Most folk who live in Brighton UK know about Shabitat – Home of Magpie Recycling. Treasure trove and bargain hunters paradise. I came across some battered old foot-stall cubes in there a while back. They were upholstered in faux leather, that always starts peeling after a while. But they had potential so for £2 each I snapped them up.
They then gathered dust at my workshop for a while until I finally decided to give them the facelift they wanted. Compare to the armchairs and sofas I have been doing lately, I thought they would be a fairly straight forward job. But things always takes longer than you think right?
I had some velvet off-cuts from my patchwork chairs I upholstered a while back, which were just enough in the yummiest colours to wrap these cubes..
Looking at my previous armchair post, it was nearly three years ago I upholstered one of these. Well overdue! I found a bag of ready cut pieces of material from the last chair, added a few new colours into it, mainly all from vintage velvet curtains.
I thought people would be over patchwork armchairs by now but it seems they still fly off the shelves! This one has already found a happy home in Saltdean.
Need one in your life made in your favourite colours? Get in touch
Have you ever been searching high and low to find that very specific piece of furniture and eventually you find something that is close, but not perfect? Do you go for second best or try to find a way to make it what you want?
Sian wanted a corner sofa for her flat. Something comfortable that you could fully stretch out on. Preferably in vibrant but earthy colours. She found this in Shabitat. Comfortable yes, stylish and vibrant, not so.
Structurally it was in a good condition and she didn’t mind the brown, so I suggested we could just recover the seating covers and the scatter cushions to create the look she wanted.
I didn’t have enough material of what she was looking for at my studio so I recommended the Fabric Warehouse in Kemptown-Brighton. An amazing fabric shop with a quirky owner that knows his stuff and will try to guess your star-sign and probably get it right!
This is what she came back with. A thick stripy weave of jute in camel, purple and pink. Looks better than it sounds indeed.
And he had just enough of it, so meant to be right!
The vibrant fabric paired really well with the sofas earthy brown body and also with her pink feature wall. Three seat , two back and three scatter cushions later, voila! What a transformation!
If your sofa could do with a facelift you know where to find me!
Sometimes I get the urge to paint furniture instead of working with textiles. Even tough in some cases I’m really against it. If you have a good condition, antique hard wood piece of furniture, please don’t ruin it with chalk paint! This piece however really needed a rescuing. It was scratched and somebody had already attempted to paint parts of it. (Forgot to take a before photo sadly)
I used two different tones of grey chalk paint. The darker tone underneath, and the lighter on top, plus finish with a generous rubbing of wax.
It only lasted 3 days in Shabitat before it got snapped up!
If you have a piece of furniture that you think is in need of a facelift, get in touch!
I have lost count of how many of these giant floor cushions I have made and sold in Brighton. A lot of flats and houses in this town are very small, so it can be hard to fit enough seating. These cushions are ideal for those kind of spaces. Plus there is something quite cosy about a pile of cushions on the floor instead of a sofa. I have always wanted a cinema room filled with these… One day 😉
Synthetic stuffing isn’t very eco to produce and the natural ones are very expensive. However if people prefer these they can be used too. My normal method is using recycling duvets. I make sure they are washed and clean before using them of course. The outer covers are made from old curtains, end of roll, or any other fabric that are thick enough. I add a zip so they come of to wash as well. They are generally around 100 x100 cm and start from about £30 each depending on the fabrics used.
Can be found ready to buy in Shabitat depending on stock, or made with your desired fabrics.
If you need some of these in your life get in touch!
My client had a nest of tables that she wanted painted in chequered black and white. I knew there was going to be a lot of layers of paint and masking tape involved but I took on the job as I like a challenge as well to learn new techniques.
This was a style of furniture painting I had never made before. But I thought, “How hard can it be?” It wasn’t particularly hard, just very time consuming…
I chose water-based matt paint in black and white. I also needed an undercoat, plus a matt varnish to go on top. Ronseal Diamond Hard Varnish came recommended to me.
After two layers of undercoat and having to wait each layer to dry, I finally got the first layer of white paint on all the three tables. Then I had to watch more paint dry…
Now it was the task of measuring out the lines and using masking tape, followed by two coats of black paint. “This is going to well!” I thought, until i peeled off the masking tape and realised the black paint had bled under the tape. Aggghhhhhrr!! I do some research and find a type of masking tape called Frog Tape. I head down to B&Q and grab a roll.
Masking all the lines take two.Paint with white, wait to dry… Peel tape off. Guess what? It does exactly what it says on the tin. No bleed!! Yes! Oh if had known this before it would have cut my workload by half! With all the waiting for paint to dry, correcting mistakes and 3 layers of varnish, it took a week to complete. Luckily Breeda loved them. Phew! And here they are in her home looking very Alice in Wonderlandish.
Would I take on another commission like it? Yes, now I know what I am doing, but with an increase in the price 😉