My First DIY

Then. My first DIY.

About 5 years ago I left Melbourne, Australia to live in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia. That’s a nearly-12-hour drive away. We left my family and friends to live with husband’s family in an effort to save for a wedding.

I arrived at the foot of the mountains with my chipboard study desk (my one furniture item from my poor student days in Melbourne), a soggy double futon mattress minus base, a desk chair and two Ikea shelves.

The studio that I found myself in after three months of looking had no storage whatsoever. I needed to find clothes storage and some seating.

I found my piece at a church yard sale. It was an old, decrepit gentleman’s lowboy. It was the worst thing you could imagine. Grotty, just poorly. Desperation and a hint of vision made me reach for the $5 in my wallet to purchase the ugly thing.

The fact that it didn’t daunt my mother in law also helped. She has restored some furniture in her time and although her style isn’t quite mine (country style), most of the techniques were pertinent regardless of style.

My lowboy after stripping My lowboy after stripping with CitriStrip®.

After a few coats of paint and an old door handle with coordinating key and pulley thing, it perked up tremendously. It is now one of my favourite sentimentally connected pieces. I chose a beautiful shade of pale green in full gloss. I love it still today.

My lowboy after painting

Now. What to do with it?

So now we’ve moved back to Melbourne plus a baby and a horde of furniture we’re slowly replacing… and this piece is now… left needing a new use!

I was going to sell it on eBay and tear my heart out. But husband has commented that it might do well as a nursery cupboard for Hannah.

Except I will have to find someone to outfit it for me… and Hannah’s nursery is to be red and I can’t BEAR painting over the green!

9 July 2007



  1. Reply


    4 July 2007

    Wow. That’s… amazing. I’ve never seen that piece as it was originally. Wow.

  2. Reply


    5 July 2007

    That looks wonderful!!! It would be very cute in your little girls room!!

  3. Reply


    5 July 2007

    incognito: yes it’s actually quite amazing that it’s turned out so nice!but that’s what happens when you slap a bit of well-appointed paint type and colour onto yucky furniture :)jessie: yes :) even in a red themed room? :P

  4. Reply


    6 July 2007

    what kind of theme are you doing in your little girls red room????

  5. Reply


    6 July 2007

    I hope I get a client who wants a red room someday… fun!!!

  6. Reply

    Another Shade of Grey

    6 July 2007

    Red and green do go together you know. :) Maybe you could paint red flowers or polka dots in a pattern over the green, or whatever shape fits in with the room. :) It really would make a nice nursery cupboard.

  7. Reply


    7 July 2007

    not fussy. if you click on children’s rooms in my categories on the left, you’ll kinda see what i’m looking for. something sharp, uncluttered.while i’d love to go nutso in her room, we rent and will be for a while so can’t paint or do anything to the walls. so will have to achieve a great room effect without paint, which is easy enough if you have the cash! (which we don’t)

  8. Reply


    7 July 2007

    julie: yeah i had been thinking of perhaps copying a wall decal style art and try my hand at painting over the green some florally stuff. or just go with green anyway, which isn’t goig to stand out as much if it was bright blue :P

  9. Reply


    7 July 2007

    Okay, I looked at all your children’s rooms, I love all the white walled rooms with POPS of colors!! Can you not paint this piece of furniture??I think it would be fun red, against a white wall. (since you can’t paint the walls!) But I take it, the cupboard is green, and you don’t want to paint over it. :( It doesn’t look green to me in the photo.

  10. Reply


    7 July 2007

    i’ll leave it green but work around the red and white themed rooms… yeah i think while i love the funk and fun of coloured walls etc, i always seem to steer closer to the simpler look of pale walls! oh well… atm i can’t be bothered to do much, just too tired! once we move (soon) it will be easier to get more motivated!thanks for following up on this jessie! :)

  11. Reply


    9 July 2007

    your welcome! Its decorating!! :) Good luck,…I love to help.


The Woman behind the Blog

Welcome to my blog! It’s such a pleasure having you here.

What are you inspired by? I am inspired by beautiful and bright interiors, fabric, furniture, pinks, yellows, greens, chairs, china, trees, chocolate, peonies, hydrangeas, cherry blossoms, roses and rhubarb with cream.

Friends and family call me drey (pronounced 'dree'... short for Audrey) and I can often be found zipping through op-shops and vintage stores in the Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia.

Hearing from you

Write me at paperbean(AT)gmail(DOT)com