Friday, January 13, 2017

You like hard work? Beautiful cocktail cabinet

When I bought this gorgeous antique drinks cabinet, a friend of mine, who is one of Sydney's leading antiques dealers, said to me "Wow, Fiona, you really like hard work don't you?"

vintage cocktail cabinet repaired and painted by Lilyfield Life

It was in a bad state but actually it probably looked worse than it was - the mirrors were broken and falling off the interior and the varnish was very perished and all the shelves on the door were falling out but in reality the structure was very solid and nothing I couldn't fix.


Above is the before photos and below is after the first coat of paint - I like to do a thin coat so I can see any issues in the timber. This piece needed sealing with Zinsser BIN as the varnish was so perished and it would have bled without sealing properly.

vintage cocktail cabinet repaired and painted by Lilyfield Life

All finished below - and already sold. Heading to a lovely home in Glebe to sit next to a fireplace in the main lounge room of one of my good customers.

vintage cocktail cabinet repaired and painted by Lilyfield Life

vintage cocktail cabinet repaired and painted by Lilyfield Life

vintage cocktail cabinet repaired and painted by Lilyfield Life

I love this piece. Those legs are just gorgeous.

Fiona xx


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

6 years old - Happy birthday Lilyfield Life


I realised last night that my furniture business is now 6 years old! It actually feels like I've been doing this forever - in a good way as painting furniture and blogging is now in my blood and I can't imagine not doing either.

While I had painted furniture and my kitchen cabinetry prior to starting my business officially this little chair was the first piece I did under my brand name. 


How cute is Jonty?
He was 4 years old and just about to start kindergarten.  He always says he helped launch my business. 


These are some of my first pieces.  All done well before chalk paint was even heard of :)
no stencils used - the harlequin pattern and damask were all hand drawn and painted.







So many pieces of my hand painted furniture now gracing your homes. Thank you everybody for your support and purchases. I am so grateful to have turned my passion into a great business.

Fiona xx

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The first coat of paint

Sometimes the first coat of paint makes a piece look absolutely terrible and you might wonder if you have done a bad thing by painting your piece of furniture. My advice is always to press on and add another coat ..and another .. and another until you are happy with the result. Sometimes two coats is enough and sometimes it might be 5 coats depending on what you are painting and what colour paint you are using.

But every now and then the first coat of paint just looks absolutely amazing. 


I've a load more work to do on this piece as it will be painted a solid colour and the interior needs a lot of work but I love it already. 

Fiona xx

Monday, January 9, 2017

Marble top cabinet - back into painting

We've been having very relaxed holidays - bush walks, beach, sleep ins and jigsaw puzzles. I was feeling so relaxed I couldn't even imagine picking up a paint brush again. I thought perhaps I'd better do something before I never do anything again.

Lilyfield Life lamp bedside table marble

How beautiful is this little marble topped cupboard. I just love it. Marble tops are my absolute favourite even when it's very old marble with a couple of chips and stains. Still beautiful.

This is an old cupboard sourced from a farm in country NSW.  Perfect as a bedside or lamp table. 65w x 42d x 74h cm
$295
Pick up Lilyfield or delivery can be arranged, just contact me for a quote.


Lilyfield Life lamp bedside table marble

Lilyfield Life lamp bedside table marble

Last week we did the Spit to Manly bush walk. Absolutely beautiful despite Jonty complaining for the first hour. To be fair he had been sick all week and probably wasn't quite well enough to hike 10KM but we needed to get him out of the house and at the end of the day he announced that it was the best day ever. I think the swim at Manly beach and fish and chips for dinner over looking the beach might have gone someway towards that.

If you haven't done this iconic Sydney hike then here is a great overview. I love Matt's website. Such a great bushwalking resource.

My photos below:


Spit to Manly bush walk

Spit to Manly bush walk

Spit to Manly bush walk

Spit to Manly bush walk


Phil's back at work today and kids are booked into swim lessons. I'll slowly be painting pieces. I have an amazing cocktail cabinet coming up.

Stay tuned
Fiona xx




Monday, January 2, 2017

More black pieces of furniture

gold and black vintage mirror Lilyfield Life

I am still enjoying holidays but thought I would share some more pieces that I painted at the end of last year. I did a run of black furniture and then I thought I was ready to put the black paint down and move onto some lighter coloured piece but I ended up having to paint a load of vintage furniture black for a customer and I bought a cabinet that in my head I could only see black and another vintage linen press that was already black and I kept the original finish.

black painted sideboard Lilyfield Life

Always love a good before and after. This cabinet was in perfect condition having sat in an elderly couple's "good dining room" for 50 or so years. Beautiful condition but as anyone who has tried selling their elderly parents' furniture knows, nobody wants brown furniture these days. Along I come with my paint brush :)

black painted sideboard Lilyfield Life

This linen press below was actually block but not in great condition so I ended up doing one more coat of black and then heavily distressing it. I actually took these photos before painting the top panel but then didn't take a final photo, so the top panel paint work ended up being more opaque than pictured here. I absolutely love this piece and the buyer was so happy with it.

vintage linen press Lilyfield Life

One of my regular customers just loves black furniture and she is renovating a large home and has kept me busy for months both sourcing furniture for her and painting pieces she already has. These pieces below were from her childhood and I painted them satin black.

custom painted dressing table and wardrobe Lilyfield Life

custom painted dressing table and wardrobe Lilyfield Life

custom painted dressing table and wardrobe Lilyfield Life

custom painted dressing table and wardrobe Lilyfield Life

And lastly a pretty vintage mirror refinished in black paint.

black vintage mirror Lilyfield Life

I am now ready for some colour on my paint brush!
Do you have any black furniture in your house? I'd also love to hear which is your favourite piece I have done?

Fiona xx


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year: fresh start 2017

Happy New Year
and 
wishing you the best year yet for 2017


Have you made any resolutions?
Do you ever keep them?

I started the new year with a three hour yoga and wellness morning that friends of mine had organised as part of their fundraising for Oxfam 100km walk. Oh man I have tight muscles. Strong but tight and in need of a lot of stretching. It was a brilliant morning and a great way to start the year. I'm going to add stretching and yoga back into my routine as I definitely need it.

I am still having a break from the furniture painting. It's been so hot that I'm not even wanting to paint. Reading, going to the beach and spending time with my family and friends has just been lovely. Hope you are having the same good times with your loved ones.

Fiona xx

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another year of painted furniture

2016 has been my busiest year ever. Over 325 pieces painted this year, all with love and care. Who would have thought this is where life would lead me but I'm so happy doing this business.  A big thank you to all my customers and supporters. Thank you for still reading here and all the lovely comments and emails I receive. 

Here's a little compilation of (most of) my painted furniture from this year. Love to hear what you think.



I've been making plans for 2017 and am working on some paint finishes workshops. I'll announce details soon.


Lilyfield life french sideboard

In the meantime we are enjoying some quiet time at home and the beach. (And I am resting and ice-ing a very sore shoulder - my painting arm so I am taking good care of it. Not from kayaking but not helped by kayaking either)


lilyfield life french console table

Enjoy your day.
Thanks once again for being here. 
I just love hearing from you all.
Fiona xx



Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas, Kayak, Wine Table

Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Merry Christmas

Hope you had a brilliant day. We spent the day with Phil's parents and his sisters. Early to the beach for a swim, snorkel and a beach BBQ breakfast. Later in the morning we walked around the cove to grab a coffee and while we were waiting I jumped into the water for another quick swim and I was floating out in the water, looking back at my family and the cafe and all the people onshore enjoying the beautiful day and beach and thought How lucky are we in Australia?


We have a Christmas tradition of spending the morning at Shelly beach. It really is my happy place and means we are all nice and relaxed before Christmas lunch. We always have some friends or family join us and everyone loves it. Not sure I'd make it through Christmas day without it :)






Phil bought me a kayak for Christmas - although we didn't take it to the beach on Christmas morning. I think the first time we load it onto the car there might be some stress and cross words involved and we didn't need to do that in front of Phil's parents on Christmas morning so we will wait till later today when we are by ourselves and not rushed to take it for a maiden voyage :)

excuse my crazy hair :)
I have wanted a kayak since I was in my early 20s and Phil said if I didn't get one now I probably never would. I can't wait to use it. There might be less furniture getting painted next year....


Look at these beautiful cupcakes Sasha made for Christmas. These are Nigella's Christmas cupcakes and there were delicious. The icing is amazing - a soft royal meringue icing - nice and bright white. Nigella uses cranberries and fondant for the berries and leaves but Sasha used red raspberry lollies and french mint leaves from the garden. So Christmassy.


Here's my last piece of painted furniture for the year. I painted this vintage wine table for my lovely mother in law's Christmas present. She always is so supportive of my business and complimentary and she loves the french putty grey colour I use so when I found this table I thought it would be the perfect gift for her.

Lilyfield Life - painted wine table

 She loved it.

Hope you had a great day also and enjoy these nice post-Christmas days. I always love this time of year best.

Fiona xx

Thursday, December 22, 2016

French style consoles, the beach, Christmas carols

Good morning. 
Who is getting excited for Christmas? 
Do you have kids who are?
Today I am hoping to finish up the last of my Christmas shopping and finish painting a piece that I'm giving someone for Christmas so it's one I'll share after I've given it. I'v mad a checklist and slowly ticking off everything that needs to be done. I'll get Sasha to start some baking (gingerbread cookies - wait till you see what our plan is) and we are also catching up with my sister this morning to organise a Christmas eve family lunch on the beach. Lots of good things ahead. 

catherine hill bay beach australia

My beautiful friend, Leanne, and her family are up the coast this week at Catherine Hill Bay - such a quaint little town (no shops and an old mining town right on this beautiful beach). Yesterday I had an epiphany that my Christmas prep and work will just expand to what ever time I allow and it won't really matter if I don't get everything done. What will matter is if I'm stressed or if I'm happy, relaxed and pleasant to be around. Boom that realization is just so liberating ....so the kids and I drove up to spend the afternoon on the beach with our friends. 

oh it was so good.

We went to Christmas carols the other night at Five Dock. We always enjoy it there. Relatively easy to get a park and find a spot to sit, lovely carols and a family friendly evening.  We bought these little candle torches they sell on the evening. Way better than having real candles. 

christmas carols

christmas carols

I remember setting a friend's hair alight as a kid with a real candle while we were singing carols. It was when I was at boarding school and every year the boarders formed a choir and we walked in procession holding real candles. The girl in front of me had really thick long hair and boinged out from her head. The flame from my candle just leapt forward and whooshed up her hair burning a big section. I nearly died. I quickly patted it out and the girl turned and said what are you doing? I just told her she had a fly in her hair and I was brushing it away as I didn't want to freak her out as we were walking on stage although the smell was terrible. I'm sure I owned up to it later :)

Anyway I love these battery operated candles, no accidents and look how good they look on my mantle now. 

french fireplace Lilyfield Life

On the furniture painting front, I did finish (and already sell) these two beautiful console tables. Consoles are some of my favourite pieces to paint and to use in a home. Just a nice little piece to accent a room - pop an ornament and some flowers on and instant elegance in your room.

Lilyfield Life french console table

Lilyfield Life french console table

Enjoy your day, stay sane
Fiona xx