Skip to content

Atelier Charivari: Making Old Furniture Look New Again

Hello and happy Monday to you! It’s the last big week before the holidays, so I bet lots of you are running around trying to get everything prepared in time. Hopefully you are allowing yourself some blog reading breaks. :) I have something very inspirational to share with you today that came from one of my lovely readers who told me recently about Atelier Charivari, which is a blog but also a shop in Rouen, France that specializes in making old furniture new again and she right, I love the work of owner Soizic Menut! Wow! I feel really inspired seeing how he brought back to life pieces that would have otherwise been passed by at a yard sale, flea market or second hand shop — but when you have a good eye and can see the potential, and if you have the knack and patience for restoring things, then you can do anything.

Atelier Charivari

The thing to really look for when you find old furniture is quality — I don’t mean surface scratches or even small dents or missing hardware — that is not a problem. Most of the time, it’s the dents and scratches that add charm but if charm isn’t what you are looking for, you can sand the item down and paint it to look new. What you have to look for, above everything else, is first do you like it (of course) but next, it needs to have good bones — it must be sturdy and made well. Here is a very helpful article that may help you when it comes to choosing quality wood furniture, How to Check Wood Furniture for Quality.

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

This above is exactly the dream cabinet that I am on the prowl for, I want this cabinet so badly because it has four doors and shelving inside so that I can store all of my fun crafty things in — I could get organized and finally empty my boxes — the ones that have been packed since June 2009. Oh yes, gulp is right! I wish they had another or that I could find something just like it and soon — because I want to get my work room finished so badly it really hurts at this point. You know that feeling?

Atelier Charivari

Atelier Charivari

Metal lockers, metal tables with exposed rivets, wood tables with metal tops, metal bookcases with wood shelves, these are all quite the rage currently, have you noticed? I love this look shown above – mixing metal lockers with old painted furniture. My husband has a wood locker with a metal base and hardware, all in black, where he stores his photo equipment in his office and I love it. It’s my favorite piece in his office in addition to the gorgeous old bookcase he picked up in Berlin that looks exactly like this (only his has ball feet) and the outside is black with a cream interior.

Another tip, when you paint a piece of furniture use the best paint that you can afford. Farrow & Ball is a personal favorite of mine. If you like what you see in these photos, choosing a color from this palette would help you to re-create the look on your own piece of furniture in one day or less!

I love Atelier Charivari and hope you do too! If you are interested in ordering from them and live in mainland Europe, you may contact them if you see something on their blog that you are interested in purchasing.

(images: atelier charivari)

Posted by decor8 in Objects on December 13, 2010

Your comments...

  1. Charla Anne commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:34pm

    soo beautiful and inspiring! thanks for sharing! i love your blog:)
    Charla Anne´s last blog post ..finally!!!

  2. Zoe @ A Quick Study Paper Goods commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:39pm

    Beautiful! I particularly love that metal desk with hutch and open cubbies. These types of posts always give me an urge to dig through Craigslist for a treasure to fix up.
    Zoe @ A Quick Study Paper Goods´s last blog post ..Update on Goals

  3. Jillian commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 5:44pm

    I’m really drawn to all these images…maybe it’s the white and pops of color against the weathered gray backdrop which is so beautiful in its own right. I am a huge fan of the slightly industrial metal pieces that you showed in the last two photos and have been for a long time. For me, they evoke a sense of nostalgia. I look at those lockers and am immediately transported back to the locker room at my grade school (whether that’s good or bad!).
    Jillian´s last blog post ..Shop Update- New Vintage Inspired Designs

  4. Justina commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:05pm

    Upcycled stuff is kinda my thing, and it it rare to so old things made new with such care, simplicity and attention to detail. What beautiful things!! I also love the styling of the photos with all the different garlands. Very inspiring. Thanks Holly!
    Justina´s last blog post ..Junky Market Mondays Rose Bowl

  5. Ele commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:14pm

    Oh, this makes me want to re-furbish some furniture now. I used to do a lot of it in highschool (when I had my parents’ big garage and driveway at my disposal), but working out of my teeny London flat makes certain kinds of DIY a bit unlikely! My favourites here are the industrial metal pieces- I like the contrast they’d have with girlier soft furnishings.

    I’m with you on Farrow & Ball, Holly. I think my Mum is slowly painting her entire house with it. Last time I went home, my old bedroom was painted Theresa’s Green, and very lovely it was!
    Ele´s last blog post ..Christmas day Veg

  6. jenn commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:18pm

    These are beautiful pieces! I really admire the talented people who choose to save furniture … it’s so inspiration, and I’m slowly learning to do the same in my home!
    jenn´s last blog post ..create festive garland

  7. franzi commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 6:33pm

    the cooolouurs!!! i’m in looooove! :)

  8. Nix commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:10pm

    How perfectly sweet!
    I have been wondering for a while now what brought the buntings into such full swing in decor & accessories.

    The open pastels with rustic touches is very enchanting as a change up for the usual bright palettes with children’s rooms.

  9. laura evans commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 7:29pm

    stunning … love the clean whites & simplicity with the bright tones! i want me some!!
    laura evans´s last blog post ..a large and liquid eye – whimsical fine art photography

  10. samantha hahn commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 9:36pm

    omg, I want to live in those photos. That furniture is so lovely.

  11. rachel! commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 10:31pm

    yes yes yes

  12. Monica commented
    December 13th, 2010 at 11:40pm

    Love the nursery furniture.
    Monica´s last blog post ..Snow

  13. kat commented
    December 14th, 2010 at 2:48am

    Love the little light garland in the last picture. Where can I get it from???!!!!
    kat´s last blog post ..ABC Furniture

  14. Monique commented
    December 14th, 2010 at 5:15am

    I love, love the metal lockers…I’ve always wanted a set of metal lockers.
    Monique´s last blog post ..Who wants 500 worth of books from Chronicle Me me- me!

  15. Danielle commented
    December 15th, 2010 at 5:10pm

    I am all about making old furniture look new again! And I prefer Farrow and Ball as well, the only issue is their limited color pallet. I also love the fact that their paint is and has been zero VOC, although not their oil based paints. Which finish do you use??
    Danielle´s last blog post ..What to Wear Wednesdays- Holiday Helpers

  16. mer commented
    December 27th, 2010 at 7:44am

    OK, but every picture in this post is SO dreamy, SO me. Thanks Holly!

    Merry Christmas!
    mer´s last blog post ..A Very Merry

  17. ANA commented
    June 8th, 2011 at 12:53am

    This is the first time thah I see your blog!!! I love your update!!
    I’ll follow you ,visit me also *

  18. Lauren commented
    January 29th, 2013 at 11:29am

    I would love to know if and how you refurbished the lockers. I have just purchased three and have read that you should first sandblast them and then paint or spraypaint. Please help.

Leave a comment

CommentLuv badge


Some of my books

Co-editions are also available in many languages, learn more


Next dates

Blogging Your Way
e-courses, 2015
Visit our e-course website to learn more about our inspirational e-courses by bloggers, for bloggers.