Client Makeover – A Stunning Hall Table

When Grainne, a fab follower posted a comment on a make-over I did for a client, I popped her a quick message to suggest if she needed any help please feel free to PM me.  I have to say I was delighted when she did.

Grainne initally was on the look out for a unit for her hall that could hold all the bags and items of a busy home with kids, Grainne is also a childminder – so lots of stuff.  I firstly asked Grainne to send me images of pieces she liked, a photo of the space it was going in and lastly to set a budget.  Now setting a budget is always a funny one for people, me included but unless I have some idea what you are willing to spend then I really don’t know what I am looking for.  You can easily spend anything from €50 up to €500 on a chest of drawers.  I will always tell a client that my goal will be to come as far in under budget as possible once i am not compromising on the quality or functionality of the piece. Grainne had told me that her husband was very handy and so a ‘fixer – upper’ was on the cards.

So I set about my search, trawling all my favourite sites.  Seriously, I get the same buzz out of this as other friends do from shoe and handbag shopping.  I will always where  I can suggest to a client to try and go for pieces in solid wood for a number of reasons, firstly, they are much more durable and last so last much longer, they tend to age very well and where needed a good sanding will make the world of difference.  They also tend to be pieces that paint very well and can look as good as new once painted, as you will see.

So this was the space the unit was going to fit in and this was the existing storage.  She wanted something that was both functional and pretty.


grainner-dresser-image-4 grainne-dresser-3

So after many photos of pieces back and forth they decided on this piece.  It was solid but wasn’t new.  A piece like this new is roughly €555.  The seller was looking for €90 and I knew there were other people interested so I asked Grainne was she happy to pay €90 – which she was, so i offered the asking. They say a piece is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it, what I tend to ask clients is – how would you feel if you lost out on it for the sake of €10 or €20? That usually tells you how much you want it.   I purchased this one on Adverts I will  be doing a separate post on the sites and stores I use.

I offer a service where I can purchase the item on behalf of the client (as I did on my last piece), collect and deliver it but on this occassion Grainne and her husband Gary were happy to take it from here. They really had put trust in me as this piece was in Ashbourne, they travelled that weekend to purchase it.  There were a couple of issues with it, the top was loose and badly stained but nothing Gary didn’t feel he could fix. So they purchased it.


It was decided that the 4 large drawers would be removed and replaced with 2 or 3 baskets if ones that fit could be found.  Que me on the hunt – I swear give me a challenge and I’ll die before i give up trying (ok that may be a slight exhageration but you get the idea). Grainne had tried a number of stores and but found nothing suitable.  On a trip to Homestore and more I spotted baskets, these were stunning and my gut and a quick look at measurements felt they could work.  So I whipped out the measuring tape and measured them all, set the pics off with measurements to Grainne in the hope they fit and guess what – they fit like a glove – que happy dance (I swear I did one along with a litte squeal).

basket-image-1 bakset-image-5

When Grainne said Gary was handy she didn’t lie, the transformation they did on this unit is nothing short of stunning.

I asked Grainne exactly how they did the makeover on the unit as I’m sure you would all be keen to know.  So firstly, Gary sanded the top down with an electric sander to remove the stains.  He then treated the top with a medium oak stain and then coated with 3 coats of ‘Rustins’ top oil.

grainne-dresser-image-5 grainne-dresser-image

He primed the rest of the unit with ‘Thompsons’ dry seal, it works as a primer and also works as a colour block, it needed this as the unit was dark and they were painting it a light colour.  Once that was dry he painted it with 2 coats of Dulux colour ‘Silverwood’.

Gary built a shelf for the bottom of the unit for the baskets to sit on.

I think you’ll agree this transformation is stunning.

grainne-dresser-image-6 grainner-dresser-image-2

Grainne was such an easy client to work with.  Can you believe we did all this over messenger and email and didn’t speak once on the phone.  We are however meeting for coffee on Thursday which I am so looking forward to. I asked Grainne for some feedback and here is what she had to say!

“After tripping over a school bag one last time I began my search for a unit for my hall to store the kids school bags,coats and shoes etc in .

I had seen some units with different sized drawers and unusual colours and loved them however I did not love their price tag.
My husband suggested buying an old piece and up cycling it but I didn’t know where to start .
Cue Frances!
I told her what I needed and gave her measurements and she immediately sprung into action sending me pics of all sorts of units .
The more she sent the more I began to learn about what I needed and how I could make it work to its best ability .
She suggested different routes i could take and tonnes of options and i eventually settled on a piece .
Frances knew my budget and went to work haggling the best price possible .
We collected the unit the very next day .
It was that easy !

She even suggested a specific primer to get the best result which worked a treat .

I cannot recommend Frances more highly as she really knows what she’s talking about and has a very keen eye”



No Comments