antique to modern daybed makeover

antique to modern makeover -

antique to modern makeover -

My mother-in-law is French. Bless her heart. She misuses English idioms, she constantly switches from English to French midway in conversations, and (here’s the best part) she’s always giving me her furniture cast-offs. That is, those pieces that her own daughters first decide they can’t use.

Hey, fine by me. One of my favorite items from Mamine’s Goodwill closet is a charming Louis XVI twin bed. In case you can’t envision it, here’s an example.
upcycled daybed -

Now, if that photo still doesn’t get your fires burning, you can find similar beds on and 1stdibs for no less than several thousand dollars. (Do I have your attention now?) 

But this is the thing. Mamine is also an artist, and she takes some artistic liberties on things sometimes better left alone. Like this antique bed. She transformed it into her living room sofa when she was first married. Charming idea in theory, right? But she cut off its legs (bless her heart.) Yep, just like Marie Antoinette. Off with the head (legs in this case.) And if you are an antique expert, you’ll know that mutilation GREATLY depreciates the value of this little gem. (Side note: Mamine also has an impressive collection of authentic paintings, and we joke that if she feels Picasso should have added more green, well…)

Back to the daybed. I like quirky, so I welcomed this French antique into my home and, in keeping with family tradition, for many years I used it as my first couch as well. 

daybed makeover -

daybed makeover -

Fast forward a decade or two… now that my husband and I have downsized to a small condo in the city, the Louis XVI bed-turned-sofa went into a storage unit. Recently, however, I brought it out of retirement and decided to use it for extra sleeping space in my Florida vacation condo. But how to work it into a modern decor? 

First, I removed the old, traditional fabric. Then I painted the wood with Country Chic’s chalk paint – Midnight Sky. My friend Brenda from Interiors by Design in Punta Gorda, Florida, swears that this chalk paint brand is the absolute best! After drying, I coated it with Country Chic’s white wax, then wiped away the excess. Lastly, I recovered the side panels and cushions with new fabric. 

daybed makeover -

And here’s the final outcome. A little piece of history dressed up with fresh paint and modern fabric. Oh, and did I mention that Mamine visited recently and spied it in our guest bedroom? She smiled fondly, then commented that painting over the original color lessens its authenticity…  Bless her heart. 

daybed makeover -


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Hi, I'm Wendy. Southern by birth, Francophile by marriage, bohemian by nature, and minimalist by choice. Check out and join me in a year of making beautiful things.

Comments · 8

  1. lmbo, but love the makeover xx and bless her heart

  2. You are so lucky to be able to get a piece like this for free, although that is unfortunate the legs were cut off! It looks amazing in navy!

  3. Oh yes, bless her heart…does she read your blog? This is great! I love this, it would look fabulous in my house with your transformation of it! Thanks so much for sharing at Celebrate Your Story!

  4. This is a beautiful update, I love the fact you’ve given this piece a new lease of life.

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