As you might expect when we moved in and renovated and then decorated the house, we concentrated on the most important rooms. The kitchen, lounge and master bedroom were the obvious priorities, where as the spare room ended up a bit of a ‘nothing room’.
It has a built in wardrobe, sofa bed, some Edward Gorey prints on the wall and tends to hold lots of outdoor gear, which will eventually go into my shed (when I get round to buying one). As well as all of this, we had a couple of scruffy old bedside tables which we were using as some sort of makeshift sock storage/dressing table. We also had lots of paperwork and office stuff to do with my job and my girlfriend’s business. Oh and the spare room always had a pile of clothes on the floor (kind of half in a bag) – as we hadn’t got round to buying a laundry basket yet!
One day we decided enough was enough! I chose a shed to buy (which will get rid of all of the tools and outdoor gear in there). We decided to sort this whole dressing table fiasco by buying a proper set of draws and actually get a long overdue laundry basket. I’m also heavily renovating an original 1950’s kitchen larder unit, which I’ll cover in a post of its own (it’s super cool).
My first port of call was trying to find a nice vintage high quality chest of drawers, which is much harder than it may seem as I wanted draws that were very shallow which didn’t protrude into the room and take up much space. Unfortunately, space saving and vintage often don’t go hand in hand and I couldn’t find anything much shallower than 50cm deep. Luckily, on a trip to Ikea I found a very shallow (just 30cm) chest of drawers called ‘Rast’. This set of draws was pretty much as far away from nice, vintage and high quality as you can get. They’re made from this sort of reconstituted pine material making them basically the turkey twizzler of the furniture world. They are, however very and I mean very cheap at just £20, which for a brand new chest of drawers is ridiculous. The quality or style wasn’t what I was looking for, but I was confident that with a bit pimpin’ these bargain basement drawers could be awesome – even if they weren’t old.
I’m literally the Flatpack Master and pretty much just use telekinesis to make the whole thing fit together. Within no time at all I had the whole thing put together. Here is a top tip for flatpacking – you can get allen key bits for your power drill. When you’ve done this you can throw away that poxy allen key they give you and wiz the whole thing together. Honestly, with a powerdrill and an allen key bit I’m pretty much the Formula One Pit Team of the flatpack world! Another top tip – set the torque nice and low otherwise you’ll over tighten the whole thing and rip the undoubtedly cheap and weak wood to bits.
See there’s the chest of drawers about 30 seconds later. Right now for the pimpin’. I still had loads of Graham and Brown Wallpaper left over from previous projects and was going to use this to class up these drawers. This is a huge cliche but 99% of the people that have done this do it with flowery, lame wallpaper which would not look right in my place. I choose this sweet Deco styled design, which tied in with the house’s colours and the natural shade of the wood.
You only need a tiny sachet of wallpaper adhesive to do this so that costs less than a quid and the whole thing is very easy to do. The only thing you really need to take your time over is figuring out how the design sits and measuring up so you get it exactly right. This is the part where the project can go from interior design to student house very easily. Make sure everything is centred, square and looks just right. Otherwise it will look like a teenager did it. I used a super sharp Stanley knife to do the cutting and a long rule to ensure it was all gorgeously square and straight. There will be some small lumps when you first apply the wallpaper but use a clean cloth to push all the air and bubbles out.
Knobs – you need to make sure you buy some proper sweet knobs, big or small knobs it doesn’t matter. It’s just up to personal preference – it’s all about how you use them. I went for some nice chrome knobs. They pick out the silver lines that flow through the wallpaper and don’t take away from the Deco look.
I went one step further and added more wallpaper to line the draws. Adding flocked, skull wallpaper to your drawers is a very quick and easy way to make your furniture look like that of a 13 year old boy, but I love it. A hidden bit of mischievous, macabre is always fun. Top Tip – If you do this before you put together the drawers it makes it a lot easier as you can slide it in with the drawer’s bottom, which not only gives you a great fit but also holds it in place.
There are tons of great laundry baskets out there but I wanted one that had neutral colours and was white so would fade into the overall design of the room. I think something as utilitarian as a laundry basket is best when it doesn’t stand out and catch your eye but when you look at it you can see the quality and can enjoy it’s design. That’s why I went for this Square White Wicker Laundry Basket. It’s 39cm wide by 39cm deep and 65cm high so it’s got more than enough room to store a family’s worth of clothes. I really like the neutral coloured lining that not only protects your clothes but also is easily removable making washing a piece of cake.
It’s skilfully handmade from willow and (if you can use this word about a laundry basket) is beautiful. The hinged lid is great for getting easy acess to your laundry whilst keeping it out of site and out of mind when not in use. I think the laundry basket looks perfect with my newly pimped chest of drawers and in my spare room. Saying this – I think it would look awesome in anyones house. It’s got a simplistic style that is inoffensive in any setting, whilst having a classic hand-built design that works in modern or classic interiors.