’m hoping for a similar look to yours.

    • Madeline, from memory I used Wattyl ‘Oceania’. I used a waterbased enamel so that it’s more durable as a work surface, but for a wardrobe I’d probably go for a waterbased satin. Let us know how it goes!

  • Totally fab! I love how your venn diagram pulls all your colors together but doesn’t dictate the room. And that shade of blue sets off the stained glass perfectly.

  • Lovely color choice. Very interested to see how it works with the rest of the room.

  • Genista

    What a fantastic transformation!! Gorgeous dresser for a bargain price. I have a leadlight kitchen cabinet which needs that same attention. It’s in original condition and has now seen better days as I have had it for nearly 40 years and must have been 40 years old then…too many moves in too many houses…the poor thing is begging for some TLC and when old oak is in bad shape the best way to save the piece is by painting….and you have chosen my favourite shade at the moment. I am building a new house which will be all white inside and that beautiful turquoise is accent colour I am going to use in the kitchen lounge area. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Sounds gorgeous, Genista. When you finish the cabinet and get settled in your new home I hope you’ll show us some photos.

  • Wow, that is a very cool makeover. Your buffet are now looks brand new.

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