Friday, 9 August 2013

How I became the 'Furniture Pixie' and all things vintage...

My love of furniture and all things vintage started young at the age of six or seven. I am blessed to have had my Dad, Malcolm Pitcher to thank for that and for supporting me over the years. He used to take me up to Pendly Manor (owned by Dorian Williams) every summer to help out at the Pendly Shakespeare Festival in Tring. He was a stage manager and used to help building the sets – I loved helping paint the scenery and props, it was bags of fun. I also used to love looking around the woods, at the old manor and all the wonderful old things in the house. The staircase in the manor was amazing and still is today - the manor is now a posh spa hotel and the festival still continues every year.

I was then hooked on furniture and vintage things. My first restoration project came from an old chest of drawers found in my Grandad Pitcher’s garage in Croxley Green – I still have it today in my daughter’s bedroom. I remember it was painted using a paint effect created by my Grandad – it was pine and had been painted to look like maple satin wood veneer with a mahogany inlay. So in 1982, at age 12, during the summer holidays (when 'Captain Sensible' was 'Happy Talking' in the charts) I took on my first renovation project.

So I went about stripping the chest of drawers with paint stripper, sanding it down with an electric sander and then waxing it and putting some copper handles on it brought from the local ironmongers F.W. Metcalfe & Sons in Tring.

I must say to this day I still think I did a good job on it for my first project (with a little help from my Dad) - it is a shame I took off the shabby chic paint effect (would be seriously trendy today). The pine is now a lovely aged golden colour and the chest of drawers a much cherished heirloom to pass down to Lily when she is older - I also think Poppy and Bertie (my Dad and Grandad) would be proud of the chest of drawers and how they look today.

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