On a Sunday some months ago, driving up King Street on our way home from Sydney Park, I spotted a funky red retro bookshelf with a big tag saying $70 outside one of the vintage furniture shops. I kept driving, but wished I'd stopped, and for days I thought about it - I even went back a week later and had a look but couldn't find it.
Before I had children I thought how fun it would be to do their rooms up with great furniture and fun decorations; alas, four months into our lives in this house and L's room consists of a second-hand bed, a chest of drawers from Ikea and a cardboard box for a bedside-table. And this kid has so many books, more than can fit in the shelves downstairs, so it was important to set her up with something all of her own.
So I went eBaying. Turns out these step shelves are a dime a dozen. I had a few to pick from, most reconditioned or in the original wood finish. Eventually I came across a real cheapie with a previous paint job gone bad. Unsurprisingly, I was the only bidder - I scored it for 20 bucks (then had to drive all the way to Blacktown to pick it up!) There followed a trip to the local hardware store where I was able to buy a tiny tin of primer and another of bright red enamel. And over the course of a couple of days, I sanded, washed, applied undercoat and two coats of paint and voila! Same shiny red bookshelf that I saw that day on King Street, about half the price and 10 times the satisfaction.
And L finally has her very own book nook. Now for a few big floor cushions, curtains, a picture for the wall, a reading lamp, a real bedside table...