I’m lucky to live on the outskirts of town where I can walk to and from work on a daily basis – no petrol costs, parking costs or the stress of congested roads. I say walk, but mornings tend to be a brisk march to make sure I actually get to work in time. The afternoons are much more of a gentle meandering affair. One of the highlights of my walk home along Colomberie is the chance to window-shop/drool over the enticing, double-fronted display at Painted Beautiful.
This week I did more than window shop, but stepped over the threshold and into the world of Carrie Lakeman, proprietress of Painted Beautiful. Carrie started out renovating her first flat, then a little 2 bedroomed house, followed by a bigger 5 bed house. Part of this process was also to renovate items to go in the houses and so on, until here we are some 20 years later and Painted Beautiful was born.
In a year when I am challenging myself to life in a zero waste way, it is so refreshing to find a business that is built upon breathing life into pre-loved objects. The shop itself is like an Aladdins cave, with its hand-painted floor and a feeling of English Vintage meets French Brocante meets Curiosity shop – a jovial mixture of new items and pre-loved items which are sourced locally or direct from France. Whichever way you turn there is something interesting to catch the eye; enamel pots, glass bottles, old metalwork, copper skillets, clocks.
It’s all here under one roof, but not in a cluttered mess (aka my house) but in a pleasing, eclectic, interesting cluster which nicely showcases some of the pieces which Carrie has found, or the pieces of furniture which she has completed.
Of course it’s not really about the bric-a-brac. The shop is also home to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paints, a vintage chalk based paint ideal for use in repurposing old furniture. Safe to use indoors, non-toxic and free from chemicals (zero VOCs!) the paint is also an awesome environmental choice. Sold in powdered form it has proved popular with locals and tourists alike, especially when tourists can take it home on the plane, being as it’s not in a liquid form.
Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk paints, and it’s sister make Fusion Mineral Paints come from Canadian company Homestead House, with Carrie holding the license to sell the products in Jersey.
So, if you have a battered old piece of well worn furniture, instead of relegating it to the fiery furnace, why not consider giving it a new lease of life by painting it? Carrie is very approachable and chatty and will talk you through the best options for the type of paint to reach the finish you are after – vintage, chippy, distressed, antiqued – and using oil, wax or a finishing coat of water based poly top coat to give it longevity in its new life.
Alternatively, you can go along to one of the courses which Carrie runs from the Art Centre – painting, stencilling, or decoupage. The courses are run when there are enough numbers to make it viable – if you are interested contact Carrie on 07797 816443 or connect to Painted Beautiful on Facebook.
Whatever your choice – whether it’s tackling the project yourself, learning in a classroom environment or asking Carrie to paint the furniture for you – the main thing is that by making the choice to re-use an existing piece of furniture you are making an ecologically sound consumer choice – a huge zero-waste win, and less fodder for the incinerator.
Why not pop along to the shop in Colomberie – its open Tuesday and Fridays from 10-2 and on Saturdays from 10-5, where Carrie or one of her avid crew (mum Liz or partner Martin) will be there to help.
Another zero-waste choice for the island! Have a great weekend……