Make New From Old. How To Glam Up A Chest Of Drawers. A DIYProject

Saturday, 19 July 2014

DIY chest of drawers

Inspired by a couple of DIY programmes on C4, I took a chance on my own DIY project last summer. I had just moved into my flat and little money left to spend on furniture.

Luckily my partner replaced his old chest of drawers with some new ones and kindly gave the old ones to me to live out my creativity.

Like many young ladies, I like the shabby chic/vintage style, so the plan for the drawer's new appearance included some white paint and vintage accessories. The drawers from Ikea were originally painted in dark metallic blue, so I started off to treat the wood with sandpaper. This is necessary to roughen the surface which then allows the wood to absorb the paint evenly later in the process. I applied 2-3 coats of white paint and after a long hot summer's day, I was pleased with the results.

It dried overnight and meanwhile, I planned further steps on how to glam up my new bargain. So I bought adhesive furniture foil from Amazon with a black and white floral print and found vintage-inspired knobs at Sass & Belle. Sass & Belle are a great company on the High Street with some very girly and vintage-inspired products. I really love their owl cushions, Victorian picture frames and their collection of knobs. The ones I used for my drawers are rosé and crème coloured which complements the floral print of the foil perfectly. The knobs were easy to screw into the compartments after I cut, lined and glued the adhesive foil onto the wood.

End Result & Final Finish

Up-cycled DIY chest of drawers
DIY project
Sass and Belle drawer knobs
My up-cycled chest of drawers
DIY chest of drawers with adhesive foil
Final result of my own DIY chest of drawers up-cycled


Chest of Drawers: Ikea, free
Adhesive Furniture Foil: Amazon, 8€ (around £6) per role
Knobs: Sass & Belle, £4.95 each (reduced from £6, summer sale 2013)

Though my handicraft skills are not as advanced as Kirstie's team, I still had fun renewing this piece of furniture - even with some very simple steps and methods. So you see, with a bit of patience and love you can inject new life into old things and turn them into individual new pieces.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

Show Me Your Wardrobe #SMYW

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Show Me Your Wardrobe Logo

Do you know the phenomenon when you’ve just discovered something you really like and shortly after that the product is taken off the market? It has happened to my favourite Kinder Happy Hippo chocolate barBranston’s Peri-Peri Mayonnaise and the TV show Show Me Your Wardrobe.

SMYW was originally a blog run by stylist now turned photographer, Jackie Dixon. She shared insights into the fashion world of celebrities and the blog existed in various forms, such as a 2 ½ year running photo column in Elle UK and a TV series in late 2012. I’ve discovered the TV show earlier this year when repeats aired on PICK. Jackie and model Zara Martin get invited into the personal wardrobes of celebrities such as Stooshe, Paloma Faith and Whitney Port. They reveal the keys to each celebrity's style, then head to the high street to recreate that look on a budget.

I love the show because it is fun to see the girls hanging out with celebs. It is effortless to watch and Jackie and Zara are very charming. It actually makes you feel like you’ve joined them on their girly shopping tour. Most of the time I recognise the shops and now and again they go for items I have bought myself!

It is also fascinating to see the amazing celebrity wardrobes with unique items and rare treasures. The styling tips are easy to follow and though it is sometimes a bit too girly for my taste, Jackie still keeps it cool. When the girls discover the key styles it feels like a big fashion party and we are invited to join them. The idea to recreate outfits, but not to copy, taken from the affordable high street is superb. I love hitting the high street, looking through the shops and bagging some bargains. So first we get peeks into a celebrity wardrobe and afterwards, we go shopping, what’s not to like?

There’s only one season with 10 entertaining episodes. Hope the show comes back one day.

Have fun watching and let me know what you think about the show. Do you like the concept? Which celeb wardrobe would you like to check out?

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,

Wireless Festival And Outfits

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Indiana performing at Wireless Festival

I’ve just come back from a fantastic Wireless Festival weekend in Birmingham. I went with some friends on Saturday and Sunday and we saw incredible acts such as Outcast, Foxes, Indiana, Basement Jaxx and Bruno Mars! I really enjoyed seeing Indiana performing on stage and some dancing to Basement Jaxx's amazing DJ-set.

The weather was alright, cloudy but dry most of the time. I didn’t bring my camera and my phone doesn’t really take great pictures in crap lighting, so I hope you don’t mind seeing my festival outfits as a flat lay.

Wireless Day 1

Festival outfit

Dress: White Lace, Pins & Needles via Urban Outfitters (£35, current 2014 sale)
Necklace: Freedom via Topshop (£13, season 2008/2009)
Festival Bag: M&S (£25, season 2005)
Plus Spike Hunter Wellies (£40, Amazon), not in the picture

Wireless Day 2

Festival Fashion
Festival handbag

Dress: Primark (£10, season 2013)
Bag: M&S (£25, season 2005)
Plus Spike Hunter Wellies (£40, Amazon), not in the picture
Plus the amazing Mighty Orange Nail Polish by Benecos.

My Alternatives: Outfit 1

Summer Fashion Outfit
Pinapple Necklace
Warehouse Sandals

Cami: New Look (£12.99, summer season 2013)
Pineapple Necklace: Oasis (£5, current 2014 sale)
Shorts: Primark (£5, season 2013)
Sandals: Warehouse (£25, summer sale 2013)

Alternative Outfit 2

Festival Summer Fashion

Blouse: H&M (£19.99, current 2014 season)
Glitter Shorts: Urban Outfitters (£25, summer season 2013 sale)
Sunglasses: Warehouse (£14, summer season 2013 sale)
Bangle: River Island (£13, season 2006)

Did you go to Wireless or to any other festival recently? Show me your festival outfits, I’d love to see them.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time, 

Living In Two Worlds

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Leipzig market and town hall

A very well-known job interview question is ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ I find this question difficult to answer; after all, I’m not a fortune-teller nor can I predict the future. It is, of course, important to know where to go, but also where you come from. That’s why I prefer the solid past rather than the unstable and fickle future so I can learn from it.

However, when I went home to Germany last week, I felt like I travelled back into my old life of the past five years. The years between 2009 and today marked a new chapter in my life. I had just come back from my Erasmus year at Lancaster University and had moved to Leipzig in the beautiful county of Saxony. For the next four years and this has been the place where I lived the longest in my life so far, Leipzig became my home. I worked very hard on my uni career and at the end of my course, I was rewarded with two first-class degrees and my first job as a research assistant, all to create a solid basis for the future and to move to England after uni one day.

One year has passed since I moved to the UK and a potential job offer brought me now back to my former home. Last Wednesday, I parked near my old flat at Westplatz, Central Leipzig. I used to feel a cosy and protective charm of the Westplatz area, with its familiar tram station and the yellow house nearby, where I used to live.

I stood outside for a while, looking up and down my old street and neighbourhood and found several things had changed. The gentrification was still in full swing, a new supermarket had been built just around the corner (I would have loved one of those when I lived there) and my flat had found a new tenant. Some major life decisions have been made in this flat and it had also been the scene of several negative memories, but in total, my flat was perfect: a cheap rent in Central Leipzig, lots of space and a five-minute walk into town and to uni. In winter, I could walk through the snow and in the summer cycle down to the beach. Unlike my home in England, the heating was decent and reliably working, there’s no such thing as a Council Tax and at night I could still walk to meet friends without to fear someone might stab or mug me. The tram passing by my windows at 5:30 am, slow and heavy-weighted on the street with my windows vibrating, was a gentle reminder I still had some time to sleep before my day would start. It’s all gone.

Leipzig City Centre

Leipzig City Center

I walked into town and the short walk felt familiar but strange at the same time. Town centre was dead with hardly any people around. Usually, the pedestrian bursts with tourists and busy students. Even the Barfußgässchen was dead and usually, this place flourishes with life and gregarious people. I walked around the shops and found the sale ridiculous. Moody people, no fashion sense and hardly any lifestyle are the sad face of German life and reminded me why I prefer England more. I was glad to see the Town Hall in its full glory without the construction site that had been there for as long as I lived in Leipzig. The City Tunnel, a fast underground tube system, was finally finished building.

Leipzig Central Station

I went to Central Station, which is north of the city centre and one of Europe’s biggest one-way stations. Paul Potts sang here in 2009 on my first official residence day and numerous films used the station as a replica of New York’s Central Station, because of its magnificent structure.

Leipzig Central Station

Some shops closed down, others expanded and Saturn (a German electronic market) was still not worth going in with its rubbish DVD deals, so I finished my tour in Ludwigs, an international news agency.

Leipzig Central Train station
Ludwigs at leipzig Train Station
Elaborate ceiling at Ludwigs in Leipzig

It still looked like how I remember it: neat magazine stands and bookshelves, under a high ceiling with historic ornaments. How many weekends had I spent here to read the English magazines and dreamt myself away to life after university, when everything would be better? With a decently paid job in my dream career and at its best in the UK? Hour after hour sometimes, I read the books or drank tea at the café and just watched the busy life go by. Back in the days this was an ordinary thing that I used to do nearly every weekend, but last Wednesday it felt special and the hurting memories of these days slowly fading.

Leipzig OOTD at the Department/Library

In the afternoon I met my friend Phil and he gave me an update of what has happened in and outside of Leipzig. The department now has a new professor and former fellow students moved away to follow me into the so-called ‘real world’, aka go away with your fancy high-quality degree and bend down to a mindless job that will kill sooner or later your dreams, independence and creativity.

Leipzig University

We ate ice cream opposite the library, a place full of wisdom and intelligence, young aspiring academics. The sun shone on the green maples, like the ones you’ll find in Hyde Park. The air felt warm, students cycled by, smiled or relaxed. All they worried about were up-coming exams, planning their holidays or their thesis. And all I could think about was how much I’d love to write another thesis.

I'm wearing:

Dress: Joy £55 (current 2014 season)
Shoes: New Look £25 (season 2008/2009)
Bag: Buffalo 30€ (current summer sale 2014)
Necklace: Gift
Watch: Olivia Burton £69, (current 2014 season)

At 6 pm, the sun still felt hot and everyone moved over to Leipzig’s Johanna Park, where they met friends and held BBQs. I had them often, days like these… When everyone moved into the park, this would have been my time to either follow and join my students and have the time of my life or walk back home to my cosy little flat at the Westplatz where life was perfect and ok. But I no longer live in Leipzig, I live in the UK struggling every day with a low paid and underwhelming job that sucks every creativity and energy out of me. So I had to walk slowly back to my car, but at the end of the street, where I used to live, I turned left to the car park, instead of right into the old yellow building that had been my home for the last four years and has now become distant. I feel like I’ve ‘outgrown’ Leipzig and I won’t return to it. This door somehow is now closed and I wish, I would have been more appreciative in the past. It no longer feels protective and secure.

Thanks so much for reading and till next time,
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