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G-Plan turned Gypsy

Sandra used to be a Carer, loves chocolate pudding, and regularly visits our shop.
She lives around the corner from the shop, beside the church and above the barbers shop, where she has a cosy snug cabin at the end of their garden. In this cabin, they both enjoy their time in the quiet reading the paper, watching the wildlife, and relaxing. Lovely!
The snug cabin is kitted out quite comfortably with the basic requirements: chair, cupboards, light and table. Over christmas, they decided to change the table.
After the christmas holidays had ended, Jo was working on the sale tickets in the shop when in she come and said ” can you recycle and old table?” : Jo agreed to send me round to have a look.
I found a 1970s Danish style G-Plan Drop-Leaf table sat centre stage in the cabin, waiting to be collected. Sandra knew i am a sucker for a new project, and that we needed one for a new dining shop display, so i obliged and said yes and her dad gave me a hand to carry it to the van.


This is why they were so popular for over 30 years!

It was in good clean condition, which is quite unusual for most of my recycling projects!
The table could seat six at a push, and didnt come with any chairs, so i may have to find those. Its original teak veneer is polished to a semi gloss finish and exposes the light golden grain. The two tapered ends drop neatly down when the supports are folded inwards and under, revealing a neat quarter moulded edge. The whole finish to the frame is smooth and rounded danish style, not a harsh corner in sight. This table amazingly folds down to virtually no space at all, this is why they were so popular for over 30 years!


the hardest part was deciding on the design!

The hardest part of this project for me was not the actual work, although the detail of the artwork was quite a challenge: the hardest part was deciding on the design!
I had found my inspiration when i researched the internet, trendy furniture shops, Kirsty Allsop Homemade Home show (@KirstieMAllsopp), and George Clarkes Amazing Spaces https://www.facebook.com/GeorgeClarkesAmazingSpaces. The best way to attack this was to make a plan of the design and practice some of the techniques.


I had already collected scraps of wallpaper and cuttings of floral designs i had found, so i could use these as decoupage within the design. I would make a large square of rose patterned paper the dominant block in the centre of the table and embellish with additional artwork around it.
Giving the table a good all over rough sanding to remove dirt and varnish, i then added a sound coat of chalk emulsion that was rubbed down to a smooth finish using fine sandpaper. This gives a good base to apply the paper design and paint on the final decoration.


you only grow when you seek to improve yourself

I could imagine the incredible flowing artwork used on traditional Gypsy caravans as the final decoration on my table, but these techniques take years to master, i would have to apply them in weeks. I had found much useful resource on YouTube, particularly with Nick Dows work. He famously restored a Romany Caravan for Ronnie Wood and you can watch him talking on the subject of gypsy art, life and his blues band http://youtu.be/9O8LyVnz9ls
My efforts are simple by comparison but you only grow when you seek to improve yourself.


Further reference on the subject of traditional gypsy caravans, their restoration, art, furniture and lifestyle can be found at http://www.gypsy-wagons.com. This site represents the Ingham and Fallon families, who are the oldest Irish families still living the traditional lifestyle in the UK.