Vivez Bien * Live Well

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Trying to take my niche up a notch

We have this niche in our entrance hall that was needing some attention. The staircase runs up behind it so it has a bit of an odd shape at the top. I had tried various pieces of furniture there but was never really happy with the result.

What I really wanted was a French console table like one of these below.

Aside from the fact that the budget wasn't going to accommodate one of these, I had the added problem of the kids using the area as a dumping ground for all their school stuff. I tried to change their habits, but failed miserably, so relented and bought these large baskets for the purpose. These would then have to fit under the console table. This was going to be tricky. 

I decided the only solution was to fake it by making my own French console table. A bit ambitious, I know!

We bought a big piece of pine and a strip of decorative moulding at Builders Warehouse. The moulding is made out of polystyrene or something similar!

We found these decorative brackets at the Garden Shop. In South Africa, they are called "Broekie Lace" and are used on the verandahs of Victorian style houses.

I painted the wooden shelf starting with a dark brown layer, then mid brown and then grey and rubbed it, trying to give an aged effect.

I painted the moulding and the brackets starting with black, then brown, then grey and ending with a touch of bronze.

Here is the fake console waiting to be installed by my ever willing husband.

I also repurposed some old picture frames into mirrors and added some gilt to the wooden frames.

I decided to layer the frames to add some interest. There are actually two frames at the back, although it looks like one large one.

You can see the view into the sitting room reflected in the mirror.

This picture shows where the niche is in relation to my front door.

Now to decorate the console table (I mean... shelf)

I put some lovely grey penny gum leaves in a willow basket and flanked it with two succulents in urns.

I added some gilt and embellishment to this old mirror that given to me by a friend to "do something with". 

These urns were terracotta in colour so they got a paint effect as well.

Here is a close up of the bracket.

A close up of the paint effect I did on the pine shelf.

Leading through to the dining room with the water feature in the background. I need some advice from you with regard to my water feature but that will be the subject of a seperate post.

And finally a last view.

So what you think about my fake French console?

I'm linking up to Wow us Wednesdays. Go and take a look at all the clever creations.

Till next time

Sharon x


  1. Sharon I absolutely love it!!! It is gorgeous and so well decorated! I love your home...stunning!
    You must link this post on Wednesday with Savvy Southern Style...Kim will adore this!!! If you don't know her blog she is on my blogroll.
    I think I like this better than a console table!

    Pamela xo

  2. Sharon, I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!! It turned out beautiful, you have exquisite taste. I love how you accessorized the top and that exposed brick just adds to the beauty. Martina

  3. Sharon it's me again forgot to add you should really link this post up to Kim's WOW US WEDNESDAYS party. Martina

  4. Sharon that is amazing! Beautiful

  5. Sharon, you are incredibly talented. Your french console is just beautiful. You couldn't have found a better one in the shops. Good on you!! Leahxx

  6. I am speechless! congrats this looks amazing!kisses

  7. This is absolutely stunning! I'm your newest follower, I would love for you to stop by sometime!


  8. Fabulous idea! I love that look!

  9. I think the shelf is nicer than a French console table anyway...
    And the Broekie Lace is so pretty!

  10. LOVE THIS! Come on ova' and link up to my Linky Party! xoxokara


    Your Niche is BEYOND BEAUTIFUL!! Please come share!!! Im OBSESSED with it! {in a GOOD way}

  11. Wonderful idea! You did such a great job, I love, love, love it! I've also wanted one of those frenchy tables with the iron on it too, but have never seen anything like those wonderful iron brackets you found. This was a perfect fit for your niche, love the accessories also!

    P.S. I hope you come by and visit my frenchy inspired post!

  12. Sharon, I think it is beautiful!! I am in love with the iron brackets..they are gorgeous! Perfect for the niche and the baskets look wonderful too.

  13. Well done you clever girl!! this is admirable and you can be very proud ! I love the reflections in the mirrors-I am a great fan of using mirrors to "connect" spaces. have a lovely weekend, Colx

  14. Sharon ... I really LOVE your entrance! It's so chic and so french!
    Gris is my favourite colour! This is a great idea to use!
    Bisous, Babi

  15. What a beautiful and creative solution! It really makes a great statement when you walk in the door. I'm your newest follower.
    Jodie the nest eclectic

  16. It looks the baskets!!

  17. That looks so good. Love what you put on it and under it too for the perfect look. thanks for linking to WUW.

  18. I think it is FABULOUS! I love the patina you gave to the wood and I LOVE those brackets!

    The way you assessorized it is beautiful!!

    Lou Cinda :)

  19. Love it! You did a great job with your console/shelf, and your staging is lovely.

  20. That is ingenious! I absolutely LOVE it, my friend!

  21. I love this console! Came over from WUW~and Kim was correct in featuring this project. I am inspired by this. I love how you added the molding and the brackets and conjured it up with the great paint job. I am working on a project right now with some of that poly molding and it is amazing!!
    I will be following you too.

  22. Sharon I think it is fabulous!! I Came over from Kims and wow what a surprise!!!

    Come and enter my giveaway for bath & body!

    Art by Karena

  23. Genius! What a great idea by just hanging it with the wall brackets. I think you achieved a wonderful look. I really like the brick wall and those urns with the succulents. Tks for sharing a great idea.

  24. Congrats Sharon on Wow Wednesday! Colx

  25. I had to come back and look at this again! I posted a response last night but it is nowhere to be found!
    As I said in that post, this is ingenious!

  26. Hey there! I just found your blog thru the linky parties and I'm following! Your entrance transformation is fantastic. What a great idea for a small niche. It really looks like a table there. Nicely done!

  27. Good grief that's gorgeous! And I love your front door by the way.

  28. That is so beautiful! And so simple to do. I can't believe how elegant and expensive it looks. Hmmm, I think I will go look for some neglected nook in my house now.

  29. I think your french console table is terrific, and usuable as well, not just for decorating purposes, I like furniture that does double duty, as storage when having a young family is always scarce in any home. Especially if you have 4 children like me with all different sports interest.

  30. Totally fabulous... well done, I want one. Regards Bernadette from Ireland

  31. Sharon, After two and a half years ago I see this and all I can say is that I am absolutely impressed with your marvelous console. The patinas in both the wooden shelf and the brackets couldn't be more perfect. Loved your work. You are very talented and ingenious. Will be visiting your blog over an over again.
    Regards, Cecilia from Peru, South America.

  32. You did a beautiful job! Love it, love that trim!

  33. Great job! Super creative and looks very nice! Kay