Freshen with Furnishings

One way to re-energise your spaces quite easily is with some small changes to furnishings.

Years ago we bought a pair of bedside cabinets from auction.  Included in the lot was ‘and one other piece’, this small cabinet.  We weren’t sure what it was but over time found lots of uses for it.  A handy Hi Fi cabinet at one point because the cupboard is 12″ x 12″, perfect for storing albums.

As time elapsed and the family were growing, we consigned it to the loft as it no longer had a particular use.  Having remembered it was there last year, I intended to bring it back and restore it.  The bedside cabinets were given a new lease of life shortly after we bought them.


 Partly due to the weather conditions last year, and the fact that I didn’t write down my intention, it rolled over.  This year I wrote this on my year plan and it has been lightened up and updated .  Some gold detail has given it some interest, this is also in keeping with the metal element in this sector of the house.






In the process of adding the detail, I had cause to turn the piece upside down and found this label underneath which gave some insight as to what the piece is and its approximate date of manufacture.

B.O.T. is for Board of Trade.  There were B.O.T. restrictions on manufacturing furniture between 1942 and 1949.  Only inferior quality wood could be used for furniture, and the pieces made were as replacements for items which had been destroyed.  These pieces were known as utility furniture.  No unnecessary new furniture was produced during this era.  The workmanship however is of excellent quality.  The wood is indeed fairly poor quality and my husband is sure that the piece is of no value.  That said, it is certainly of historic interest.

It has been a wonderful exercise to recover this tatty unwanted cabinet, especially putting my own energy into the project to make it very much wanted and mine.  It looks great in its new position and is quite in keeping with our house which was built in 1953.

I recall and elderly neighbour talking about a utility sideboard, I now think that this might just be a small utility sideboard.

‘And one other piece’ has now been renamed Bijou Buffet!

This has started me on updating other items of wooden furniture which look somewhat unloved.  As a bit of an earth child, I prefer a natural wood finish, which takes a lot of work.  Painting is a popular option nowadays.

Do you have any furniture which with a bit of TLC could be re-loved?  With a bit of work and determination they can be given a new lease of life and re-energise your spaces as well.

If you don’t have the time or inclination to do it yourself, you can always get the experts to help you. do bespoke hand painted furniture and take commissions.


Best wishes