In search of a shabby dresser


I’ve always wanted a dresser – something to display pretty ceramics and cherished pieces on, but somehow I’ve never quite managed it. When I’ve gone looking before, I’ve found they were all either far too expensive , like this Bramley Cream dresser from Laura Ashley, at a mere Β£1,000 or they were just not quite the right size or the right look.

laura ashley

In the run up to my birthday, I decided I just had to have one and online I went to continue my search. A quick look at an ad on Gumtree led me to the Facebook page of a place called Pretty Shabby in Belfast and late on a Saturday night I sent a quick message via Facebook to see if the dresser in the ad was still available. To my surprise, I got a reply within minutes from a lovely lady called Shazzie who advised that it was still available and we agreed I would pop down on Sunday for a closer look.

The trend for upcycling and repainting old furniture in the ‘shabby chic’ style has really taken off here in N Ireland in the last number of years. There are plenty of places you can go to buy upcycled furniture and numerous outlets now offer courses if you fancy having a go yourself. As much as I love to dabble about with an old paintbrush, I’m not sure I would have the confidence to ‘do-up’ an old dresser and I think, for me anyway, I’d rather leave it to the professionals !

Needless to say, my short trip to Pretty Shabby that Sunday was very worthwhile. I walked into a tiny little shop filled with lovely pieces of upcycled furniture but it was this dresser that caught my eye. And two days later it was delivered to my home and now takes pride of place in my living room.

It’s been beautifully painted in an old white Annie Sloan chalk paint and then distressed to give it that ‘shabby chic’ look. When you look at the picture below of the dresser in its original state, you can see the transformation it has undergone and what a great job Pretty Shabby have done in bringing it back to life.



I now have somewhere I can display my favourite pieces – Portmeirion china which was a wedding gift, a Belleek vase and a beautiful Tiffany etched glass pitcher which was a birthday present from hubby.


I love the detailing too around the cast iron lock and handles.



All in all, I am totally delighted with my new purchase. It’s truly a unique, vintage piece, which I bought at a fraction of the high street price although it looks like it came from Laura Ashley. I bought local, just a few miles away so nothing imported and it’s one less thing going to landfill. Even better, I’ve discovered a lovely new place to shop for my next ‘shabby chic’ fix !

For those of you who live locally, Pretty Shabby is located on the Shore Road in Belfast just across from Crusaders football ground. Their Facebook page is regularly updated with lots of shabby chic news.

And for anyone interested in ceramics, the pattern on the Portmeirion china is Portobello (a soft mint green with a border of pink flowers).

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