home decor

updating a plain bookshelf with farrow & ball

beekshelf before detail
i remember when we first moved into this flat, there was a distinct lack of storage. i have a lot of books as well as folders for collage bits (as drawers or loads of boxes take up too much room) so at some point i bought this cheap bookshelf from ikea. i’d have loved something antique or vintage, but it wasn’t in my budget. i kept saying to myself that i was going to paint it, or do something to it to make it more interesting. a year or so later, had i done anything? no, of course not.

bookshelf before
cue farrow & ball!* i was asked if i wanted to refresh a piece of furniture to update my space and the bookshelf immediately came to mind. farrow & ball is actually a brand that brings a sense of nostalgia and childhood memories to me.

my dad was a painter/decorator for about 20 years, and farrow & ball was his favourite brand of paint. i loved looking at their colour charts and imagining painting my (way in the future) own house in their colours. a few years before we ended up moving to wales, he completely repainted our house entirely in farrow and ball. all i can remember is the hallway and stairway being a peachy colour, and the ceiling in the living room a pastel sky blue. even his tiny flat in london now about 12 or so years later is painted with farrow & ball. he’s definitely loyal.

bookshelf undercoat
farrow & ball babouche paint
farrow & ball - babouche
i chose the colour ‘babouche‘ ..admittedly, partly because i liked the name. i was tempted to go with a greyish blue like ‘skylight’ though. because of my growing love of yellow and a desire to make this flat a little brighter, i went with the former. i don’t think i could commit to painting a whole room or even a feature wall in yellow, but something like this is just perfect to make a bit of a statement. before i got to painting, i first gave the shelf a coat of primer, to make sure the colour looked it best.

bookshelf progress
bookshelf after
it’s hard to get a totally accurate colour representation, but this is the closest i can get. it’s much nicer in real life! slightly more lemony, with a slightly creamy-pastel tint. it’s really brightened up the room and ties well with other small yellow accents i have in the room. i was just going to do one coat of paint as it looked fine ..but another just gave it that extra boost.

what do you think? if you could ‘refresh’ an item by painting it, what would it be?

* this review is in collaboration with farrow & ball, and as always all words are my own.

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  • Reply Jen 03/10/2014 at 18:46
  • Reply fritha 04/10/2014 at 14:29
  • Reply Kathryn 04/10/2014 at 17:51
    • Reply laura redburn 07/10/2014 at 11:40

      it made me think of a certain kate bush song :) haha, yeah thanks to my books and other bits and bobs it was already quite colourful. though painting it gave me the perfect excuse to give it a bit of a sort, too.
      My recent post sunday spark // 12

  • Reply laurasidestreet 05/10/2014 at 23:07
  • Reply laura redburn 07/10/2014 at 12:41
  • Reply katrinacsj 07/10/2014 at 19:16
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