REFURBS

The wibbly wobbly chair of joy

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The first time I saw this chair in the charity shop where I volunteer I took one look at it and then ignored it for the rest of the day. It was upholstered in piccalilli-coloured dralon and was more than my eyes could bear but you should never judge a chair by its upholstery so the second time I saw it I sat on it. Within minutes I realised that despite its hideous colour this was possibly the best chair in the world. And this is why…

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These four fat springs enable it to rock back and forward, side to side and diagonally. Or you can just sit and bounce. It is impossible to sit on this chair and not start to feel a lot better than you did before you sat on it.

So I bought it and took it home and gave it a good stripping. I sanded the wood to get rid of its shiny brown varnish and gave it a wax. Then I reupholstered it in my two current favourite fabrics (luckily I had just enough left over from my last chair refurb) – grey multicheck on the front and seat and grey spot on its back. Both 100% wool from Moon.

I think it’s late Victorian and I should probably try and sell it as it’s rather rare but this one is staying all mine. Probably.

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Spot/check chair

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I can’t imagine why I originally thought this one would be easy. It wasn’t. But it’s a really top chair. Small-ish but perfectly formed.

The back fabric is grey multispot and the front is multicheck – both 100% wool from Moon. The paint is Dulux Ice Storm 2 – my favourite shade of grey.

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Spotty storage stool

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This is the second pale grey spotty stool I’ve done but I prefer the straighter shape of this one. Plus it has a nicer shaped top than the first one.

PianoStoolBefore200I think if I do any more I’ll  have to go for completely different colours but I promise never to resort to brown and green. That combination should be reserved for trees. They know how to make it work.

 

 

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Mahogany dining table

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This solid mahogany table was donated to the Woodworks Project charity but it was so damaged that the workshop didn’t have the right people to take it on. At best it would have ended up in storage – at worst, the tip – so I spent a long weekend making it usable again so we could sell it.

One of its legs was broken. It had been repaired once, then broken again and some of the wood was missing. So I fixed it and filled it. Painting the base was really the only option.

The top was so badly sun and water damaged that even after sanding the colour was very patchy. I spent the afternoon bleaching it to get the colour as even as possible and then gave it a couple of thin coats of Osmo Harmony Grey wax. The grain of the wood still shows through and if anyone ever wants it mahogany coloured again they just have to sand it back.

I left the mahogany band around the side as an homage to the original craftsman who made the table. It’s an excellent quality table. He did a good job.

(Forgive the weird shadows – the photo was taken through glass.)

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Stripy side table

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This table was a seriously unloved little brown thing and is now rather beautiful, even if I do say so myself.stripedTableBefore200

It gave me a chance to use a box of veneer edging strips that I’ve been waiting to use since last summer when I bought them with the quickly abandoned idea of making stripy kitchen cupboards. I think other stripy things are on the horizon though.

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Victorian nursing chair

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This beautiful Victorian (c.1860) chair has an extra quality that isn’t obvious from photographs – it’s really comfortable.

When I first met the chair it was tucked away between a table and a pile of boxes in an auction house and I sat on it because it was in a good spot for me to be seen by the auctioneer. Two hours into the auction I suddenly realised I wasn’t wriggling around with a numb bum like I usually am. What was this magical seat that was keeping me comfortable? So I got up to take a better look. It was covered in a manky green cloth with peeling trim but the carving was exquisite. And it was all in one piece. Ten minutes later the chair was mine. Unlike the cabinet that I was hoping to buy that day.

It took a while to find a fabric that I thought would be just right but now it’s covered in a soft 100% wool fabric called Aviemore, in dove grey.

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Parker Knoll lounge chair

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This little beauty was covered in a nasty green fabric and all its insides were sagging so I stripped it right back to the frame and started again.

The stunning textured fabric is from Designers Guild. I’ve had it for a while just waiting for the perfect project and I think this is it.

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New cover for Stafford chair

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Re-covering this chair by Andrew Stafford for SCP was more like dressmaking than upholstery.
The fact that I’d shrunk the original cover rendering it useless as a template combined with having to make the spots on the fabric line up as neatly as possible didn’t make the task any easier.

The fabric is Multispot Grey 100% wool from Moon.

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Storage stool

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Before I got out the paint I did wonder whether it was worth trying to restore this one as it might originally have looked but it was too far gone.

The seat was the perfect size to use another piece of the Moon fabric I had left over from re-covering the Stafford chair.

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