blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · handpainting · how-to guide · New Galloway · photo journal · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Bureau Renovation Project

We can’t believe it is August already! We have a busy month ahead with 2 pop up shops planned (Saturday 5th & Saturday 26th) and a couple more commissions in the pipeline. We have also just celebrated our 1st anniversary, we have no idea where the last year has gone, it’s whizzed by!

This month we wanted to share a bureau commission that we have just completed.

It’s always a little daunting taking someone’s beloved, albeit worse for wear, piece of furniture and turning it into a stylish piece for the modern home.

Our preference has always been to put our own stamp on old vintage furniture and then a potential buyer can decide if it suits their home and style. However we decided to go for it after being asked to take on a project to revive a piece that our client had inherited and really wanted to use in a new workspace.

Having taken a brief and worked together to decide on colours and finishes the real work began. Here it is beforehand….

 

As with most old furniture projects, there is always more than initially meets the eye. After some thorough repairs including fixing a leg, an arm….(yes we are still talking about the bureau)….adding replacement beading and making a few alterations to make it more functional, it was sanded and prepped ready for painting.

We used a light grey paint on the outside of this one and after a few layers we used the wet sanding technique to ensure a smooth finish. The paintwork was sealed with a clear wax which enhanced the colour, features and characteristics of this piece of vintage furniture.

Once the inside was painted too (Farrow & Ball Dix Blue, one of our favourites) it was time to tackle the decoupage. We used old Penguin book cover postcards to create this look. Top tip, once stuck down and dried use a few layers of clear varnish and finish with a matt varnish coat. We much prefer a matt finish but if you use this for a few layers it can go cloudy so this way keeps the images clear.

Here it is after……

 

We’d love to hear what you think? Or maybe you’ve taken on a similar upcycling project..let us know below.

If you are visiting or live in/around the New Galloway, Castle Douglas area then we would love to see you at this weekend’s popup shop. We will be open 10am – 4pm Saturday 5th August and then again on Saturday 26th August.

See you there!

blog posts · car boot · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · how-to guide · New Galloway · personal · shopping · Uncategorized · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Get The Best Car Boot Bargains – Top Tips!

As car boot season is now in full swing we thought we’d share our top tips for grabbing a bargain.

1. First up, get there early! Yes you may have to queue with other eager beavers but it’s true what they say…the early bird does catch the worm.

2. Wear comfortable shoes and bring layers of clothing for all possible weather conditions, you don’t want to cry off if your feet start to ache, it starts raining or alternatively you forgot the sun cream.

3. Take a wingman to help with the heavy lifting, trips back to the car and generally to offer an extra pair of hands and a second opinion. I always try to take Mr BV on any big buying trips so he can shuttle new purchases to and from the car so that I can carry on seeking out the vintage treasures.

4. Trust your gut. If you see something unusual and really want it then buy it….there is nothing worse than thinking about it and going back and finding it’s been snapped up by someone else, also see The One That Got Away. On the other side of the coin if your gut is telling you no, trust it and move on.

 

5. Set yourself a budget….if like me you can get carried away buying lots of great bargains only to find out your total spend has gone a bit crazy it’s a good idea to limit the amount of cash you take and then stick to it….no sneaky trips to the cash machine!

6. Don’t be afraid to haggle and offer less than the trader has asked for….it’s not rude and they’ll be expecting it. It helps to have loose change and different notes. I have in the past negotiated a bargain price and only had a £20 note to pay with, now that’s a bit embarrassing!

7. Know when enough is enough, we like to do 2 or 3 trips around a car boot sale, scouting out and snapping up obvious pieces of interest, a second recce for a good old rummage and then the last time is to check we’ve not missed anything and that there are no new items still appearing from the boots of cars. Then we call it quits and go home for a well earned cuppa and to admire our vintage finds!

We hope you find these tips useful and you unearth lots of vintage treasures and unique pieces to brighten up your own home.

If you have any other top tips on this topic we would love to hear from you. Please comment below.

blog posts · Castle Douglas · chalk paint · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · handpainting · Interiors · New Galloway · photo journal · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

June’s Furniture Projects

June has been a busy month with lots of vintage furniture projects underway and I am keen to share a few of our favourites that have been completed so far.

Firstly we’ve been working on this c1918 washstand which initially needed some repairs and then due to it’s condition we decided to paint. Using “french linen” Annie Sloan chalk paint and with a waxed finish it will look great in a bedroom, bathroom or even in use as a sideboard. It’s also handy that it’s on castors and features a very pretty original tiled top. Here are the before and after pictures……

Next up is this vintage bureau which started out with a dark varnish finish. We transformed it with a two tone paint job and map decoupage using a 1965 vintage map of our local area. Here it is once finished…..

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Lastly, a personal favourite, is this c1950s dressing table. This style of bedroom dressing table, with the dark brown veneer, fell out of fashion long ago. For something dramatic and more up to date we opted for a dark eggshell paint which is a steel/blue colour and here is the result…..What do you think?

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So as you can see we have been quite productive over the last few weeks. We have many more great pieces of furniture and homewares which are available to buy in our monthly pop up vintage shops.

We run them from our base here in New Galloway, South West Scotland and hope to add more furniture items to our Etsy store soon. Don’t forget we are also happy to open by appointment in between our pop ups, so if you are local or in the area please don’t hesitate to contact us!

We hope this has inspired you to look at your old pieces of furniture differently and perhaps have a go at painting or upcycling yourself. As ever we love to hear from you so please leave any comments below.

As car boot season is now in full swing, I will be sharing our top tips for grabbing a bargain in our next blog post in a couple of weeks. See you then!

blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · New Galloway · personal · photo journal · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares · visual merchandising

A Look Back at May…..

It’s been a little while since our last post, May has been a busy and exciting month so I just wanted to share some of our adventures.

We started the month travelling over to North Berwick and taking some time out after the excitement of our first pop up shop for 2017, which was back in mid April. It’s one of our favourite places and we try to head over at least once a year since we’ve had our little one. We get to combine beach fun, sourcing for vintage homewares, rest, relaxation and family time.

Once back, we set about getting ready for the May pop up shop, which we have just finished hosting this weekend.

I had some great projects to work on and have been delighted with the response from our lovely customers and the pieces which have indeed just sold.

These retro drawers were sanded right back, primed and painted and were snapped up early on…..

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I am also blown away by the projects that some of our customers have been inspired to take on themselves. Having seen what we have done to renovate and re-purpose unloved furniture they have been digging out old pieces to have a go at painting and sprucing up.

In addition throughout the month we have had family and friends to stay, the odd night out and lots of early mornings now that car boot season is also in full swing.

So today I am having a restful day to catch up on blogs, paperwork not to mention trying to get our chaotic house back in order and ready for the week ahead.

Here’s a snapshot of our month of May….

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And more from our recent pop up shop…..

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We will of course be back on 24th June with our next pop up vintage homewares shop which is right here in sunny (sometimes!?) New Galloway.

It is an exciting time in the village right now with many community projects coming together such as a community grocery shop with additional facilities, New Galloway in bloom – check out all the pots and flowers that are springing up – not to mention all of the usual attractions, so why not pay us a visit.

I will also try to share some of our upcycling projects with you here over the next few weeks, we have been trying our hand at bespoke lighting, decorative handmade pieces using reclaimed wood as well as decoupage and much more!

Don’t forget you can also buy online, all year round, via our Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/backroomvintagestore and keep up to date with our new products and goings on via our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages.

As ever, we love to here from you so please leave any comments below! Thank you and see you next time.

blog posts · Castle Douglas · chalk paint · design · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · handpainting · how-to guide · Interiors · New Galloway · photo journal · shopping · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares · visual merchandising

Pop Up Shop Season…

We are super excited that it’s the first pop up shop of 2017 this Saturday, 15th April. We have been sourcing and buying lots of great vintage homewares and working on a few furniture transformation projects which we are pulling together this week.

Setting up the shop space and styling all the vintage pieces is one of things I enjoy most and there is a stand out piece that I have been working on and want to share with you now.

I promised some before and after shots of some of our recent purchases to show how you can transform old unloved pieces of furniture into a stylish statement for the home, so here goes….

Do you remember this old bureau……

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Well it is now an absolute favourite of mine!

After a good sanding, lots of primer, paint and even some decoupage and distressing I hope you agree it looks like a completely different piece of furniture.

This handpainted, unique bureau will be available to buy this weekend alongside other great vintage finds.

You will find our pop up vintage shop at Woodbank, High St, New Galloway and we will be open 10 -4. If you can’t make this one don’t worry we have 7 more planned for this year so you can catch us in May, later in the year or check out our Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/backroomvintagestore

Have you had a go at upcycling or transforming a piece of furniture that had seen better days? If so or you have any comments on our bureau please comment below…

blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · Interiors · Kitchenalia · New Galloway · personal · shopping · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

March into Spring…

Pinch, punch it’s the first of the month!

Looking back over the last few weeks, we have been busy as ever working on a few different projects. We have been adding lots more great vintage products to the store and also celebrating a couple of birthdays. Yes I am now officially late thirties and have an ever increasing number of grey hairs to prove it!

We also managed to squeeze in a trip to see family which we combined with checking out the Vintage Village in Stockport which I had heard lots about.

It is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Held monthly it is an indoor vintage market with a wide selection of vintage traders both professional and hobbyists. You will receive a warm welcome and be encouraged to barter. The next one is the 12th March, find out more on their website http://www.thevintagevillage.co.uk 

Each one is themed and Mr BV was more than a little apprehensive when he discovered the one for February was “Be My Valentine”. Luckily for him it was low key on hearts and kisses but big on great vintage furniture and homewares. Also if vintage fashion is your thing there were lots of traders specialising in clothing.

There was a really good vibe, lots of great finds and it has the added benefit of being near a few independent vintage stores, which we obviously had to have a good rummage in as well.

Here is a picture of a few of the treasures we came back with after that weekend….

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On another note, whilst we were away I had to remind myself what our vision and philosophy is all about and what it is we are trying to achieve.

This stemmed from a different visit we made, which will remain anonymous, where the repetition of poor quality vintage pieces and the way they had been put together left me cold. I wandered around and became increasingly disheartened at the representation of these vintage homewares. This is just my opinion, however it zapped all the joy out of it for me and took a couple of days to shake off the feeling that maybe we are no better. 

Just to recap here at Backroom Vintage we love interiors and the idea that mixing old and new creates a unique and personal space. We aim to show that you can have a comfortable and stylish home with vintage pieces rather than the mass produced.

I needn’t have worried as fast forward a couple of days and back at home in sunny Scotland I received a welcome endorsement from a well known chef, who appreciated our retro kitchenalia for food styling. Then an enquiry, which turned into a purchase, from a highly regarded interior design consultancy who were representing an international client made me quickly realise that we were staying true to our original concept and not falling victim to what I had stumbled across that day.

With renewed vigour we are now ready to march into Spring and get everything prepared for our first pop up shop of 2017 which will be on Saturday April 15th 10am to 4pm…..we hope to see you there!

More information on our pop up shop dates can be found on this link Click here

As usual we would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below. Maybe you have been to the Vintage Village, leave your feedback and any tips for snapping up a bargain below.

antiques · blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · Interiors · New Galloway · personal · photo journal · shopping · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Goodbye January

Hello February!

Can you believe how quickly the last few weeks have flown by, even for those of you who like me decided to partake in dry January, I am sure it has not been as long as month as anticipated!

We had a busy month and have enjoyed getting back out there to source and buy lots of great vintage pieces to bring to our Etsy store. We have also confirmed our Pop Up Shop dates for 2017 which you can find here http://www.backroomvintage.com/buy

Having reviewed all our January vintage finds, a standout favourite has to be this 1950s rocking horse chair. Inevitably my little one tried to stake a claim to it as soon as he clapped eyes on it…

We have also picked up a few pieces of unloved furniture which will be renovated or painted in the next month or so, here are my favourites…..

I hope to document a couple of the transformations to share with you in the coming months.

On top of that, we have also added our first digital download product to the Etsy store and have more coming soon. Using some vintage French typewriter keys from circa 1925 we have photographed words in a style that we hope will bring a touch of vintage to even the most modern of interiors….what do you think?

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Don’t forget you can buy this as an instant download and any of our new pieces in our Etsy store, to view follow this link http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/backroomvintagestore

So that was January and it turned out to be a pretty productive month.

We would love to hear what projects you’ve been working on and if you have found any vintage treasures and bargains recently. Don’t be shy! Leave any comments below…

blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · New Galloway · personal · photo journal · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Motivation for 2017….

After a nice break from work to focus on family and the festivities we are back and raring to go. It has taken us a few days this week to get back into the swings of things and we are now ready to plan for the year ahead.

Anyhow before we get ahead of ourselves I wanted to share an insight into our Christmas, we maxed out on the vintage mix and match crockery for our dinnerware and went a bit crazy with an 8ft tree…..

The decorations were swiftly and prematurely dismantled when our little one, who had done so well to fight the temptation up until New Years Eve, decided he could no longer resist reaching into the tree to swing the baubles and pull on the lights and snowflakes!

Anyhow back to 2017, what’s coming up…..well we have a couple of sourcing and buying trips planned in January which is exciting, you never know what you will see the potential in and bring home to renovate. We had a busy December in the Etsy store so stock is a little low and I can’t wait to get my hands dirty unearthing lots more vintage treasures.

I have been thinking a lot about motivation, how to get motivated and what motivates us and others. It has only taken a couple of days for us to get back into work mode and to get the buzz again feeling excited about what’s to come in 2017. As with any job and most things in life, you get out what you put in and with events planned around key times of the year and new product offerings in the pipeline, I have never wanted to succeed more and that is motivation enough.

Not usually one to set New Year resolutions I have this year decided on some realistic goals which are challenging but achieveable. On a personal level this includes improving fitness levels and work wise we have set key milestones to meet throughout the year. This will keep us on the right track and ensure that when motivation levels dip, as they inevitably do at some point for most people, we can remind ourselves of the overall picture and master plan!

I am interested in what motivates you and how you stay positive when things get a little tough, feel free to comment below…

In the meantime I wish all of our readers, followers and customers a very healthy, happy and prosperous 2017!

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blog posts · Castle Douglas · chalk paint · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · handpainting · how-to guide · New Galloway · personal · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Bring on the Festivities….

There is now a sense of relief in our house with the first pop up shop under our belt and the next couple of weeks will be all about planning our family Christmas. Lots of present and food buying to be done along with sprucing up the house and dusting down the decorations.

I like the house to feel festive and smell amazing as they all contribute to a great atmosphere and the making of memories, which I feel is especially important now we have a little one!

Before I get carried away on the Christmas preparations I had wanted to share a little drawer transformation we did recently……however I stupidly forgot to take an “after” picture and they sold on the day of the pop up shop.

Obviously I was delighted they had gone to a good home who appreciated upcycled old furniture but in hindsight I was so wrapped up in the preparations that it escaped me to get some photos. Can you still blame baby brain when you have a 19 month old!?

Anyhow this is what they looked liked before….

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They were a little dated and definitely benefitted from a paint job and a change in drawer handles.

We sanded them down well before applying several thin coats of Annie Sloan chalk paint and then waxed them with a mix of clear and dark wax to make them look old again! This protects the paintwork and helps them withstand wear and tear.

Finally the drawers were lined with some old wallpaper just to finish them off and give the inside some interest and the old handles changed for a more modern style.

This is the best I can do for an after shot as the surface was great for displaying our other vintage wares…

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We have recently added some of our other upcycled and hand painted furniture to our Etsy store including some stools and a couple of distressed ercol chairs. You can view them and our other vintage finds on this link http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/backroomvintagestore

I always get a little philosophical towards the end of each year and this one is no exception. We have taken slow and steady steps to get us to this point and one where I have learnt a lot. Looking back we have achieved many things perhaps at a slower pace than I had anticipated but one that has suited us and allowed balance.

I am signing off now until the New Year when we will be ramping up our upcycling projects and sourcing lots more vintage finds for you. Plus we will be able to share our pop up shop dates for 2017.

In the meantime don’t forget you can follow us on Instagram to see what we are up to http://www.instagram.com/backroomvintage

Thank you for following us on our journey so far and we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

blog posts · Castle Douglas · Dumfries and Galloway · furniture · how-to guide · New Galloway · personal · photo journal · upcycling · vintage · Vintage Furniture · Vintage Homewares

Stool Renovation Project

So a little while back I saw the potential in a couple of small stools that were destined for the rubbish dump if nobody stepped in to buy them. They were well worn, over varnished and with a cheap green pvc fabric to the seat.

They have been lingering in the back of our workshop area for some time however we decided to get to work on them in time for our first pop up shop which takes place this Saturday 26th November 10am – 4pm High St, New Galloway.

They needed a makeover and I have shared their little transformation in case you want to try something similar.

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Before

First up, the seat part was unpicked and removed to leave an empty wooden frame which has been fully sanded to remove the build up of orange varnish and for this we used a hand sander and then a little elbow grease to get into the corners.

When we removed the seat fabric we found a very retro towelling fabric underneath, the original perhaps.

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Very retro fabric that we discovered

The sanded wood looked great and you can really see the grain which I love so once sanded and cleaned down I gave the frames a few coats of danish oil. I used a soft cloth and applied a layer at a time leaving each coat to soak in and then repeated until the thirsty wood could absorb no more.

With the wooden seat frames sorted it was time to tackle the seat pad and fabric.

The foam padding was in good condition so after selecting our new fabrics, I was like a child in a sweet shop so this took some time, it was just a case of securing in place. We made sure the fabric was taut all the way around with the corners neatly tucked in and then used a heavy duty stapler.

We went for complementary fabrics rather than matching and a fat quarter of each did the job which kept the costs down.

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After – these will be available to buy in our pop up shop this weekend

I would love to hear from you if you have taken on a similar project for the first time. Maybe you’re a seasoned professional when it comes to reupholstery and can share some tips as getting those corners right can be tricky!

Please leave your comments below.

Also we now have our new branding in place which we are delighted with. The website will benefit from a face-lift in the New Year so until then you can check out our Etsy store http://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/backroomvintagestore or why not follow us on twitter http://www.twitter.com/backroomv