It will come as no surprise to any people who read this blog that I love old furniture, and in France there is an abundance of old furniture.
This is what I have fondly come to call ‘The Beast’! It is a very old dressing table, 1860 to be precise as the date is written on the back of the mirror! It has had woodworm in its lifetime, and shows the life it has lived. It weighs just under quarter of a ton, with its marble top, and mirror. So imagine the look on RD’s face when I said I wanted it in our new bedroom!
This is our wonderful French curved, small stairwell that we had to try and get this piece of furniture up. We moved all the furniture in the living room and opened up the second door to our stairs (essential for moving furniture, it’s going to be hidden behind a mirror!) as we attempted to get ‘The Beast’ from RD’s van to the bedroom.
And we huffed, and we puffed, as I was at the bottom at one point I thought ‘if he lets this go now I am going to die!’ It got stuck on the low ceiling at the bottom of the curve in the stairwell, so we brought it down and sawed of legs that had been added to it at some point. ‘That should do it!’ Said RD. so up we went, huffing and puffing and it got stuck, really stuck. RD lost it, and punched it and it moved and was free! Once in situ RD said ‘when we sell this house this bloody thing is staying here!’
But the beast was not finished with me: I decided there was too many scratches on it so I was going to paint it (who am I kidding? I didn’t like the colour!) I primed the bottom first, and it bled through like a bastard! So I primed it again, and it bled! I painted it with acrylic and it bled! I painted it another two times with an acrylic lacquer and yey! Then I painted it with chalk paint. It only took me fifteen hours all told! The detail on the pillars had to be painted with an artists brush so that I didn’t lose the definition.
The only way to open the heavy draws was with the key, you can see the keyhole in the centre of each drawer. With our clothes in lace it was too heavy, and unpractical so I added crystal handles.
Then on to the mirror: I had learned and this only took three coats, but each coat took me two hours because all of it had to be done with an artists brush, so as to not lose the definition of the pretty flowers and filigree. But it all served as a distraction for me, to stop me being ‘driven’ about my book I have learned my lessons!
it really is a pretty detailed piece. I finally finished it, I started it over a month ago! But I love it, it now has a new lease of life.
It makes my life so easy putting our clothes away, as the beast contains them all, that and the little French armoire beside it.
Perhaps ‘The Beast’ is no longer an appropriate name for something so pretty.
More to come the bedroom is now our sanctuary.