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tables – it’s all about finding the right place in the home for them and making them work with your current scheme,” she says.


“For example, old shop haberdashery cabinets are now selling at a huge premium because interiors magazines have used them as wardrobes/clothes storage and people can now see how they can be used in their homes. It also takes vision to see how an older piece of furniture can be restored to fit in to a current scheme. Take an old chair with an interesting shape, put some bright modern fabric on it, then it works!”


24 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2011


However, she believes that reclaiming and up-cycling is usually limited to those who enjoy working on their homes and want them to be a little bit different; patience is a key point. Re-upholstery of a chair or sofa is a really specialist skill that takes a lot of time and the right tools. Sanding, priming and repainting furniture is time-consuming too. However painting old photo frames is easy and something anyone can do.


“Whilst an up-cycled piece of furniture can look fab, it can also look like an old school project,” warns Anna. “With fabric items, everything needs to be securely sewn so bits don’t start hanging off after a couple of uses. You also don’t want to see any fixings, so staples, hinges, pins and so forth all need to be carefully hidden which takes consideration.”


“A good way is to look at it as if it was a flat pack item. So when you are taking it apart to restore it, don’t just rip everything off and get stuck in!


Remember how it came apart, make templates from the current covers etc, or remember what went on where. This really helps you consider how the item was made and put together in the first place so you have a much better understanding of what are the key factors to get it to look right again.”


Whatever the motive, be it saving money, the planet or just being a bit different, it seems that for many it’s a case of out with the new and in with the old.


For more information about the designers featured in this article visit: www.theowlandtheaccordian. blogspot.com www.furnishedbyanna.co.uk


Images courtesy of Victoria Haynes of The Owl and the Accordion and Anna Ward of Furnished by Anna


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