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How to Upcycle and Paint Your Own Furniture with Cocoon Styling

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Keen to update your home but nervous about your DIY skills? Let the team from Cocoon Styling show you how to paint your own furniture and upcycle like a pro, mama!

I am not particularly artsy, crafty, or creative but, after watching two of my colleagues restore a bunk bed and a dollhouse with Frenchic paint – and hearing them both rave about how easy it all was – I must admit I was a bit intrigued.

So it seemed like a bit of kismet when the Sassy Mama team was invited to a painting workshop at Cocoon Styling, a design consultancy, gorgeous homewares shop, reupholstering mecca, and all-around upcycling haven. Run by Aussie designer (and certified horticulturalist!) Karin Rysgaard, Cocoon offers “something for everybody”, in Karin’s words, whether you’ve got “$40 to spend on a cushion or $40,000 to redo your bathroom”.

Karin’s been doing her thing in Singapore for over a decade. Well before we met I was fairly familiar with Cocoon due to a stream of striking before-and-after furniture photos that I’ve seen various satisfied customers post on Facebook (she’s truly a wizard when it comes to restoring a beat up old cabinet, or giving new life to a threadbare couch).

Recently Karin teamed up with her friend Sophie Viterale to start leading painting workshops to teach DIY warriors how to paint and restore their own furniture. While it might feel a bit daunting to paint a bookcase or an armoire, even novices like me can handle a little end table or IKEA step-stool!

Karin and Sophie are huge fans of Frenchic, which besides being non-toxic and available in a wide array of super cute colours, is also really easy to use. Working with basic $7 bamboo plates, Sophie showed us how to apply a base coat, use sandpaper to give a “distressed” look, then finish up with a wax to help keep the piece cleaner and more waterproof.

Pointing to the original, plain plate and one of our finished products, Karin joked, “This is Daiso, this is Originals” and she was right! In just a little over two hours (which included a delicious tea break with fruit, coffee and lemonade on Karin’s gorgeous verandah), we’d each transformed our basic plates into colourful pieces perfect for displaying flowers, or pretty candles, or any other sort of decorative homewares.

Not only was the workshop super fun and kind of therapeutic (there’s something about painting that’s just really soothing!), but I came away more confident that I could tackle a project of my own.

For mamas looking for a bit more guidance, Cocoon offers a 3-hour “Paint Your Own” workshop for $145 where you can bring in a small piece of furniture to paint under Karin and Sophie’s watchful eyes. For instance, you could bring in one bedside table to paint, let them show you the techniques to get the desired vintage effect, then go home to paint the other one on your own.

If you’re a bit less hands-on but would still be keen to get some of Karin’s expert decorating advice, she also offers a basic 2-hour design consultation (for $295) where she goes through your house and provides tips on how to arrange your funiture, say, or key pieces to give a unified look. Once you’ve taken a stroll through her breezy showroom in Kembangan, I guarantee you’ll want her to wave her magic paintbrush, mama!

Cocoon’s Frenchic Paint workshops are held every Tuesday from 10am to 12:30pm. Workshop costs $85 per person (paint included), with the option to purchase work pieces ranging from $10 bamboo bowls to $45 vintage lamp bases (or you can bring your own home deco accessory to make over). Click here for all the details!

Cocoon Styling, 34 Lorong Kembangan, Singapore 417352, Tel: (+65) 9181 9475,

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