Monday, 18 December 2017

From Regency to Gustavian - transforming cheap dollhouse furniture

I'm always on the lookout for a deal so when I saw Maple Street in the UK having a sale I had to pick up a few things.

One of my favourite things to do, is transform cheap dollhouse furniture into an updated better version of itself. At the moment I'm really loving Gustavian influences, but Gustavian style furniture in miniatures is hard to find. Bespaq has a line and there are some beautiful things on Etsy, but they are pricey, which is fine for a statement piece but not to furnish an entire house!

So, I've decided I'm going to find economical furniture that has the right lines and transform it myself.

Enter this Regency table for the princely sum of 1.99 sterling. (just under 3.50 Australian Dollars). This table is a potential candidate for under the stairs on the first floor of the San Franciscan, so it needed a suitable look for my Gustavian theme.

If you've ever googled Gustavian furniture you will no doubt seen umpteen swoon worthy pieces of Swedish Grey, White and Taupe pieces. For my piece I've opted for a rustic Grey.

First up, after a light sand, I sprayed the table with Rustoleum aged grey chalk paint. 

Next I gave it a very weak wash of black acrylic. Ignore the alarming water marks they all come off with a bit of a strategic sand.

The drawer handles got a wash of black as well but they are a bit non-descript so they may get a bit of bronze or maybe even new handles.

Then I had a bit of a play and styled it up as I would like it in the house.  :D 

I made the candelabra a while ago but just recently acquired some candles for it. The glass jars I got at the Sydney Miniature show. The large one is filled with shells I've salvaged from around my house. The bowl of flowers is a cheap soup tureen that I picked up in a marked down basket at the Sydney Miniature show.. vendor unknown & some paper flowers from the wedding invitation section at Spotlight. The boxwood wreath is made from a roll of boxwood leaves on wire from Ryan's Realm. The coral is from my own collection of real life sized coral. The basket is by the very talented Lidi Stroud from Basketcase Miniatures and the silver bowl filled with more boxwood is from my stash.. no idea where I got it but they are pretty common.

Here is a better view of the top, you can see that the wash marks are all gone.


  1. That is an awesome transformation. I love how it looks. You'd never guess how it started out.

    I would change out the knobs, simply because the brass is so shiny and they stand out so much against the grey. Or maybe age them too?

    1. Thanks Sheila, Yes I definitely need to change out the knobs.. I will post an update once decided. :)

  2. The table came out beautiful! I love the way the wash has settled into the carving to make them more prominent! The arrangement of accessories are a perfect compliment, too! Love the white, pink and grey color combo! I wonder if the ring type handles would make a great impact? It would be an interesting try! Great job Sam! :O)

    1. Oooh.. good idea Jodi.. I think I have some of those handles somewhere too... Off to spend hours rummaging through my stash only to realise I don't have them.. lol.

  3. Beautiful! What a gorgeous colour! It looks like the perfect size to display items in a narrow space :)