Is it just me or has this year just seemed to fly by?- Now we’re in Mid October 2019 and It’s been an incredible year. With social media it feels so quick and easy to post pics and keep followers updated on my most recent projects. However I must include this beauty here.
A rare opportunity to refurbish and recover a modern design classic : The “Baby Elephant “ sofa, Designed by Richard Stump for Sir Terrence Conran.
It was a tricky one because the wings, or elephant “ears” were designed and built with speakers fitted into the wings and there is a space directly under the seat designed for a suitably sized amplifier or sub-woofer. Reupholstery involved carefully partially dismantling the sound units to ensure the fitted cover , a plain wool/polyamide/lycra mix called “Front 2” by @ludvigsvensson, chosen for its weight, durability and (hopefully), sound-allowing qualities . My many thanks to Anna F @irreverentsideshows for giving me a hand and to the owners , a lovely and patient couple from Bermondsey, south London, for giving me the opportunity to work with them on such a rare beast!
I fully re-upholstered the first of these two J.C & M.P Smith Ltd Winged Mid-late 20th century armchairs for an award-winning interior designer Nicola Holden Interiors,
Covered in one of my favourite textile designers, Josef Frank, who designed “Teheran” in the mid-1940’s, however, it’s first print run came in 1991, Available exclusively from Svenskt Tenn
In my perhaps over eagerness to provide the most optimum suspension it had to return to the workshop so I could change the webbing back from Pirelli to jumbo elastic I guess that chair was so pleased to return, it brought its twin with it!
I totally stripped it back to the frame, and like the first, made sure I fitted the appropriate barrier cloth so the chair met all the UK health, safety and Fire Regs. Finally covering it in another earlier design, circa 1928 called “Aralia”
Re-staining and polishing the show wood , the abundance of colour and the overall finish with nice personal touches from me, like the multicoloured top-stitching on both seat cushions and velvet buttoning in complimentary colours served to deepen my appreciation for this inspirational designers work and gratitude to my client for giving me the opportunity to produce such statement pieces.
My heartfelt thanks also go out to Anna F for assisting me in this process.
This Cocktail Chair, a family heirloom from Bavaria, arrived in my studio workshop (via Erith), at the recommendation of the owner’s partner, a mutual friend who had been following and appreciating my work since we both used to be members of an east London housing co-operative.
Moth-eaten and in need of some love and care, After a fabric and design consultation my client agreed to go with a Herringbone weave from Harlequin, called “Parquet” in colour “Bramble”
Keeping in constant contact with the client during the process of reupholstery was a joy which resulted in some lovely touches, which I feel enhanced the overall new look, including details like the decorative close-nailing in “French Natural” nails and the dark chocolate leather piping detail which gave the chair an air of contemporary though classic elegance.
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
Producing work for the show @MonForNothing has been a privilege and a pleasure. As well as the exposure, you never truly know who’s watching.
So it was a massive suprise when a television celebrity whom I used to watch on Saturday evening TV shows like “Strike it lucky” and “Family Fortunes” as a kid, calls me up to tell me how much he enjoyed the show and that he would like me to transform an old 2- seater sofa that needed a little love and attention, going into his fantastic newly refurbished and redecorated west London apartment.
It was a great pleasure to complete the works for this customer who has been very kind, gracious, patient and supportive of my work. His wonderful home has been a great resource of artitic inspiration and it is an
honour to have my work among his great collection of art & furniture.
My Heartfelt thanks to Rowena Murphy and Anna F for their assistance in helping me re-create a lovely piece.
Producing these saloon-style doors was a challenge. Some pretty nifty shaping and fitting by James and cutting and pattern matching by yours truly was acheived with on these saloon-style bespoke padded doors, covered in a linen print of the Virgin Mary (customer’s fabric choice). All while ensuring that fabrics were made compliant through the use of a flame retardant barriercloth. My Thanks to Alice & James of the “Toady” boat for their custom and support. Stay blessed.
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.
Completion of this Mid-Century sofa bed in brought it’s own pleasures and heartbreaks: Producing the cover buttons broke my button pressing machine! Plus removal of the original seat/ daybed fillings revealed hair infested with a particularly vicious dust mite (they bite!)
A wonderful last-minute invitation last Sunday from 3 super-talented friends (L to R: Fantastic Film-Maker/ Editor Ana Godinho Matos, and multi-talented, multi-disciplinary fine, scultuptural and performance Artists Simon Levy & Rita Jones) to spend Sunday afternoon chatting, wandering through exhibits and discussing the current contemporary/modern art scene at this years Frieze Art fair in Regent’s Park.
Some great (and not-so great) work .. Some of the pieces which caught my eye were the colourful, pop , and darkly satirical sculptures and paintings by KAWS, to the absolutely baffling works by Kraupa- Tuskany Zeider , to a fascinating conversation with Simon and Rita on the life and work of Georg Baselitz while studying his Oil on Canvas ” Nest” , 1990 .
Afterwards we enjoyed a lovely pint of guinness (or 2) over a chat in the Greene Man pub afterwards. Inspirational!
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