Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Gladys get a makeover

So, we all know my English home's gots some storage is-sues. I've been sucking it up and making do; I hate clutter and having things on display, so I've become somewhat of an expert at maximizing storage (and shoving things where they can't be seen).

My biggest challenge to date has been shoe storage. One day when I'm fabulously wealthy, I'll have one of those MTV cribs closets that are bigger than the average bedroom and has a whole wall of little cubbies to display—err, store shoes. But until then, I'm forced to get creative in my limited space.

Enter Gladys.

Gladys is a china cabinet I bought on eBay for £20 (that about $32). I don't know anything about her origin or age, but the seller was able to tell me that she came from an estate sale of the belongings of a woman named Gladys. Of course the name stuck. It's a classic-- like every good grandmother name (Matilda, Frances, Mildred...). It was, as they say, kismet. Small enough to not take up too much space; stylish enough to be on display; and big enough to house, oh, at least 15 -18 pairs of shoes.

Alas, while Gladys had great bones, the old girl was a bit of a wreck. Cracked and peeling, various layers and shades of stain, she was in need of an overhaul. After trolling the internet for inspiration, I decided that I would bite the bullet and apply a coat (or four) of glossy black paint-- 1) because I fell in love with all the makeovers I found online; 2) because she was a bit old fashioned for my taste and I felt like she deserved some sprucing up; 3) because I loved her curves, which reminded me of a piano; and 4) because I couldn't bear the time commitment of sanding, re-sanding and then more sanding it would take before I could apply stain (umm—so much for that; it required multiple rounds of sanding which, coupled with the dismal weather and not being able to do anything outside made this project drag on for about 4 months). Oh, and 5) because I had an idea that I could use the awesome Orla Kiely wallpaper I bought a few years ago for another project but never used.

So, below is Gladys' journey from great to even more awesome (if I do say so myself). The wallpaper worked terrifically as a way to brighten up the dark interior and serve as a backdrop for my art-- err, shoes (and in fact, it’s a bit of a shame that the shoes cover it up). And the black gloss paint? LOVE. It really does make her look like a piano. Alas, my clodhoppers mean that only the high-high heels fit on the shelves straight on, but I've managed to get 18 pairs in there, so not too bad. I plead the 5th on how many pairs I have in total.

Meet the original Gladys.


alohab said...

it's truly gorgeous! great job :)!

Jane said...

Well done, looks great x

McKay said...


Shera "The Expatriate" said...

I love it so cute and creative!