Thursday, January 2, 2014

But When You Get Behind Closed Doors...

It's 2014, with the new year comes the push for us all to become fit and finally get organized.  As the rest of us are thumbing through our pile of magazine articles and searching for organizational tips on Pinterest, our flippin' friend Sheila from Furniture Alchemy got a head start on us.   

Sheila wrote, "My tendency to stash away things (let's not call it hoarding, more like saving..) led me to outgrow my old antique secretary desk. So when I saw this desk at a local thrift store, I thought that it would be a perfect replacement, plenty of storage, and a small enough footprint to not take up much more space than my previous secretary had."

Hold onto your seats, readers.  This unassuming secretary was harboring a big secret behind closed doors...(it's ALWAYS the unassuming secretary).

When Sheila opened the doors and saw the massive amounts of red plaid fabric, she immediately walked away.  However, the very next day our heroine found herself back there, looking at it again.  Furtively, she tried to pull a little bit of the red plaid off but she was thwarted in her efforts by many, MANY upholstery tacks. 
Still on the fence about purchasing this item, Sheila slowly opened one of the drawers, and found that it contained more than one SKELETON.  Actually, it was a full set of original skeleton keys, and all of the drawer and cabinet locks worked!  That sold her on this desk and she carted it home.  

Sheila recalls, "It took me nearly a day and a half, just to rip out the fabric.  I almost gave up, several times, especially when I found out it was glued around the bottom edge.  But, I persevered, and got it all out!  I knew that since I was finally doing a piece for myself, that I wanted something really distressed and chippy, but very neutral colors, since it was to go in my dining room, and my table is bright turquoise.  So, I mixed up a shade of vintage-y white, combining Annie Sloan chalk paint in pure white, country grey, and a tad of Arles yellow.


Being slightly obsessed with old postcards and writings, I did a script decoupage on the front of the cabinet doors using scrapbook paper, and used various other "Paris themed" scrapbook paper and writings to do the inside of the doors and to put between the glass on the pull out tray."

Let's take a gander at the final outcome of this flip...

It is beautiful!  No longer does it look like a gigantic picnic basket or the closet of the Brawny Man.  

I think for her efforts Sheila should get a special Honorary Degree from the Brawny Academy!  She endured a lot of scratches trying to remove that plaid and tacks.  

Absolutely worth the effort!  Fantastic job Sheila!  

Sheila is our first flip of 2014...if this doesn't inspire you to get your messy unorganized desk and house in order OR to rescue an ugly piece of furniture and flip it into something extraordinary, well, then...there's no hope for you.   

Furniture Alchemy is based in Alexandria, Virginia.  You can check out the Furniture Alchemy website for more information.  You can also follow along on Sheila's adventures on the Furniture Alchemy Facebook page.  Let her know you saw her on Furniture Flippin'.  
Thanks Sheila for sharing your fabulous furniture flip!

Dear readers, I hereby dub 2014 "The Year Of Inspiration".  Either you are with us or you are against us.  I certainly hope you are with us and will share your inspiring furniture flips, too.  You can email me before/after pictures and plenty of details to .  Let's see what you can do and what you can inspire others to do, too!

Happy New Year Everyone!  I'm glad you are here.
~ Stephanie


  1. Simply beautiful! Great job!

  2. Wowzers! Now THAT'S my kinda flip!! She made it into a true keeper!!

  3. Love, Love how you added the decoupage element. Very nice!!


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