Friday, 15 November 2013

from cheap to shabby chic

I think it's finished, goodness knows it's taken a long time.
No, not the whole bathroom, just the bathroom cabinet !

I previously wrote about it here, when I bought the baskets for it.

 And now it looks like this.

Maybe more shabby than chic, but at least it's nothing like the original (you could stop here, there's just loads more chat and pictures of the same thing !!!).
I really wanted to change it completely, with no resemblance to what it once was. As I mentioned before, I was really happy with my effort to re-hang the bottom door, and add a shelf.

I looked for some paint in my shed and found a Timbershield fence paint that went on really well and acted as a primer, but it was a bit orange. Then I found a darker brown, and painted a layer of that as well.
I wanted chicken wire in the top door with fabric behind and tried to work out a way of adding it all on top of the mirror, so that I wouldn't have to smash it, but in the end it was no good, I just had to take the whole top door apart.
The mirror didn't smash because it was stuck to a bit of board, but the frame looked like a few bits of old cardboard when I'd finished !
With a lot of glue, panel pins and some caulk, I managed to stick it all back together.

I went to the closest diy store to check out the chicken wire but it was all bright and shiny and only sold in rolls of expensive lengths. I found a great alternative, a panel of galvanised mesh that was all grey and powdery from having been left out in the rain.
The mesh isn't fixed at all, I just cut it to size and it slotted in perfectly where the mirror and board used to sit.

After the brown I painted two coats of a light grey, a colour I made from a charcoal matchpot and some white paint, and did lots of distressing and some odd scratching to make it look pretty old.
Finding the right fabric was hard, but in the end I settled on a Jamie Oliver tea towel that I stained with coffee.
They came in a pack of two, and I stained the one with the thicker stripes first to see if it would work. The coffee seemed to dull the colours slightly, which worked well with all the distressing I had done.
So I fixed it in the back with plastic coated wire and hooks.

I found the two ceramic egg shaped and perfectly coloured knobs in my stash.

I painted a graphic on the side (not well, I couldn't find my old glasses). I saw 'Pharmacie Centrale' on something at the Graphics Fairy, and the address was found on a soap graphic from the same place.

And of course, this is where I stuck my little poster, that I wrote about in the previous post, and for which I bought a new pair of glasses.

On the bottom door I put some numbers, so that one can do stock control on the contents !

Not that my contents need stock control, but at least they all fit in.

I'm really pleased with it, although I did plan to do something else to it. I am sure you're thinking it's rather gimmicky already (enough Fiona, just STOP), but when an idea pops in my head, it's hard to get rid of it.
So my little store cupboard from La Pharmacie Centrale at Rue Lafayette is now finished and although it took a lot of time, it actually cost me less than £20, and I'm half way round the bathroom with the tongue and groove !
linking up to
Make it pretty Monday @ The Dedicated House
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Knick of Time Tuesdays @ Knick of Time
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life
Wow Us Wednesdays @ Savvy Southern Style
The Inspiration Gallery @ Craftberry Bush
Treasure Hunt Thursday @ From My Front Porch To Yours
Open House Party @ No Minimalist Here
Inspire Me Link Party @ Liz Marie Blog
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Furniture Feature Friday @ Miss Mustard Seed
Be Inspired @ Common Ground
Party Junk @ Funky Junk Interiors
Silver Pennies Sundays Link Party @ Silver Pennies
Sunday Show Off @ Twigg Studios 


  1. I am glad you entered so many parties on this post because i can see this being featured as the best of the best.

    What a great job you did on that cabinet.

  2. It looks like a genuine vintage cupboard now, and I love the wire you used in the door frame! I can't wait to see your tongue and groove walls when they're done, Fiona. Projects take a long time in our house, too. It's hard to work on them after a long day at work, but a little progress is better than none at all!

    Have a good weekend!

  3. What a sweet makeover! I love the wire and fabric part especially! :

  4. Fiona,

    What fun! It is so amazingly unique! It seems you always had a clear 'vision' for this shabby chic cupboard, and in between glasses, the prescription for pretty and practical, was filled!! Love the grainy texture, JO fabric and wire mesh!


  5. That is really cute.. You did a great paint / distress job and love the graphics!

  6. Great cabinet makeover Fiona! I love how you distressed it and added the wire and fabric to the upper cabinet. It really changed the look from what it had been. All your hard work with the poster really paid off too. Great job!!!

  7. I can't believe how your very common cabinet (no offense intended) looks extra fabulous now! It's just one of a kind and totally you! You've been so creative with the wire and the curtain! And that poster is absolutely perfect there.

  8. such a huge change--fabulous distressed finish, fiona! the wire mesh and towel looks great together and the graphics on side is perfect! enjoy your sunday!

  9. I love this Fiona - particularly the pharmacy graphic - right up my street! another fab job. CJ

  10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!!!


    Marina (BEAUTIFUL!)

  11. I love this Fiona! I pinned it because I I need...something similar in the house I'm hoping to move into. I think it's fabulous and I'm still in awe of that poster!

  12. Shut the bathroom door that doesn't look anything like the old one! Excellent. It's got it all... graphics, wire door with fabric. I love it! Pinned.

  13. This looks fabulous, what an amazing transformation. Love it. Thanks tons for linking to Inspire Me. Hugs, Marty

  14. Love the new look, it's pretty and practical!

  15. Wow! Now THAT is quite a transformation. I think my favorite part is the addition of the fabric. Glad I popped over from the No Minimalist Here link party!

    - Tasha @ Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body (

  16. WOW! This is a great change! Looks so vintage!!!

  17. Fiona, that cabinet has gone from something you wouldn't glance at to a heart stealer! Love it and all.

  18. This is gorgeous! It looks like a different peice altogether! The fabric was a great choice too!

  19. Gorgeous, Fiona! I love how it came out - the color, the fabric, the graphics. Thanks for sharing at Silver Pennies Sundays! x

  20. what a lovely piece you ended up with...good for you for having the vision of what it could be - it is fabulous!


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