We like to create unique pieces of furniture from everyday items. So when the opportunity came to renovate our dining chairs, we wanted to do something different.
We have some very comfy cream leather dining chairs which when we bought them, looked perfect with our light oak dining table. When we moved house and the large dining table no longer fitted or matched with our gloss white and black granite kitchen we were in a dilemma as to what to do with the chairs.
We had bought a gloss black dining table from Next but the cost of 8 chairs to go with it was another £1000! We decided on a temporary solution of some black stretch covers which we imported from America and they looked fine for the time being.
Last year, having seen Pinterest articles about painting leather with Annie Sloane paint, we thought, why not give it a go. We started with just one and used that for a good 6months before committing, what would happen with the heavy traffic of Christmas or when boys with jeans squirmed on them?
Perfect, the one test chair lived up to the demands so we went ahead with the rest and painted several coats of AS Pure, it went on perfectly covering the cream leather with ease. We also painted the light oak legs with AS Paris Grey……they looked and matched beautifully.
Our last flourish was to add our own stamp on the chairs with a little bit of stencilling. We brought a couple of stencils from Hobbycraft so we could choose and customise our own design.
Armed with a stiff brush, a ceramic tile and the AS paint in Paris Grey,
we found the centre line of the chair and stencilled the design evenly on each chair.
We combined designs from three different stencils to give the chairs their own unique look.
The stencilling didn’t take very long at all, and I am very pleased with what we’ve achieved, a French vintage look.
The 1940s is one of my favourite eras for its styles, in homes and fashion. So to find out that one of our local National Trust houses has been staged in that style meant a visit was an absolute must.
The house was the country home to one of the great merchant bank families of London, Lord and Lady Bearsted of M. Samuel & Co. (Heir to the Shell fortune) When war broke out in London and there was a great risk to his art and assets in London. he moved the bank and all its staff to the Warwickshire village to be based at Upton House. the National Trust have homed in on this period of the house’s history to recreate the scenes of the era.
It is very cleverly crafted and gives a genuine view of the era. Of course with the 1940s providing such inspiration for current vintage trends of homes and fashion, this recreation of the era is very much ‘en vogue’
Combined with this is the winter garden walk around some of the grounds which is alive with spring flowers at the moment.
As the house tours are booked for set times, we started with the walk around the gardens.
It was a chilly day but with glorious sunshine which reflected off the honey coloured stone of all the wall and brick work.
It made a nice change to be able to see the architecture of the buildings and walls whilst the plants and flowers are still fairly dormant.
The walk included some fairly steep slopes and stairs but it meant the sloping levels opened up some lovely vistas.
A magnificent cherry blossom was just about in bloom when we visited this weekend which was simply beautiful to see
We continued our chilly but invigorating walk as it took us back to the house ready for the tour inside.
We have visited the house before, but at that time they hadn’t staged it in the 1940s theme. I did actually prefer it this time as I did think it accurately portrayed the key time in the house’s history.
So if you have a real interest in this vintage era and have fairly good mobility, it is definitely worth a visit.