As you were all so helpful on Gemma’s posts a couple of weeks ago we have a second Reader Request for you today. RMS peruser, Joanne is in a quandary about her wooden furniture and is in need of our help.

{Joanne’s Dilemma}

“My husband and I have a set of good quality, sturdy pine wardrobes that have been in the family for several years. The antique pine finish isn’t our thing anymore and is too obtrusive for the room though we still like the traditional style. We’re unsure whether to replace them or try to update them. They were very expensive originally and as they are still fit-for-purpose we feel bad getting rid of them. We would love your advice!”

I’m pretty sure most of us have experienced Joanne’s dilemma at some point when a piece of furniture still has life in it but no longer fits your decor. You feel serious guilt thinking of getting rid of it but it annoys you every time you lay eyes on it. The same goes for items inside the wardrobe too but I think that’s another post.

The way I see it the lovely Jo has three options; to keep the wardrobe as is, to give it an update, or to replace with a less ‘distinctive’ version.


It looks as though Joanne has already replaced the handles on her wardrobes but this would always be my first suggestion for updating a piece of furniture. Zara Home, Anthropologie and Abodent are my favourite shops for hunting out new hardware.


Grabbing a paintbrush and a pot of paint would be a simple way to make these wardrobes blend in more with the rest of the bedroom. Both Adam and I have done this recently so we’ll be sharing our painting techniques with you soon.
Providing you spend time on the prep you can get an awesome finish and give your furniture a whole new lease of life. Hopefully the finished article would be similar to the one featured in our slider.
A subtle-distressed look would look beautiful on Joanne’s wardrobes but I’d also be tempted to add an unexpected contrasting colour inside too. Using paint or wallpaper is a great way to do this and adds a bit of a surprise when reaching inside!

If the thought of painting the wardrobes yourself seems too taxing then have a look on Google for local firms who specialise in painting furniture.


Joanne could replace her wardrobes with a ready-made, fully-finished article such as this streamlined version from Not on the High Street or the more classic yet elegant white wood armoire from Maison Du Monde. Both of which are less noticeable than the current pine furniture but at over £1000 each they are a serious investment. At the lower end of the budget The Furniture Market have a romantic and characterful piece for under £500 or Joanne could go to Cotswold Company for a simple two door cupboard and still get a penny change from £300.


If Jo does replace her wardrobes then the old ones will be going spare so I couldn’t resist sharing a few upcycles. Get handy with some chicken wire to repurpose into a pantry style cupboard like this one from Ruby Rhino. Alternatively Pinterest has uncovered some novel features; add mirrors, lighting and gorgeous glasses to create your very own bar or upcycle into a deluxe dressing table and hide away all the clutter.

My personal choose would be to get busy with the paintbrush. It’s the most cost efficient way to give these wardrobes a facelift and I think a pale shade would look gorgeous in this room. How lovely is the original fireplace you can see peeking through? Mrs O’Shea has a similar one in her house and it’s super gorgeous too.

What do you think? Would you keep, update or replace? Do share because I know Joanne would love to hear.