A Little Romance for the Bedroom

A Little Romance for the Bedroom

Wouldn’t we all welcome a little more romance in the bedroom? Well this beautiful French dressing table will certainly give your bedroom scheme a romantic feel. I love the curves and elegance of this beautiful piece of furniture.

I bought this from a French dealer at an antiques fair. It’s just the style of furniture I like so it was a pleasure to work on. I chose a soft grey from the Farrow and Ball range. Cornforth White in an eggshell finish. It’s now one of my favourite shades of grey.

The handles were in a good condition and just needed a clean. They’re very pretty and the antique gold colour works well with the pale grey.

I lined the drawers with a paper similar in colour to the paint. I like to finish off pieces of furniture so they look and feel as nice on the inside as they do on the outside.

My ideal bedroom scheme for this dressing table would include white, pale greys and pale pinks, creating a very elegant interior scheme. I would dress the room with a few gold accessories such as an antique gold mirror, photo frames and candle holders.

So, yet another piece of furniture, Reloved by Jo, that I’ll find hard to part with. I just don’t have the space to keep it!

Have a great week.

Love Jo x

 

 

Going Green in More Ways Than One

Going Green in More Ways Than One

Going green had a double meaning for me this month. As someone who is passionate about up-cycling, my work is obviously good for the planet and with the introduction of a lovely new green paint that I couldn’t resist, I literally was ‘going green’ with this job.

Bought at auction, I’ve been sitting on these chairs for a while now – excuse the pun! Chairs at auction are plentiful but not always in sets of six. The shape is also quite simple which attracted me to them.

When a new paint colour is introduced to the market that I like, I think about the stock I have and what, if anything, would suit that colour. That’s what happened in this case and these chairs immediately sprung to mind.

Originally dark wood with tapestry covered seat pads. This is how they looked before I started work.

Pre-loved chairs

Chairs always take longer to up-cycled than people imagine they would. They need sanding, priming and at least two coats of paint. I also then apply a matt varnish for a little more durability. Then there’s the upholstering to do…  All worth the effort though as you’ll see here.

Green vintage chairs   Back of chairs   Looking good with white-washed table

The Fern (Autentico) is lifted by the use of Jack Black (The Little Greene Paint Company) and Almond (Autentico) and the fabric brings them all together. Although white and greys are still very popular, I enjoy using different colours as it keeps my work refreshing and I like up-cycling furniture in colours that you can’t buy off the shelf. My work is bespoke after all.

Botanical fabric

These lovely hand-painted chairs would suit an older style house, I can imagine them in a dining room or maybe a garden room sat around an old oak table. They would look fabulous next to a vintage dresser similar to this one.

Black painted chair and vintage dresser

So going green in more ways than one has been fun. It’s now Spring, that time of year when gardens are starting to come to life, so have these botanical chairs.

Have a lovely week.

Jo x

Where Old Meets New

Where Old Meets New
The Brief & My Vision

I wanted to create a light, bright kitchen that would be a pleasure to work in, a joy to eat and relax in. A living room, not just a kitchen. I wanted a kitchen that is on trend but one that wouldn’t date easily. As I’m a furniture stylist and up-cycling is a passion of mine, it also had to include some old and pre-loved pieces of furniture. I wanted white and greys to give the feeling of light and space and a mix of natural woods for warmth and character. I love grey and natural wood together.

When I’m up-cycling furniture I usually have a vision of the finished piece in my mind. Sometimes that vision changes as a piece develops but on the whole, I usually create what is in my head. I worked the same way with my kitchen. I had a vision in mind before I started and knew exactly how I wanted it to look. However I would advise creating a mood board, it’s far easier to show people what you want rather than try to explain sometimes.

 

The Structual Stuff

My new kitchen was doubling in size and needed structual work. This included knocking down a wall between the kitchen and utility, taking out the garage wall and moving it back 5 feet to give us the room we needed, raising the floor and ceiling and taking out the window and back door to install large French doors. Quite a big job. My garage was to become my new workshop which needed electrics fitting and a door through from the kitchen. A thermal electric garage door was also on my list to keep me warm (and working) in the winter. These photos were taken at the start of the building works.

Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 2   Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 3

Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 4   Kitchen Design Before - Reloved by Jo 6

Budget, What Budget?

Once I had decided on the style for my kitchen, the budget was set. This soon disappeared as the kitchen progressed. There were certain things that I really wanted, i.e. wooden worktops, quality units, nice flooring, etc. and although I don’t mind shopping around for a bargain, I’m not very good at buying something just because it’s cheaper. It has to be right too. For the work that was being carried out the budget was quite tight and I knew I would go over on this occasion to get the kitchen how I wanted it. However, a good quality kitchen is definitely an investment.

 

The Design

The units were more or less staying in the same place with the addition of a large breakfast bar and room for a table, chairs and a dresser. I wanted a white kitchen. One of good quality, shaker style with a wood grain. Sounds simple, however finding pure white (non-gloss) units was almost impossible.  I could have bought chalk white, antique white, dove white, in fact any shade of white except white! So I ended up choosing a bespoke, paint to order kitchen from Matthew Charlton blowing the budget for the units straight away! However, the units are good quality and worth the spend. My advise when choosing cupboard doors is to take them home and look at them at different levels, in different lights. The same goes for worktops and flooring. Don’t just look at samples in your hands, in a showroom, you’ll get a false idea of how they might look when fitted.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 2

 Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 5

I really wanted solid wood worktops, even though my builder tried his utmost to persuade me not to have them (because they usually go black when sat near sinks, coming into contact with water). However as my job is to work with furniture and wood I didn’t see it as a problem. I treated the worktops before they were fitted with a fabulous product from Treatex. I even impressed my builder and electrician who had to admit what a good job I’d done and how good they looked. So, happy with my solid oak worktops I started searching for a breakfast bar and and found it at Granite Transformations. With a very subtle fleck in it, it was beautiful. Nothing else compared. The difficulty was choosing between two shades which would have both worked. I had to have it. The budget increased again.

Shop around for deals and then buy what you want anyway.

If you’re lucky you might get a deal on your preferred choice. If you buy something purely because it’s cheaper, you’ll probably regret it in the long run. I know I would. It also depends on how long you want to live with it or whether you’ll be moving on. Even the sink ended up being a top end ceramic model but it was in keeping with the rest of the kitchen.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 4

I did shop around for my white goods, and bought some from John Lewis (who weren’t as expensive as I thought they would be) and some from ao.com – Bang on budget this time.

The finer details matter too. I wanted pewter knobs and handles but they were ridiculously expensive, even for me. But Claire from Matthew Charltons found some ironware from a company called Hafele which were great value and a fraction of the cost of pewter. They look the part and I actually prefer them to the pewter ones. A bargain.

Be brave and creative.

I wanted to use a mirror in place of tiles behind the cooker. A few people thought I was mad but it has made a massive difference to the kitchen. As you would expect, it really opens the room up. At first glance you think it’s an opening into the room next door but then you realise it’s a mirror. A tip when fitting mirrors – If you have old walls I would advise fitting plasterboard on them first so as to give a flat surface for the mirror to sit on. An uneven surface can cause the glass to crack if any pressure is applied. It’s a myth that it’s hard to clean too. Just one little tip though… don’t look in the mirror first thing!

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 3

The ceiling I painted white and used French Pale Grey (161) from The Little Greene Paint Company for the walls. Their paints are so good to use. For the flooring I didn’t want laminate because it’s not as warm underfoot as wood. I couldn’t afford solid oak, however, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time and found a great deal on some engineered oak flooring and I love it. I knew it would look and feel great.

I chose spots with dimmers for the working side of the kitchen with a low watt strip light along the top of the units. I wanted a vintage/industrial look, nothing too pretty and nothing too industrial. I found them hard to source locally and eventually bought a couple of styles online, one pair were quite expensive but perfect and the second pair I wasn’t sure about but they were quite nice too. Being able to try them at home helped me decide.  Yes, you’ve guessed it, the most expensive ones were the ones I chose (why change my habits). With the combination of spots, vintage lights and lamps I can vary the mood of the room considerably.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 8

Up-cycled Furniture

I may have gone over budget on the kitchen but I did manage to save money on the furniture. The old dresser had been fitted to the wall of our old utility and I thought when the builders took it off the wall it would fall to pieces but when it came away in one piece I was delighted and soon set about up-cycling it.

I took the top doors off, changed the cupboard doors, added a cornice and gave it my magic touch. It cost me very little. The secondhand farmhouse table was a deep orange pine when I picked it up. It had been given a varnish to the top that was extremely hard to remove, but once I’d stripped it back, white-washed and protected the top and painted the legs it was perfect. I wanted all the chairs to be different sizes and shapes with some being painted and some left natural wood. The old oak chair I fell in love with at an antique centre. I was actually scouting for space to showcase my work for Reloved by Jo and came out with the chair and no space! The large wheelback chair I bought at auction for my husband and painted it. Two of the other chairs I already had so up-cycled them in various greys and bought the two light oak chairs for just £7.50 each.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find old stools in the style I wanted so had to buy new ones. I did buy them in a sale though and as soon as they arrived started sanding them down and painting them to fit my scheme (I can’t help myself.) All bang on budget!

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 7

The Invention Test

It’s hard to choose the best bit of my kitchen because everything counts in making it a beautiful, stylish room. However I’d have to choose my bin as being the best invention within it! I didn’t want a large bin sat in the middle of my lovely kitchen, it would have been a bit of an eyesore. And I didn’t want a small integrated bin that would need emptying three times a day. I was quoted around £175 for a large bin that would sit inside a slim cupboard (that didn’t include the cupboard).

So I set about inventing my own integrated, tall but slim fitting sliding bin. I designated one of my 300mm units to be a bin cupboard from the start. It was a challenge to find a tall bin to fit the space. I bought and returned four bins before finding one the right size at Homebase. A bargain at £24. I then bought a kit from Ikea for £18 which was designed to integrate one of their bins and my builder adapted the sliders from the kit, screwing them into the cupboard and into my bin. We then added an old pull handle and now have a bin that pulls out of the cupboard with ease. Situated at the end of the breakfast bar it’s in the perfect place. It was a good team effort. I love it!

The Nice Bits

When the builders have gone, do your best to finish off properly and dress the room. This might mean shopping around for bits and pieces which is quite time consuming but don’t leave it as it’s likely you’ll go on to start something else and you’ll never finish off the finer details. It makes a huge difference. Buy your glasses, clocks, pictures, frames, cushions, candles etc. I just had to have a large wooden wall clock (even though it cost more than my table!). I’m not a big TV fan, however I thought it would be nice to have a TV in the kitchen to watch whilst preparing meals, eating breakfast, etc. So the TV sits on a bracket that moves in almost any direction so it can be see from wherever you are in the kitchen or dining area. I also have a great sounding DAB radio/CD system that sits on the dresser. It’s nice have choices and make the room comfortable and inviting, after all it’s a living room, not just a kitchen.

My Tip

If you’re in the process of having a new kitchen fitted be open to suggestion but stick to your design if it’s what you want. On a few occasions I had the builders and my husband stood behind me making alternative suggestions. I did listen and give their suggestions some thought but then stuck to my guns if it was really what I wanted. Sometimes this meant more work for the builders but the finer details and the finish have made the kitchen really special and my builder never complained (to me) and is very proud of the results too.

My Team

Everyone that worked with me was great; Patrick my builder of course and his team. Claire from Matthew Charltons. Karen from Granite Transformations. Even the girls at Greggs for making us coffee and bacon rolls when I had no cooker!

I must say I did have the best builders in the North East. Their attention to detail is second to none (absolutely necessary for me as unfortunately I’m a perfectionist). They didn’t take much looking after. I always made sure they had tea, coffee and biscuits to hand and that I was only ever a phone call away if they needed me to make a decision. After the first week of early morning starts they had the pleasure of seeing me first thing in the morning with ‘bed hair’ and no make-up – lucky them. It was entertaining listening to them bicker whilst working and I must say, once their work was complete the house did feel a little empty but lovely to have my beautiful, spacious kitchen.

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 10    Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 3   Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 4

Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 5    Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 6   Kitchen Design - Reloved by Jo 7

A big thanks to everyone involved and to Katie Lee Photography for taking these lovely shots.

Love Jo x

Shabby Chic Has Moved On

Shabby Chic Has Moved On
So the shabby chic era may have moved on but painted furniture remains as popular as ever, as does my passion for up-cycling.

As with fashion, anything goes when it comes to interiors. I see this now more than ever.  Stick to one style throughout your home and it may look a little boring or like a showroom display. A mix of old and new always seems to work well. And now, there are so many vibrant colours and good quality paints to choose from when it comes to decorating walls and furniture that making a decision can be quite difficult… but enjoyable all the same.

Furniture doesn’t have to be vintage to be up-cycled either. It may be furniture in your home that you’ve had for a while. It may be good quality furniture that you’re just a little tired of. I get asked to update a lot of pine furniture because people realise that it’ll be more cost effective to have it up-cycled than to try and buy new furniture of a similar quality without spending a fortune.

I recently up-cycled these pine bedside drawers. They came to me looking very tired with an orange hue. Now these bedsides are bang on trend! I used Hick’s Blue from The Little Greene Paint Company and it works so well with the natural wood top and the gold knobs. I love to paint furniture in colours that you won’t find in the shops. The results can be quite stunning.

 

Up-cycled bedsides cabinets.

 

Bedsides with natural top - Reloved by Jo

 

This mahogany cupboard was dated but in good condition. Painted black and with the addition of some modern chrome knobs it looks quite stunning against a bold coloured wall. The paint was a black satinwood so didn’t need a varnish although I still often treat the tops for extra protection. The inside has also been up-cycled and Reloved by Jo 🙂

 

Set against a bold colour

Inside paintwork

 

I tend to fall in love with whatever piece of furniture I’m working on. I can only see this as a good trait because it means that I’ll always do a good job. The results speak for themselves, beautifully painted furniture.

When I’m not working on commissions for clients I’m usually planning ahead with my own projects… What piece will I up-cycle next? What colour will I choose? Will it need a fabric? Etc. As it’s now officially spring, Autentico Fern Green is next on my list on a set of six dining chairs with botanical fabric seats. I get excited just thinking about new projects and finishes, it keeps my job interesting. And distressed furniture may not be as popular as it has been, but I’ll never say never to shabby chic!

Have a good week.

Love Jo x

Art Nouveau Reloved by Jo

Art Nouveau Reloved by Jo

I love to up-cycle furniture that is quite special and this elegant sideboard is no exception. Bought by Nicky of Nicky Jones Furniture in Corbridge, this Art Nouveau sideboard is made from mahogany and has inlay floral panels to three drawers and two door fronts. It is beautiful. Nicky commissioned me to up-cycled this superb piece, requesting that I paint around the inlays, giving them a framed effect.

Art Nouveau Sideboard - Primed 4 - Reloved by Jo

Originally Nicky wanted a blue finish, however, after discussing various options we decided on a green shade, Troubled Waters, by Autentico. After preparing and undercoating the sides, back and framework I applied the first top coat which instantly lifted the look of the sideboard, giving it a new lease of life.  The framed inlays on the doors and drawers now stand out, just the effect that Nicky wanted. I sanded the original glossy top right back to reveal wood full of interest, colour and pattern.  Applying a matt varnish and finishing wih a wax to gives it warmth and depth.

Art Nouveau Sideboard Reloved by Jo 4  Art Nouveau Sideboard Reloved by Jo 9

The copper and brass handles are absolutely stunning. Nicky took these off to clean prior to me working on the sideboard and replaced them once complete so I guess you can say this was a team effort!

Sideboard Reloved by Jo 6 Art Nouveau Sideboard Reloved by Jo 7

There is sometimes a dilemma when it comes to painting beautiful old furniture… to paint or not to paint? Hopefully, on this occasion, you’ll agree that this special piece of furniture has been very much enhanced.

Art Nouveau Sideboard Reloved by Jo

This is one of my favourite commissions to date. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Love Jo x

 

 

Reloved in Corbridge

Reloved in Corbridge

I am now showcasing my beautiful up-cycled furniture at Nicky Jones Interiors in Corbridge, Northumberland.

Reloved by Jo - Nicky Jones Furniture

Over the last few months I’ve become friendly with a women who has very similar interests to me. We met through Twitter. Nicky complimented me on my work and after a few conversations online we met for coffee and hit it off straight away. We have so much in common and now, several months later, we’re working together. Our tastes are similar and compliment each other.

Reloved by Jo at Nicky Jones Furniture

Shop Nicky Jones Furniture 2

Nicky recently opened a shop in Corbridge, Nicky Jones Furniture. Corbridge is a very pretty village in the North East, a lovely place to wander, shop and stop for coffee or lunch.  The shop is lovely and filled with a good choice of vintage and second-hand furniture and new accessories. As well as Nicky’s finds, you can see furniture up-cycled and Reloved by Jo (me). Because we have similar tastes, the combination in the shop works well together and locals and visitors alike have been delighted and very complimentary about the shop.

Reloved by Jo showcasing at Nicky Jones Furniture

Shop Nicky Jones Furniture

 

So, thank you to Twitter for bringing Nicky and I together!

If you’re passing do pop in for a browse, we’d love to see you.

Love Jo x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on Choosing Second-Hand Drawers

Tips on Choosing Second-Hand Drawers

When sourcing furniture to up-cycle for my business Reloved by Jo, I love nothing better than finding something unusual. Ultimately, I fall in love with it and don’t want to part with it! Hazards of the job.

However, there’s no getting away from the fact that we all need storage and drawers, and although not so interesting they are necessary if we want our homes to be in any kind of order. Second-hand drawers can be found in many places such as auctions, sale rooms, online platforms and local papers, etc. I see many pieces for sale which at first glance look quite charming until you struggle to open each drawer and then fight to close them again. Not so charming.

However, there are some lovely drawers out and about and I still manage to fall for the odd set for various reasons. It may be the workmanship, some carved detail or the quality of the wood? Whatever it is, I always make sure that each drawer glides easily!

I recently up-cycled these two chests of drawers which are both lovely for different reasons.

These green drawers are made from oak and have a charming carved detail across the top. The handles were in a good condition and I liked the style so I decided to re-use them and coated them in a matt black paint. I can imagine this lovely piece of furniture in a conservatory or garden room.

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Upcycled drawers – painted with my own mix of green chalk paint
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Carved detail & iron knobs

Not so detailed, these are classic, good quality drawers. I painted them in a light grey and replaced the old and dated handles with large ceramic knobs. Now they look great and I’d love to keep them if I had the room.

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Grey drawers – Reloved by Jo

Inside the drawers is just as important for me. I clean them and apply a wax oil to the inside of each drawer, although on occasion I do paint them. It just depends on the quality of the wood. Grey paint and natural wood are one of my favourite combinations at the moment.

blog-choosing-second-hand-drawers
Inside top drawers

So although a second-hand chest of drawers may not very exciting, I still get a lot of pleasure from updating them and as we have to have them in our homes, they may as well look good too!

Love Jo x

Bathroom Beauty

Bathroom Beauty
I loved this ‘bathroom beauty’ from the moment I first saw it in the auction room.

bluevanity10

A very pretty and unusual, early century carved oak sideboard. I could immediately visualise how it would look when finished as a bathroom or bedroom vanity and was determined to win the bid for this one! The bidding went fairly high, but I felt it was worth paying that little extra to secure such an original piece of furniture.

The style is charming and the carvings so pretty.  The shelf is perfect for displaying bathroom or beauty bits and bobs and/or scented candles. Unsightly bathroom products and medicines can be hidden in the drawers and there’s plenty of storage for towels in the cupboards.

I was so excited to start this lovely piece.

 

 

 

 

First (as always) I sanded and cleaned the cupboard inside and out and in the process I discovered some old prescriptions dated 1937! I love little finds like this, it adds to the interest and history of a piece.

After a couple of hours work, it’s already looking better.

bluevanity1

Then followed the very important coat of primer. You can now really start to appreciate the pretty floral carvings.

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I then painted the cupboard with several coats of my own mix of blue chalk paint, painted the top bright white followed by a couple of coats of matt varnish and arranged for the basin and tap to be fitted (I’m not quite experienced enough to tackle this job well enough myself… yet!). So now it’s ready for plumbing in.

I love this shade of blue.  The black and bronze antique style tap adds a little charm to this bespoke piece of furniture.

Just the handles and knobs to be fitted now…

Vanity unit blue 1

And here it is! A beautiful bathroom vanity. Probably my favourite piece to date. I can imagine this vintage piece of furniture in a period home. It would look as stunning in a white bathroom as it would a vintage styled bedroom.  If I had the space I’d certainly be keeping this one!

Bathroom Vanity

Counter top basin

Vintage vanity

It’s not often you come across a piece of furniture that is as functional as it is pretty, and this one was certainly a pleasure to work on.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Love Jo x

From Ducks to Dressing Tables

Back to Work

So after a great break on the Norfolk Broads (which I’d recommend to anyone wanting a complete break as there is literally nothing else you can do apart from drink, eat, read and drool over the beautiful riverside properties as you pass by) it was back to the North East and upcycling furniture.

Norfolk Broads,
The Broads
Broads 2
Our first mooring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broads 3
Beautiful riverside properties
Friendly neighbours
Friendly neighbours

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unexpected Problems

It’s nice to have something to look forward to after a holiday and I was very much looking forward to upcycling this dressing chest, however, when I took delivery I didn’t realise that the veneers on the front of the drawers had lifted in places and needed more TLC than I’d anticipated.

dressing table preloved
Preloved dressing chest
Veneer problem
Veneer problem

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After rubbing down and painting several times to try and prevent the bubbles re-appearing on the drawer fronts, I ended up cutting them out, filling, sanding and painting again. And, because the dressing table was made up of so many parts that I’d dismantled in order to paint properly, it took an age to put back together again. Still, the final result was well worth it…

 

From Preloved to Reloved by Jo

A very pretty vintage dressing chest painted in Autentico Milk eggshell which is neither white nor cream (I love it). I thought about introducing new knobs but I liked the original ones and sometimes you can take the character away from a piece rather than enhance it by removing bits and pieces so I painted them in the same colour as the chest and applied a gold rub over the top to give them a nicer look.

Full view
Reloved Dressing Chest

 

Top detail
Top detail

 

Handle
Handle

 

Drawers
Drawers

 

Hope you agree. Click here for more details.

 

Love Jo x

Upcycling a Coastal Retreat

Upcycling a Coastal Retreat
Upcycling is more popular than ever, not only for your own home but for second homes too!

Since starting my upcycling business last year (which I love!) I have steadily built up a list of satisfied clients as well as creating beautiful upcycled furniture to sell through my website Reloved by Jo. One of my more recent commissions was to upcycle some furniture for a holiday cottage, The Old Ale House, which is new to the collection of Coastal Retreat’s five star holiday cottages. When the refurbishment started, it was an ideal time for me to remove the old furniture from the cottage so I could work my magic from my workshop, creating bespoke pieces of furniture that would fit the new scheme and it also gave the decorators space to work.

Furniture for this holiday home included a gentleman’s wardrobe, a dressing table that was to be converted into a chest of drawers, a bureau, a beautiful but damaged chest of drawers, an old quirky cabinet, a large built in kitchen dresser and half a dozen old chairs. Repairs were needed on several of the pieces, however generally the furniture was of good quality (which is usually the case with old furniture) just a little tired and dated.

The brief for the furniture was to be ‘quite masculine and quirky with some brightly coloured pieces’. So, after a lot of TLC (prep, priming and at least two coats of paint) this is how the furniture now looks. What were old and tired pieces of furniture, are now quirky, bespoke pieces that help make the cottage extremely inviting.

Click here to take a video tour of the cottage and see my work in more detail and if you would like to book a stay at The Old Ale House (you just might after seeing the video) include the code Reloved5 for a 5% discount!

If you have a holiday home in the North East and would like some furniture upcycling, just get in touch.

 

Love Jo x