Upcycled Bureau

My granny had a bureau. It was a great solid piece of furniture with the requiste pull-down desk at the front. And inside, a world of cubby-holes, drawers and hiding places for childhood secrets. Through the years that bureau was a post-office; a babychange table; a shop; the place I did homework and revised for examinations; and for one glorious summer it was the headquarters of the imaginary cleaning business that my brother, cousin and I ran.  For that summer, we were Reckitt and Coleman. We had the headed paper to prove it. (A small insight into the Munkie pysche here: my imaginary childhood company sold cleaning products. Not magic wands, princess dresses or fairy cakes. Go figure.)

Needless to say, the allures of a bureau have long been calling me. And the wonderful people at Freecycle always come up with the goods. I collected a fabulous old bureau from a family who had had it for a while but no longer had the space. The gentleman of the house told a lovely story of falling asleep as a child whilst his father worked at the desk, and hearing the characteristic jangle of the hinges as the desk folded up. It had since been used as a toy box for his own kids and was not the bureau it once had been.Once my Moon Munkie was done using it as a climbing-frame-cum-hiding-place it was time to begin the work.

Never having done a project like this, I took it really slowly. It took the whole summer, first dismantling, then sanding, undercoating and 3 coats of Overtly Olive later, it looked like new. Inside I went for a girly combination of raspberry pink wood with green polka dot paper backing. (Thanks to the kind people of B&Q Bury St Edmunds who understood my plight and inisted I cut a sample of wallpaper long enough to finish the project rather than buy a whole roll.)

I’m still not entirely happy with it. I don’t like the uneven way the paint has worn. It’s beginning to look more shabby than chic. Additionally, I wish I’d chosen a softer, more relaxing shade of pink. But it’s a corner of my own to read bible, study, plan lessons, write letters and drink coffee. A rose scented soap from my (incredibley talented) friend Ruth sits in one of the cubby holes and wafts me to a summer place each time I open the desk. It’s a calming place to be and it’s reassuring to know that if the urge ever grabs me , I can return to my roots in the glamourous world of cleaning product sales.

3 thoughts on “Upcycled Bureau

  1. I think this post is wonderful, I love Freecycle and how much loved items can be handed down to others and continue being loved!

    How lovely that you did it up and put your own mark on it, I do love the colours!

    If its not already gone to a new home, I’d love to give it a space in mine 🙂



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