Projects : Painted Trunk

Ages and ages ago my Dad and I made this trunk.


The idea was that I was going to paint it inspired by something I’d seen in a  magazine, but I never got around to it.

Then late last year Farrow and Ball emailed me and asked if I fancied undertaking a project painting a piece of furniture and writing about how I did it. I love Farrow and Ball (almost the whole house is painted in it) and so of course I said yes please!

I found this image on Pinterest of a painted trunk, sent it to them and they sent me back their best guess on the colours needed.


And then nothing happened. Farrow and Ball sent me a couple of polite emails asking me how I was finding the paint, but I just didn’t knuckle down. And then suddenly I did.

I opened up the paints having completely forgotten the design I’d opted for….was surprised….dug out the image I was inspired by and got going.


I chalked a design a bit like the one from the photo on the side as a guide. I say a bit as the original image isn’t great quality so you can’t really make all of it out, plus I’m too slapdash to be totally faithful.


And then I got going. Probably a mistake but I started with the front.



Then the sides.


Inside lid.


And finally the top and back.


And that’s it really. It’s not that neat, or symmetrical and I kind of approached it as a doodle, just adding bits as I went. However, I think the overall effect is good!

A dash of colour

I recently decided to paint this dresser.


In many ways it’s nice as it is. But it’s soon going in another room where I think being painted a light colour will fit better. Plus it’s not in amazing shape (the wood on the front door for example has bowed) and my dad advised that a lick of paint would help keep it all together. And I always listen to my father!

So I chose Pavilion Grey by Farrow from Ball as base colour and then a highlight colour of India Yellow. I wanted to pick out some of the edges and this colour links with the yellow/oranges in the small pieces of glass in the top windows.

And this is how it turned out.



I went a bit crazy and freehand painted some decoration on the drawers. I’m not sure it goes with the total look of the cabinet but I like it.




I also spotted these pom poms on the Graham and Green site and bought them on a whim. They’ve gone in the bedroom.

pom pms4

pom poms4

pom poms5

A little ridiculous but they somehow seem to make the room more complete and they’re fun.  At least I think so.

The other bedroom

It’s been a bit quiet over the last couple of weeks as Klaus has been busy working on a his proper job and to be fair he is the main driving force behind much of the work done on the house.

However I have got round to taking some photos of our bedroom. Like the other room it’s not finished and what you don’t see in these shots are all our clothes on rails but it’s a step in the right direction. 

You can get a sense of the rail effect from this picture taken the weekend we moved in (this is the bed we later moved into the other bedroom). It’s a bit neater now.

We chose a new quite neutral wall colour. I normally prefer more colour but we had a headboard that I made for our previous house we wanted to use again and this colour worked best with that and the fireplace. The colour is elephants breath by Farrow and Ball. Probably the best name ever for a paint.

The colour looks really different from one of these shots to the next . In the morning light it’s quite varied as well with one wall looking cool and the other much warmer. I like that.

We’ve kept the existing curtains, but we weren’t too keen on the pattern and just for now we have simply turned them round so we are actually living with the lining.

The floor boards in here are painting the same colour all across the top flor and into the other bedroom. I used the same colour to update an old mirror we had steadily fallen out of love with. Klaus claimed it was “too 1990’s”.  Here it is just before I took my paintbrush to it in rather a pretentious photo which has Klaus’ piano in the relfection

And here it is afterwards back in the bedroom.

These fireplaces in the bedroom are really polarizing. Some people love them and some literally hate them. We can’t afford to change them at the moment anyway, but I am starting to come down on the side of love.

Some signs of change

We seem to have finally reached a point where we are adding rather than subtracting from our house. We’ve been busy painting the walls and floors on the top floor to get the bedrooms looking better if not perfect (pictures to follow), Klaus and his brother have been putting up plasterboard in the hall, and all the radiators have arrived

which means once they are all fitted the floorboards can all go back down. We have so many odd boards propped up all over the place that will be a relief.

We have invested in a few stylish radiators in places where they will be on show and more functional ones where they will be obscured.  Once they are fitted we’ll not want to take them down again in a hurry to paint behind so that has meant we have been forced to make some colour decisions. Much of the work on the house feels like this, slowly slowly then suddenly we need to make instant, binding decisions.

In the kitchen we have two windows that are at the front of the house with panelling and shutters. When we first looked viewed the house in deepest darkest January this was one of the things we thought about changing that made us want to go for it. We thought at the time we’d go for Pigeon by Farrow and Ball but we tried another just to be sure. This is Pavilion Grey along side Pigeon.

But Pigeon was the winner. We’re planning to do much of the woodwork and walls in this colour perhaps adding in another colour if the overall effect is too dark as this will run throughout the room to the area where the kitchen units will actually be. One day. In the future. We hope.

Here are some tester shots of the colour plus radiators to get the idea.



 And at the other end of the room the fireplace has finally been knocked out to allow the oven to slot inside. This was much more trouble than we expected but it’s done now and we are pleased with the results so far.

On the other side of the room these are the rather limited facilities we are functioning with at the moment. It’s cobbled together from freestanding parts of our old kitchen and the sink that was upstairs in the orginal kitchen.

So it may not seem like much but to us it’s the first glimmer that there is light at the end of the tunnel.