Handmade Home

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table

We have lived in our current house for eight months now and it feels like a lot of things have finally come together the past few weeks. But pfew there is still a lot we could do! I get impatient sometimes, but then I remind myself (or my wise hubby does it for me) that I just have to enjoy and appreciate the process of building our home. Read on to find out how I have repurposed a vintage French tea tray table.

Wondering where why we moved from a suburb in Cardiff to a cottage in rural Wales? Read that here. And what the cottage looked like when we moved in? Read that here.

What needed changing

We are a newly married couple and we are still working on building a stable financial base and so sometimes we just have to be clever with what we have. And when we succeed in that it can be o so satisfying. In this post, I am giving you a home update. I’m telling you all about the new board game cabinet and the vintage french tray table that I’ve re-purposed into a dresser.

There were two issues really that we wanted to solve and it took us a little thinking before we came with the solution!

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. The vintage French tray table before repurposing.

This is a french tea table that my dad and stepmother gave me and I absolutely love it. The top is a serving tray. The way it was being used in our current house did not really feel like the best way it could be used.

It was one of the first things you would see coming into our kitchen and it just felt like this odd little corner that was always gathering clutter.

The board games inside it were there really because we did not really know where else to store them. The board games were, however, hard to access and it did just not really feel practical!

Last week I suddenly had a KAPOW moment and I realized that the tea table could function as a sort of dressing table in our bedroom since I did not have one yet.

My make-up used to be in the windowsill of our bathroom and I essentially did my make-up standing up in front of that mirror while risking dropping my make-up in the toilet under it! And trust me, I am a clumsy one so the risk was big 😛

The board game cupboard

I was eager to move the tea table to our bedroom, but the next problem we stumbled upon was: where to put those board games? There Nathan came with the brilliant idea to use the cupboard next to our fireplace.

It was this dirty-spidery-and mainly forgotten cupboard where we store our candles and candlesticks. I was super excited about this idea since a couple of our other board games were stored in the sideboard in our lounge. This cupboard next to the fireplace would be a brilliant place to store all of them together!

I started with clearing out the cupboard next to the fireplace. I am not very fond of spiders and so I really wanted to make sure that this cupboard did not feel ‘scary’ anymore. Farewell cobwebs and dead spiders!

Next I gathered all of our board games, candles and candlesticks and tried to figure out how to place them in the cupboard in the most practical and accessible way.

Funny fact: the months before our wedding I was on a continuous hunt to try and buy as many candlesticks as possible from second hand stores, since I had this lovely idea for the table decoration during our reception. I managed to gather about 60(?) candlesticks, but in the end only the candles at the table of the bridal party were lit since we had to think of fire safety. We still have a bunch of the candlesticks as you can see (there are a bunch spread throughout the house as well)!

We both are really chuffed with the result! It is practical and easy to access.

The vintage French tray table

Next came the really fun bit. It was time to clean the vintage French tray table, to put it in our bedroom, and to dress it up.

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. The vintage French tray table cleaned up.

The corner in which the tea table now stands used to be very bare and I always ended up throwing some of my clothes on the floor there!

The little chest next to the tea table used to be in our upstairs hallway. We want to put a bookcase there instead and the chest has most of my beauty and make-up products in it. So it made sense to put it next to the tea table!

The chest is part of a set of three chests (each a different size) and it belonged to my grandparents from my stepfathers side. When both my grandparents had passed away, one of my stepsisters took the biggest chest and I was very happy to be able to take the other two chests. The painting of the windmill used to be theirs as well. Since I am Dutch, it always reminds me of my homeland.

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. The inside of the vintage French tray table.

In deciding on how to dress the tea table up I foremost had the practicality of it all in my mind. I wanted it to work for me. The majority of the make-up was therefore put inside the tea table rather than on top. I wanted to prioritize my skincare products and I also don’t wear make up very often! I decided to put some of my very favorite beauty books there as well and this amazingly smelling Yankee candle. It was given to me and I usually do not like Yankee candles as much, but they (the couple that gave it to me) seemed to have read my mind and chose a smell that is absolutely up my street! Every time I open up the tea table, the delicious smell of the candle fills my nostrils and it really cheers me up 🙂

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. The finished look.

I was so delighted to find out that the mirror suits the tea table very much! We bought it in a second hand store during our honeymoon.

Funny Fact: One day I was watching Desperate Housewives (which I stopped watching after a couple of episodes since I thought it too naughty) and lo and behold, this mirror comes into view! The only bits that were different about the mirror in Desperate Housewives is the little bits on the left and right middle of the mirror that keep the mirror in the holder. I am sure mine is just a cheap knock-off version, but it sure was funny seeing it in the tv show! Want to keep an eye out for it? Watch season 1 episode 16!

Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. Make up products on top of the vintage French tray table.
Repurposing a Vintage French Tray Table by a Hopeful Home. A dehumidifier and essential oils on top of the vintage French tray.

My aroma diffuser finally has a home now. It used to be tucked away in a corner and it was, therefore, almost never used! I put my three current favorite essential oil (mixes) next to it. Nowadays I love to turn the aroma diffuser on for about an hour before bed, so that the room smells lovely when we go to bed.

I’m really chuffed how the window sill in the bathroom turned out! It feels a lot calmer now.

Have you got a makeup table? And also, have you made any recent (free!) changes in your by for example repurposing furniture?

Let me know!

Much love,
Jenna

Need some more inspiration on how to repurpose your tea tray table? This Pinterest board has some brilliant ideas!

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