For this weeks post I thought I would share with you the inspiration which kick started my love of the furniture “makeover” … my “Ikea Hack” of Miss E’s Junior Chair.
When you’re on a budget, Ikea furniture can be an affordable option. They have a great price tag and seem to stock anything you could ever want … for any room of the house … in one convenient (and very large) location.
Saying that, over the years whenever I have bought my Ikea purchase home … assembled it and placed it in situ … I have always been a little disappointed. It never seemed quite the right colour, looked a little too generic and well … “cheap”. I reasoned with myself …
It’ll do until I can afford something better
So, when Paul and I bought our first home together, I vowed to myself that I would never again enter those Blue and Yellow doors … I was going to decorate my home in style from now on! But of course reality soon struck for I had, as the saying goes … champagne taste on a beer budget … what I needed to do was think creatively, buy what we could afford, and make do with what we already had.
The inspiration that I could “makeover” furniture came to me one day as I was browsing through Australian Home Beautiful. This was in the days before Pinterest … when we still had to cut pictures from magazines to fill our inspiration boards.
I came across an article of a beautifully presented home in Sydney … furnished with a mixture of pieces purchased through auction, Ebay and large homemaker stores … including an Ikea junior chair in pale blue paint the owner, Theresa, had mixed herself. The chair was exactly what I wanted for Miss E … who had just out-grown her high-chair. This was the moment – inspiration struck! Of course … you take a plain, reasonable priced chair, give it a lick of paint and … voila! … I could do that! Why had I not thought of this before?
For those who know me … you will smile and shake your heads … my parents were antique dealers after all … surely this was second nature to me? Apparently not! Perhaps it was growing up in a house where chairs found in old farm sheds were quickly and efficiently stripped of their layers of paint … paint was something you got rid of as quickly as possible … not added.
So … I once again found myself entering into the world of Swedish design, but this time with a renewed purpose. I found the perfect chair in no time, the Ingolf junior chair. I looked at the shape and style of the chair, beyond its “antique stain” exterior and thought of what it would look like painted … pretty good I thought.
Once the chair was home (and assembled), I quickly set about making it mine. Miss E choose a pale pink colour and I gave it a distressed “shabby” look. Paul wondered what on earth I was doing … what’s wrong with the colour it is? And why am I now sanding away the paint I spent hours applying? But I was unwavering … I had a vision.
The end result was great – the chair turned out exactly how I imagined. It’s amazing what a coat of paint and a little creativity can achieve … for a small cost, the ordinary turned into … WOW! A couple of years later and I still love Miss E’s little chair. The perfect thing … if and when I tire of the colour or the “shabby” look … I can just repaint it.
I now realise that I am not alone in my Ikea style “makeover” and neither was Therese from Home Beautiful back in 2011. “Ikea Hacks” have a dedicated website and following (see ikeahackers.net). Of course style doesn’t necessary have a large price tag. A little creativity and can-do attitude is really all you need to get started (and seeing beyond the “antique stain”).
(Here are some of my favourite Ikea Hacks on Pinterest)
What is your favourite Ikea Hack?
What inspired you to start furniture makeovers?