Monday, December 17, 2012

'Twiggy'- redesigned 1960s dressing table

If I could have picked the decade that I came of age in, I would have picked the 60s... the fashions, the music, the cultural shifts have always strongly appealed to me! I went through a stage when I was 17 of having cropped hair and wearing chandelier earrings, extremely thick false eyelashes and a long leopard coat in the style of Edie Sedgwick... but thats another story!

So when I was first introduced to this 1960s dressing table, I just had to snap it up! It was in fantastic condition with just a few scuffs and scratches to the drawer faces and the handles had become tarnished with age... I also couldn't help but think that it could be funked up a bit, to bring out it's retro charm even further!

Channeling a Space Age-y vibe, here is how she turned out:

The mirror can be removed so she can become a sideboard too!

And with legs like those and all that 60s pizzaz, it was easy to pick a name for this piece!

Ziggy + Twiggy... a match made in heaven!

Monday, December 10, 2012

'Grace'- the redesigned vintage telephone seat

Who says getting sitting down, getting comfy and calling up your friend for a blether is a thing of the past? Social media may have taken the allure away from wondering how someone is getting on, but you just can't beat a good catch up over the telephone (if it's not possible to meet up in person of course!)

Once a practical hallway staple and now a quirky indulgence, telephone seats are wonderful pieces of furniture!

Remember Devon from The Velvet Peach, who had me do up a desk and chair for her? (Click here for the full story!) Well she had been given this vintage telephone seat and didn't know what to do with it, so sent it my way! It was a little scratched and washed out looking, but it had so much potential and I couldn't wait to start work on it!

I came across this image on Pinterest and loved how the antique gold complimented the rich, dusky violet/charcoal fabric... so I decided that this was the look I wanted to channel for the telephone seat!

And after lots of sanding, painting and getting fully reupholstered, here's how she looks!

And with her elegant shape, classic beauty and little gold crown, there was only one retro icon that this piece could be named after.... Princess Grace Kelly!

Now on sale at Lovely Things 

37 Dock Street

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

'Brian'- the redesigned 1950s coffee table

It is always lovely to receive an email from someone asking if I can help them source a piece of furniture that they have in mind, but just can't find! And this was why Richard got in touch- he was moving to Edinburgh and was on the look out for a mid-century coffee table for his new flat.

I actually had this one in stock, waiting patiently on it's transformation, and it turned out to be exactly what Richard was looking for. It was a simple, unfussy design but it still had potential to be reworked with a quirky edge!

As for colours, Richard was keen to stick with a retro, mid-century vibe and came across this signage for the Festival of Britain which he sent to me as inspiration. 

We decided to pick three out of the four colours and chose to go with the blue, yellow and green. 

Green for the legs, yellow for the shelf and blue for the underside of the table, so you would catch a flash of colour as the ends of the tabletop curve upwards.

Here is a snap shot of how the table was starting to shape up... drying upside down between coats! :

The wood on the table top had some really interesting patterns in it and was in great condition for it's 60 odd years! I thought it would be a nice idea to restore the wood on the top and leave it unpainted to add a further twist to the finished piece. I sanded off the original stain and varnish and used Danish oil to give it a lovely new finish.

Here is a photo mid-sanding!

And while I was updating Richard on the table's progress, he asked me who it should be named after... I couldn't help but think that it's shape was reminiscent of a surf board and so I suggested "Brian" after Brian Wilson from The Beach Boys. Richard loved the idea of having a piece of furniture named after the music icon!

And what's funny is that when I posted up on Facebook that we were looking for a name for the coffee table, one of Ziggy's followers, Louise suggested the same thing! I am glad that others see the method in my furniture-naming madness!

So here he is, 'Brian' in all his redesigned glory!

When I delivered 'Brian' to his new home, Richard had discovered that the table had been painted coincidently in the exact same colours as the cover to Brian Wilson's solo album 'Smile'!

He was obviously destined to be called Brian all along!

I really enjoyed this project and I am very happy to hear that Richard did too! Here is the lovely testimonial I received from him:

"I am delighted with the 1950s coffee table that Amy sourced, beautifully restored and reinvented for me with a fantastic paint job of mid-century colours. Amy took a piece of design inspiration I provided and came up with the perfect design based on this. It was a joy to be involved in Amy's creative process and she kept me up to date on her work at all times. The quality of her workmanship is excellent and it's clear Amy takes great pleasure in doing the very best work for her clients. I very highly recommend Ziggy Sawdust's bespoke service. Thanks Amy."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Ziggy Sawdust + Tippi: Part II

The wait is over... the 1950s kitchen cabinet is complete and Tippi is open!

So first, I'll jog your memory... Tippi's owner Anna found this old kitchen cabinet and asked if I could Ziggy-fy it for her new Vintage and Antique furniture shop opening in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh. I was over the moon as I love retro kitchen cabinets and was itching to work on one!

And with lots of TLC, a few battles with very rusty screws and my dog developing an irrational phobia towards it, the kitchen cabinet went...


I was able to save the original wood effect laminate, replaced all the hardware, gave it a good old scrubbing and painted the insides + outsides in violet/grey, rich teal + aqua! From looking a little bit 'past it', this retro cabinet would brighten up any kitchen now!

The cabinet was delivered to Tippi  in time for the shop opening last week. It has only been open just over a week now, but already Tippi seems to be generating a cult following, with lots of happy customers, admirers... and even a few famous faces popping in!

A few days ago, I went along for a proper look and I really have fallen in love with the place! It's full of quirky, retro, vintage and antique furniture and home accessories and it's warm, friendly and beautifully presented, so no rummaging is required! 

Anna's little dog Tippi (who, of course, the shop is named after!) gives the warmest of welcomes too! And if you've got a dog, you are welcome to bring her/him along to meet Tippi and share some of her doggy treats!

Here is the kitchen cabinet on sale! It looks fab with the retro tea sets!

Down stairs there is a lovely collection of upholstered chairs... I just love the pink nursing chair and the blue Chaise Lounge is absolutely amazing!

But I think my favourite thing in the shop at the moment is this stunning Art Deco dressing table. What a statement piece this is! It is in fantastic condition. I am in love!!

And this very vintage washing basket is an absolute bargain!! I would like it for my bedroom...

Along with this must-have mustard chair!

But back to the kitchen cabinet! I am still yet to name it after a retro icon in true Ziggy style... But I have been thinking...
  • Tippi the dog is named after Tippi Hedren
  • Tippi the furniture shop is named after Tippi the dog
... so why not go full circle and have a piece of furniture in the shop named after Tippi Hedren too?

So there we have it, 'Hedren' the retro redesigned kitchen cabinet, guarded by Tippi the dog!

You can visit Tippi, Tippi and 'Hedren' at:

144 Bruntsfield Place
EH10 4ER
0131 229 4422

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ziggy Sawdust + Tippi

I ♥ furniture hunting and seeing potential in bashed up and tired pieces that are in need of some tender loving care and a second chance in life! And that's great for what I do because I will invest time and creativity in each piece to make it shine again.

But there aren't many places out there where you can go to buy affordable 'young' antiques that are in good nick.... until now!

There is a new shop opening in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh very soon which will specialise in vintage, quirky (+ just plain beautiful!) furniture and home ware. But for those pieces that do need a few touch ups, or if a customer would like a piece to be brought up to date with colours to match their decor, I will be a recommended restorer!

I have already been given a few Tippi pieces to redesign ahead of the shop's opening, including this wonderfully retro 1950s kitchen cabinet! I'm off paint shopping for it tomorrow!

 I am so excited by this opportunity- can't wait for Tippi to be open! .... The shop is named after the owner Anna's gorgeous little terrier who gives the best cuddles! Between the furniture and Tippi herself, I think I'll be making myself a permanent fixture there :)

'Like' Tippi on Facebook to be kept in the loop on the shop's opening :

And you'll be able to visit in a few short weeks here:

144 Bruntsfield Place
EH10 4ER
0131 229 4422

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Story of Ziggy + The Red Door Gallery, Chapter 2!

I don't know if you remember my post called The Story of Ziggy + The Red Door Gallery? Well at the end of August, I was asked if the The Red Door Gallery could borrow 'Mick' my 1970s cocktail cabinet, for their September window. I was over the moon as The Red Door is one of my favourite shops in Edinburgh!

Well, after lots of admiration, the windows have been changed over. But Ziggy Sawdust is being featured in the new window for October also!

'Mick' has been given a rest from the spotlight, and now it's 'Audrey's turn to shine!

You can visit 'Audrey' and all the other delightful products that The Red Door Gallery houses, here:

42 Victoria Street
0131 447 3255

(and if you do visit, let me know what you think!)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Ziggy + The Velvet Peach!

The wonder of Facebook never ceases to amaze me... it's entertaining, it's fun and it keeps you in touch with your friends. It can also connect you to like minded people and businesses at the other side of the world, but it can also connect you to interesting people and businesses on your door step.

It was through Facebook that Ziggy Sawdust + The Velvet Peach discovered each other! 

Devon Roberson runs a lovely plus size vintage range in Edinburgh called The Velvet Peach and loves all things vintage and retro inspired. When I posted a photo on Facebook of this cut-glass trinket box that I redesigned in time for July's DesignMarket, she snapped it up before DesignMarket even opened!

I then found out that Devon was a big fan of pink + mint as a colour combo, so this really was unknowingly made for her!

A month or so later, Devon got in touch to say that she was moving into a new flat and would love a colourful vintage desk to do all her Velvet Peach work from... I was delighted to hear from her and went out furniture hunting that very week. Devon sent me over some images of the kind of desk she was after and when I discovered this desk needing some TLC, I hoped Devon would like it... and she did!

there was life in this old desk yet!

three drawers for paperwork + craft materials!

nice Vintage detailing

The orangey stain and varnish was a bit chipped and scratched and it really dated the desk... so I couldn't wait to sand it off! And, just as I suspected, the wood was in great condition underneath.

The next mission was colour... Devon asked if it could be done in Pink + Mint, channelling a retro 50's interior vibe. I thought that was a great idea! Very fresh + pretty. To gather some inspiration, Devon created a Pink + Mint board on Pintrest which was a great resource for me + I had the colours colour matched exactly to her liking!

so pretty + retro!

When developments were underway, Devon was excited about the finished article + started to worry that she didn't have a chair worthy enough of her redesigned desk! She sent me over a few images of chairs that she liked and asked me to keep an eye out for a similar one that could be done up to match the desk. I found this chair which met Devon's requirements and was really excited to do the dynamic duo up together! 

And it seems as though Devon + I weren't the only ones excited by the project... my cat Millie couldn't get enough of the wooden chair!

Here she is tap dancing on it..

And here she is being very over protective as I was about to start sanding it!

 And she's actually sitting on my knee as I type this!


Ok, so back to Devon's desk + chair! For the desk, we decided to paint the body + the legs of the desk pink with a mint top + mint drawer faces (and a secret touch of lilac inside the drawers!) And to tie the chair in without it detracting from the desk, we decided to keep the colour blocking bold + simple by painting the legs pink + the rest mint.

Here'e the chair doing a head stand while it's legs dry! 

And while the painting was progressing nicely, Devon picked these lovely white flower drawer handles  for the desk... a large one for the middle drawer and two small for the others.

Here they are in action while the final touch ups were being done!

And here is the dynamic duo all compete!

And here they are settling into their new home!

I had a lot of fun completing this project for Devon + The Velvet Peach and I am so glad that Devon did too! I was delighted to receive this lovely testimonial from her:

After starting my own business , The Velvet Peach Vintage, I soon realised I need a proper work space. This was when I turned to Amy/Ziggy for her expert help. I had seen Amy's work a few times in the past & totally loved it. I knew she was the best person for the job of finding me a work desk. From sourcing the perfect desk, to picking colours, constant communication through the whole process, delivery, doing a chair to match the table at the last minute- through all this Amy has been so helpful, fun, creative and most importantly enthusiastic. Its easy to see Ziggy Sawdust will be a huge success with Amy at the helm!!! Thanks Amy so much '

There really is nothing more satisfying than a happy customer :) Thank-you, Devon!

If you would like to find out some more about The Velvet Peach, click here

Or you can follow Devon + TVP on Facebook, here: