My name is Christian Smit and I was born and raised in South Africa, before coming to England where I now live with my wife and two daughters in Oxford. While my wife Maria is the marketing magician behind Boykie and my two small girls may well develop a similar penchant for painting old furniture as their Dad – for now, I am the ‘Boykie’ in Boykie Studio.
‘Boykie’ is an Afrikaans word which roughly translates as ‘chap’ or ‘bloke’ – so as a South African chap with a furniture painting business, this seemed a fitting name with a funky ring to it – it seemed to reflect the enthusiasm and excitement I feel about what I do.
In 2014 my mother, a very creative and artistic lady, introduced me to Annie Sloan Chalk paint and as a boy/chap with a mad passion for painting and working with colour, who was also crazy about old furniture – I began to combine the two – and have been doing so ever since.
I LOVE GIVING NEW LIFE TO OLD FURNITURE
I love old furniture because it has such character and to me it has a life all of its own. Indeed many pieces have led quite fascinating lives. Some have been handed down several generations of a family. Others have travelled from place to place over the years as they have been bought and sold.
There are furniture items that have been around through times of war and peace, poverty and prosperity, joy and sorrow. They have played a part in the many milestones of human life: births marriages and death. If furniture could talk – imagine what tales it would tell!
So rather than let lovely old furniture pieces go into retirement or be laid to rest, my role is to re-invigorate them and restore them to their former glory. Once again they can take centre stage in your home and make their dramatic impact as newly vibrant characters you will love, admire and appreciate.