Vintage imposters hiking up prices

Kirstie Allsopp
Kirstie Allsopp

Shabby chic are the buzz words of the moment when it comes to DIY.

And whilst I love all things vintage and a little worn around the edges I don’t enjoy paying top dollar for them.

Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason.  Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM

Doncaster Free Press reporter Kate Mason. Picture: Liz Mockler D1594LM

It seems like anything more than a few years old is lumped into the category of “vintage” at the minute and the price tag heavily inflated as a result.

This is being taken to the extremes on eBay with all manner of weird and wonderful and clearly MODERN items being sold under the “vintage” umbrella.

If I want a brick-like Nokia mobile phone from about ten years ago I’ll search through my own cupboards of junk rather than paying double figures for yours, thanks all the same .

It seems like everyone has jumped on the old fashioned bandwagon and I fear my days of finding a yesteryear bargain are numbered as a result.

But not one to be defeated in the shopping stakes I decided to think outside the box when it came to acquiring the latest shabby chic inspired item on my wish list.

I had been after a farmhouse dresser for a while to display my vintage tea sets (and when I say vintage I mean real old-fashioned china cups and tea pots not a Morphy Richards coffee maker from five years ago).

But after trawling the internet I quickly realised that up-cycling experts had already cornered the market selling there refurbished shabby chic designs for ridiculous amounts.

Surely a few coats of paint on some past it furniture didn’t warrant a price tag of that magnitude did it?

Refusing to pay £500 I thought it might be easier to embrace the Do It Yourself method quite literally.

So thanks to a tip off from a work colleague I managed to track down a farmhouse dresser for the bargain sum of £50 from a charity furniture shop - which if you have never visited one is well worth a look.

How hard could it be to breathe new life into the old-fashioned (not in a good way) looking item and make it into a shabby chic masterpiece?

After the item spent weeks gathering dust in my dining room the transformation process has now begun.

And I have to admit the project is more work than we first thought.

After days of sanding, priming and painting the dresser is finally starting to take shape but throughout this I have been cursing Kirstie Allsop whose vintage home programme made the process seem a lot easier.

I thought after watching her show and reading her book I’d be an expert but it turns out shabby chic-ing is not for the faint-hearted or the full-time workers.

But at least the saving grace is when the project is finally finished it will truly be one of a kind - whether that’s for the right or wrong reasons remains to be seen.