Hey thanks NicolaIt has been a fair while since I’ve posted on my website (sorry about that- I’ve had alot on!). Longer still since I’ve had an opportunity to work on a Parker Knoll Sofa-bed. Like waiting around ages for a bus – Then two come at once!
Well in truth, I completed refurbishment and recover of two Parker Knoll sofas at different times last year for the same lovely couple based near Turnpike Lane in North London
The most recent refurbishment and recover , in an eye-catching pink Velvet from @Kobe_interior_design, from their ” Real Velvet”, was in such a poor state on arrival to my workshop that full re-upholstery had to be undertaken.
Once upholstery was completed. I had to change the worn and damaged old mixed pairs of castors to a gorgeous set of brand new Sheperd Kenrick castors, otherwise it would would of looked like the equivalent of shoving on an old pair of battered trainers on a bespoke tailored suit!
As it took me a while to complete both , It also took my customer a while to find the right lighting before sending me some gorgeous photos of it in situ.
Pretty in Pink! (isn’t she?)
My heartfelt thanks to all the valued assistants who have helped me to complete this project :Anna F, Rowena Murphy and Jane Latchford
Whenever an opportunity to reupholster furniture comes with a fairly open brief in terms of design I always meet it with a sense of excitement, anticipation and just a little anxiety.
So when Jay Blades and the Money for Nothing film crew came to my studio with these two sorry-looking farmhouse style rocking and static armchairs, despite my initial reactions I did have a few ideas bubbling up for the cushions the overall look, however, unfortunately, due to time pressures and other projects on the bench, There wasn’t enough time to come up with another of my own completely original fabric designs.
I did, however, have a vision in mind of some types of fabrics I wanted to use. Being a Massive fan of Timorous Beasties work in Scotland I had to get my hands on one of their amazing designs.
How I treated the show wood was a question I pondered on for a while:
With great respect to the growing numbers of upcyclers, hobbyists and others keen to revamp their furniture, I wanted to treat the wood to a finish which was a bit different than just simply repainting, and consequently hiding the wonderful grain patterns, knots and characteristics of these Beech wood frames.
Inspiration came within a few feet of my cutting bench when I noticed while sewing some offcuts of a Designers Guild fabric under the cutting table I had used earlier on this year. A wool from their Capisoli range which had a vertical Ombré effect. I thought: ” What If I translated that effect into the wood using a wood stain as opposed to a paint?
May I present to you this re-imagined vintage farmhouse chairs, now in a stunning @timorous_beasties#Grand Blotch Damask.
These chairs had to be fully restored: All joints, back rails, and broken spindles fully repaired and all suspension systems cleaned and refitted.
I created a custom wood stain with a “3D Ombré” effect. Featuring deep forest greens moving through to autumnal moss. enhanced through many polished layers of Beeswax.
To be honest this project became more a labour of love than money folks. Hopefully, these two lovelies will feature in a future episode of @monfornothing for BBC1
Many thanks go out to Olga Mackenzie and Rowena Murphy for their assistance, and Tom Foy for all his woodworking advice and masterful craftsmanship in replacing the broken inside back wood dowel.
This reproduction Edwardian-style wingback had seen better days: The right hand facing wing had begun to “flap” around, the seat cushion contained Feathers which had totally degraded and it’s arms has seen better days
I had brought a selection of my finest velvet ranges to my clients home, where I presented them to choose from I looked over their chair to check its condition. Once a fabric had been agreed (An FR version of a Kobe “Real” velvet, after some discussions between myself and my client, it was decided to go for some special decorative nails as opposed to the original piping detail, to provide a different finishing detail to the front arm scrolls. I also instead of using the fillings from the original seat cushion decided to discard and make up a completely new foam & feather combination bespoke seat cushion.
The original arm fillings were removed and also discarded having lost their density and “return”, giving me the opportunity to fit hessian in front of the jumbo elastic webbing. Replacing the old crumbly fillings with upgraded rubberised hair and foams .
I couldn’t get this piece ready in time for xmas, for which I was extremely apologetic. However just before new year this piece was collected and my clients reaction said it looked fab and “Soooo comfortable”. A dream realised in aquamarine. Many thanks to Richard & Cathy Green for your patience and custom.
In November 2015 this reproduction nursing chair arrived at my studio in a hopeless state: A pet-scratched, threadbare cover basically keeping the frame in some sort of shape, despite having nearly every single dowel joint snapped. Completely eroded foams . A battered sheet of fibreboard formed what was left of the seat.
To save this piece I had to completely remove and junk all the old covers and fillings (as well as the fibreboard seat)and dismantle and clean what was left of the frame before reassembly using new dowells, gluing and screwing the frame back into shape.
After reconstructing the frame I decided to upgrade the seat from the rubbish fibreboard and foam originally fitted, applying lashed serpentine springs and hessian to form the base suspension before fitting a first stuffing layer of rubberised hair and a second layer of the appropriate grade foam . for the back I used elasticated webbing and applied the same fillings as the seat.
Finally making sure the final top cover, a deep rich tangerine velvet from Kobe’s “Real” range, was made compliant through the use of a flame retardant barrier cloth bonded to the cover before fitting and hand- stitching to the frame.
I decided not to go with the original buttoning pattern as my customer’s wanted to use a different colour for the velvet button details. (perhaps, like the original , if the buttons were made using the same colour as the fabric then I would of gone with the same buttoning formation). Finally cleaning/polishing up the legs with a little beeswax.
This tangerine dream did much to brighten its owners faces when it was unveiled at my studio upon collection.
Many thanks to Myfanwy Taylor and Joanna Maeva for their custom x
Atelier Ray Clarke Ltd T/A Ray Clarke Upholstery & Design Company registration number :12018355
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