Before and After: This Smart Furniture Upcycle Turned 1 Piece into 3—for Less Than £50

published Sep 27, 2020
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About this before & after
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Before: two-drawer cabinet in beat-up wood finish

There are a million and one ways to redo a piece of furniture—and even when you run out of ideas there, you always have the option of turning a piece into something completely different. Here’s some creative inspiration for the latter, courtesy of Sabrina McIntosh (@house_of_devizes). When Sabrina came across this old sideboard on the side of the street, as it was being thrown away, she could tell it had good bones—even though it was looking a little worse for wear and had two jammed drawers. “I’m not sure how old the piece of furniture was but it was clearly made of solid wood and I knew it was good quality,” Sabrina says. “I could see the potential to change it into what I was after.”

What she was after: a piece that she could turn into a home bar. “I had seen lots of inspiration on Instagram and Pinterest and originally was looking for a bar cart. I could not find anything that looked vintage enough so when this turned up, it seemed perfect,” Sabrina says.

Sabrina popped the drawers out and sanded and primed the piece before priming and painting with leafy green paint, which was left over from previous home projects. “I wanted to use up leftover paint and it saved money which was perfect as we had only recently moved in so needed money for lots of different things,” Sabrina says. Then, she cut crane-print stick-on vinyl to size for the the back of the top shelf, behind where the drawers used to be, and for the fronts of the cabinet doors.

“I used a plain green piece of vinyl for the top of the piece, which I thought would withstand wear and tear better than leaving the painted surface bare,” Sabrina says. Final touches: new hinges for the doors, a gold bottle and glass rack, and a small puck light to illuminate the inside of the cubby. “I love the way the light illuminates both the bottles and the crane design,” Sabrina says.

But that’s not all! Sabrina was able to turn the top two drawers into recessed end tables by fitting them with hairpin legs. The first got a cool, graphic Art Deco-style revamp with vinyl on the outside and paint on the inside.

The second is more subdued, with a matte black exterior and a patterned interior. So for the price of one piece—which was, again, free—Sabrina created three functional pieces with tons of personality. “It’s a great statement piece and is totally unique,” Sabrina says of the bar. “I also love that it has a story and that I saved it from being dumped.”

Inspired? Submit your own project here.