Monday, 16 November 2015

Laura Ashley Sofa

A 1990's laura Ashley sofa reupholstered in, wait for it... Laura Ashley fabric.

Laura Ashley make great quality furniture, there's no doubt about it. And their fabric is good to work with too - all 17 metres of it.

This was a commission.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Bus Stop Chair at Simpson Cross, Pembrokeshire.

This chair now available to bus travellers on the A487 at Simpson Cross, Pembrokeshire.

A tricky one to photograph this; the sun blasting off the tin roof and me blindly backing into impatient oncoming traffic.

Here's a safer but no less clear angle. The photos don't convey how well colour-coordinated the chair is with the bus stop walls. Despite appearances, this isn't a random thing you know. I don't fix up a chair and drive around looking for a bus stop. It's premeditated. You know, researched and ting.

Here's the chair. A 1980's generic dining chair that I wombled from my local tip; cleaned, painted and reupholstered in a piece of damaged wool fabric from Melin Tregwynt - it's their Mondo Sage in case you were wondering. I hope someone who uses this bus stop works there, it's about 20 mins away at Castlemorris. You never know eh?

I pinned a plastic sheep to it because a) I had one and b) well it's a wool fabric innit.

Get it?

Knew you would.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Victorian Club Chair in silk damask

A mid Victorian club chair reupholstered in Sanderson silk damask.

This is a huge chair. It has something of the American automobile about it don't you think?

This was a full, down-to-the-wood restoration with traditional upholstery throughout and it's nice to use a very traditional fabric every once in a while.

This was a commission.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Arts & Crafts side armchair in Welsh wool

An Arts & Crafts/Art Nouveau armchair reupholstered in Melin Tregwynt Luna wool.

This type of chair is very difficult to date or really pin down to a particular style so I'm hedging my bets and falling between two styles; it has features of both.

It's a highly stained and polished beech frame with walnut arms (I think). The seat curve is really wonderful and gives it a rustic Welsh look, almost stick-chair like.

Elsewhere the turned and carved stiles and decorative splat are all over the place, and I love furniture to be all over the place, particularly when it's as elegant as this.

The seat was reupholstered with traditional horse hair and covered in an ace geometric Welsh wool from Melin Tregwynt. Somehow the busy fabric works on a chair with so much existing detail, I think it's because the chair is so fine/dainty. The whole thing is hand-stitched to a tacked edge piping - tricky to line up but great when you get it right.

You could own this for £150. All that for £150 you ask? Yes I say. Yes.

And still they all scurry off to Ikea. Ho hum.

This chair is for sale.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Tub Armchair in Bute Ramshead Fabric

A tub armchair reupholstered in Bute Ramshead fabric

A customer found this chair on the dark streets of London and, unable to come home without it, dragged it through the streets and up a few flights of stairs to her flat. Having contacted me through her family who live nearby she committed it to a 400 mile round trip in the middle of which I reupholstered it in her choice of Bute fabric.

The ever-wonderful Bute Fabrics drafted in the ever-diverse Timorous Beasties  and somehow managed to find a way to weave a ram's head repeat into a piece of cloth - how on earth did they do that?

Although it was found in London, I think the chair might be French because it had non-British conical springs and (among various British things) I found French Francs and an unsmoked Gitanes stuffed down the back.

And no, I didn't smoke the cigarette - I don't smoke non-filters man.

This was a commission.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Ash Milking Stool in Eleanor Prichard wool fabric

Hand made ash milking stool in Eleanor Pritchard Totley fabric

Ace the spoke-shaved legs

For Sale - £70 - probably best you don't sit on it to milk any cows

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Modified Wingback Armchair in Bute wool

A 1930's armchair modified and reupholstered in Bute Esk wool

Just because you're getting on a bit and having trouble getting out of your armchair doesn't mean you have to have a dowdy, chintzy old-people's-home armchair. Having a chair reupholstered should be like having a suit made - you should choose a great fabric and have it made to measure - so if you need a huge cushion to replace the three you've had stacked up on your armchair to give you the height and firmness you need to be able to get out of it again, you can have that. You can have whatever you want, it's your chair.

We made other modifications to this chair: dense foam on the arms for good leverage and chopped-off scrolls on the wings because the customer had always hated these. It's all easy for an upholsterer to do, so if you want changes, tell your upholsterer.

I can't get enough of this huge cushion, something else isn't it?

This was a commission.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Rocking Chair in Welsh Wool

A 1930's (?) stained oak rocking chair reupholstered in Melin Tregwynt St. David's Cross Cassis 100% wool.

Amazing curves on this one - I saw it in the auction house and had to have it.

And this fabric is astonishing - goes great with the woodstain colour.

This chair is for sale - £350 buys you a unique piece of furniture. Not available at DFS but both cheaper and far better quality than any of the junk they have on sale. How do I do it? I know, I'm too generous, but hey, I like you.

How can you live without it?

Friday, 11 September 2015

Guerrilla Upholstery - Pump House Cushion, Bosherston, Pembrokeshire

Somewhere soft to sit down while sheltering from the rain in the old pump house at Bosherston lily ponds.

I'm not sure what this concrete structure is but it had a perfect recess for sitting in so I measured it up and made this cushion for it.

The cushion is made from strips of fabric offcuts - all sorts in there, brocade, silk damask, printed linen all different weights and textures.*

And all very traditional (and of course colour coordinated) to reflect the age of the building and to contrast with the graffiti.

The sort of place where you may want to sit and perhaps smoke a fag and have a can of Special Brew.

* All my guerrilla upholstery projects are made quickly without too much attention to detail and often, you know, after the pub. It's an antidote to the day job. This cushion is quite wonky, if I made you a proper one it would be much neater than this.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Victorian Prayer Chair

An 1860's (?) rosewood prayer chair with ornate woodwork covered in antique tapestry.

I didn't fully reupholster this, it was more a case of finishing off someone else's restoration project. It had a rotten skirt on the seat, no fabric in the picture-back and the braid had been stripped so it was just a case of finding a suitable fabric for the skirt (seat edge) and back and some suitable braid.

Looks alright now eh?

This was a commission.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Drop-Arm Sofa

Early 20th Century drop-arm sofa reupholstered in fabric supplied by the customer.

The sofa back is wider than the fabric width so I did what I often do and turned the fabric on its side allowing the width to be taken out of the length of the fabric. Of course this only works if there's no pattern or nap to the fabric. The alternative is to join the fabric, always a consideration on a project like this.

Anyway, nice sofa eh?

This was a commission.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Wingback Armchair in cut velvet

An early 20th Century wing-back armchair reupholstered in Designer's Guild Calaggio cut velvet.

This 'leaf and bud' cut velvet in such a bright colour seemed quite appropriate for the chair - somehow traditional and contemporary at the same time.

How can it possibly be traditional and contemporary at the same time?

I don't know, but somehow.

This was a commission.

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Canal Arch Chair - Gas Street Canal Basin, Birmingham

This chair now available to those in need of a rest from walking along the Birmingham canal

As ever the chair was destined for landfill but now looks rather nice covered in some sewn-together waste offcuts of the fabulous Eleanor Pritchard Totley fabric

And, mainly because he's wearing orange to compliment the fabric, but also because he's wearing a gas station outfit (the chair is on Gas St.), there's Cookie Monster on the foot stretcher.

And why not eh?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Plastic Chair Toys

I like to leave a plastic toy inside each chair I reupholster.

I've being doing it for years. I do it for, you know, philosophical reasons.

I like the idea that the next person to reupholster the chair will find it and crack a smile.

Because quite apart from the glamour of the finished product, upholstery is a tough and lonely trade. It's work. And although (at least in my case) you can play loud, ugly music all day, or listen to the test match, I imagine finding a plastic toy in the chair you're stripping will help make it a better day than otherwise.

Particularly if it's an amputee Mexican bandit like the one above - due to be found in about 20 years.

So why not, eh?

Anyway, here's some more what I done: