A tale of an Old Sideboard and an Unwanted Armchair…


I love how things can move from old to new and so it has been with these drawers. Once, long ago, they was my Uncle Peter’s sideboard (and before that, I think, they belonged to my Granny). In those days, they were dark stained oak and had some other kind of handles, though I can’t remember what those looked like. Truth to tell, they had seen better days and were in a rather sorry state. I never for a moment doubted their potential but Mr RH was not at all impressed and threatened that, unless I had transformed them by the time he got home from work, they would be going to the dump! And off he went to his office looking very smug. Sometimes Mr RH can be such a delight!

By the time he got home, however, they was sanded, undercoated and painted the royal blue (below) and he, grudgingly, agreed that they could go in the larder. Over the years, as we moved to a succession of larder-less houses, I managed to keep them with us, albeit in humble places like under the stairs until I happily came into possession of the Makery, where they was elevated to the grand status of a fabric store. And I hoped that would, at last, be an end to the fight to keep them. So imagine this! After the floor sanding, when we had the great mixing up and putting back of furniture and we eventually came to those very blue drawers, Mr RH asked, “Do you really need those in your sewing room?” Naturally, I braced myself for another round of the battle. And I don’t know if I or the drawers were more surprised when he continued, “They’re looking a bit shabby now but if you give them another coat of paint, they’d go well in the kitchen…”


My next old-to-new is a much more recent acquisition. An armchair that belonged to my late MIL. In the short history of the Makery, there have only ever been old dining chairs. These are ideal for sewing and desk work and have been perfectly adequate for sitting to knit or crochet but I may have looked longingly at some Granny Chic armchairs on pinterest from time to time. And, when it came the question of what to do with an old unwanted armchair, I was immediately convinced that it would be the most luxurious thing to sit comfortably knitting and listening to the radio of an evening (spoiler – I was not wrong!).

Mr RH, true to form, said it was far too big for the room and an eyesore to boot. And, to be absolutely honest, even with the space made free by the blue drawers it did rather overpower the room and looked, to say the least, cumbersome.

But it is so comfortable.


So I concluded that covering it in a different fabric would surely help. But I trialled and trialled to no avail until, at last, I decided to try the matching pair to the second hand curtain I used for my favourite Dottie Angel dress. I think this is my favourite dress in the history of the world so I long resisted trialling this fabric as I have been keeping it for another dress when my current one wears out.


As soon as I saw it draped over the chair, I knew it would be perfect. This fabric somehow blends the chair into the room and, in my view, it looks like this chair and the Makery were made for each other :)


Beauty, I concede, may be in the eye of the beholder, but, it seems to me, that now I find myself with a very stylish kitchen cupboard and a most beautiful and extraordinarily comfortable armchair.

And in the (unlikely) event that, after twenty years or so, Mr RH should invite that into the kitchen, I shall most certainly decline :)

Janine @ Rainbow Hare

13 thoughts on “A tale of an Old Sideboard and an Unwanted Armchair…

  1. Julie Stocker

    Oh, you are feathering the nest! It’s that time of year to spruce and dab, and you certainly found two ways to improve it. I’m not a blue kind of gal–a pale bit in a tablecloth in my house is it, but I love that tealish blue fabric as well as your royal cobalt sideboard. Nothing powder blue about either, and congratulations for using some elbow grease over a charge card. You did well!


  2. Kim Sharman

    Blue, blue, my heart is blue! I am in love with both your chest of drawers and your chair…..oh that chair dressed in that exquisite fabric. Such a beautiful chair with the most beautiful bones. Any of that exquisite fabric left?? I do hope the Mr ate his words……what do men know anyway. =)


  3. Flashinscissors

    Love both your makeovers and the stories behind them!
    The curtain fabric you used on your “fav dress ever” is gorgeous, and I was amazed how it transformed your comfy chair!
    Love your header photo with the two hares! For a moment I thought the jar with the ribbon round it was a TUSAL jar, tee hee!
    Barbara xx


  4. Carol

    I remember when you posted about the dress. OMGOSH! The blue fabric on the chair made it an amazing piece. I just love it. My husband frowns on painted wood. Period. I don’t fight him on it. I can just see the chips on painted furniture at my house. We’re a wild bunch, lol.
    xx, Carol


  5. Jules

    Whoops – posted this on the wrong post lol

    Oh my word, that chair is fantastic, I loved the dress when you made it and to have a chair in it as well, is just lovely.
    I keep looking at my welsh dresser and thinking how nice it would look painted and I do think – when I have the time!


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