Thursday, August 2, 2012

Morag's Bedside Cabinets

I recently launched Ziggy Sawdust's Bespoke Furniture Service, offering to give a new lease of life to a beloved piece of furniture by reworking it to suit the client's decor and taste... And my first commission was to redesign two bedside cabinets for a lovely lady called Morag!

Find some more information here

I went over to Morag's lovely house for an initial consultation, where we discussed colours and ideas for the redesign.

Morag is a fan of vintage furniture and acquired two very different, but equally lovely, bedside cabinets that she was keen to marry together, using colour to create a more uniform aesthetic. 

Here's the 'Before' photos of the cabinets in situ:

Both pieces were in good condition for their age, but were looking a little tired and had become a bit scratched and scuffed over the years. However, there was no denying their potential!

Lots of ideas were bounced between us and we both felt very excited about the start of the project!  Morag decided on cream, rose pink and lilac as colours for the redesign as she wanted a light, feminine and contemporary look. 

Morag has plans to redecorate her bedroom completely, so her redesigned cabinets will be the first step and inspiration for the project as a whole.

I took both pieces back to my workshop to start the makeover! The first stage was to take all doors, drawers and handles off in preparation for sanding.

Morag had told me that that the drawer face on the table-like-cabinet was a false drawer for decoration. After a quick investigation, I agreed because there seemed to be nothing behind it but I was curious as to why it had two little hinges and a key hole...

I carefully twisted a tiny screwdriver inside the key hole, and to my surprise, it opened!

The drawer flipped open to reveal a little secret compartment!

I emailed Morag to tell her of the discovery, and she couldn't believe that she had the cabinet for over 20 years and did not realise! I love how old objects have a way of surprising you!

I continued with the project- carefully sanding and cleaning every little nook and cranny of each piece in preparation for priming and painting.

Morag liked the idea of leaving either the tops of each piece or the drawer faces exposed wood, if they were in good enough condition.

All parts of each cabinet sanded back really well to leave smooth surfaces, which would look as good as new once painted, but there was a few blemishes that meant the wood wasn't quite in good enough condition to wax and expose.

However, as the secret drawer hadn't been touched in at least 20 years, it's drawer face sanded back absolutely beautifully! I wasn't sure if Morag would like it to be painted to match the other cabinet or for it to be waxed and kept as wood, so mocked up a colour blocking example and sent her a photo for her to see the progress on both pieces.

The tops of each piece were still to be painted lilac to match the handles, but taking a photo at this stage gave Morag the opportunity to make any changes and to see how the project was developing.

Together, we decided that in order to create a uniform aesthetic, it would be best to paint the secret drawer face pink to match the other cabinet. We also discussed how the side panels of the table-like-cabinet looked good pink, however as the side panels of the other cabinet were much bigger, we were concerned that this piece would have too much pink and not enough cream...

Morag came up with the idea to paint the sides of this cabinet cream but leave a little band of pink around the panel's trim to pick out the structure. What a lovely idea!

After this very valuable discussion, I continued on with the project knowing that Morag and I had the same vision for the project and that the redesign was completely tailored to suit her style and taste.

So after another few days of hard work and update emails, the project was complete!

Here's Cabinet Number 1!

Lilac top + handles, pink drawer + door faces, cream outer casing

Here's a peek at Morag's idea for the pink trim around the inlay panels!

Cream interior!

 Here's Cabinet Number 2!

Lilac top + handles, pink side inlay panels, drawer + door faces, cream outer casing

The secret drawer! I added a chain to keep it secure it opens

 And here they are back at home!

I had a lovely time working on this project with Morag and was delighted to receive this wonderful testimonial from her:

'I am absolutely thrilled with the work that Amy has done for me. She worked closely with me to take a few vague ideas I had, into a real concept for my very tired looking bedside furniture. At all times she kept me informed of progress -  sending my photos and taking on board suggestions I had into the design. Her workman ship is outstanding, with a real eye for detail resulting in a thoroughly professional and individual service at a very reasonable price. And I now have two unique, beautiful pieces of furniture to constantly admire. I am now currently in the process of identifying more work for Amy! I would highly recommend Ziggy Sawdust and the bespoke service that is offered- it truly is a wee gem'.

I really love the hands on, creative aspect of my job... but I think my favourite part is seeing happy customers! 

I am in the midst of redesigning another commission piece, so I'll be back with another story soon! 

For more information on my Bespoke Furniture Service, click here or send little email to

1 comment:

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