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Posts from the ‘Furniture’ Category

Deep Buttoning

I’m in love with deep-buttoning at the moment – there’s just something so decadently divine in adding such an exquisite detail to furniture and furnishings.

Though you may be hard pressed finding many deep-buttoned pieces through the more contemporary furniture outlets, there are the occasional finds, such as an updated Chesterfield or the lovely squishy “Remy” sofa from Town and Country Style ( Alternatively, seek out local designers with a more traditional bent, such as Alan Bullivant from White ( who manufacturers the truly lovely “Grace” sofa.

If you have an old chair or ottoman you want to have re-upholstered, think about adding some deep-buttons. I recently had a large, but very plain square ottoman re-upholstered and asked them to add some piping and deep-buttoning – the result was amazing. What was once a boxy, contemporary piece is now an elegant Parisian-style ottoman (we also replaced the original steel feet with turned timber – and the existing blue faux-suede fabric with finely striped red and cream silk).

Fine stripes and patterns with a small repeat work really well with deep- buttoning – however, thicker stripes and larger patterns will not. If in doubt, stick to plain fabrics, which will show off the detailing beautifully.

When you add a deep-buttoned piece to a room, it instantly takes on a classic-meets-contemporary, timeless appeal. The trick is not to overdo it; a deep-buttoned bedhead upholstered in a beautiful fabric becomes the centrepiece when the other furniture is played down – however, if many items are screaming for attention, the look just becomes fussy.

Talking about upholstered bedheads, Denise Kennedy from Curtain Elegance ( was kind enough to show me the ‘cheats’ way to create a buttoned bedhead (the true method, which results in an elegant pleated effect is a real art form and takes years to master). You simply drill holes into a piece of MDF before gluing on the foam and wrapping it in the fabric. You then use a large darning needle to sew on the buttons, threading through the pre-drilled holes.


Before & After – Vintage Chair

These are my favourite chairs, I found them at a local garage sale for only $300 each – a few people were shocked that I’d paid that much at a garage sale – but they were the real deal, so trust me, it was a bargain. I had one of them professionally re-covered for my book (by Parry & William’s Upholsterers – they’re the best, been around for a long time). Played it safe fabric-wise with a gorgeous thick linen from Mokum (‘Mica’ in Cigar) – and now I’m ready to have the other one re-covered – and I want to be a little more daring – I want to do a pattern but because of the deep buttoning detail, will have to choose a small patterned fabric – I’m liking this one from Schumacher, ‘Chiang Mai Dragon’ in Mocha…let you know how it goes!

Photos of vintage chair by Anastasia K – from our book, ‘New Vintage’

Instant DIY cabinetry

This is a clever idea carried out by a friend’s husband. He bought an Ikea cabinet and attached it to the wall and then adding some framing (individual pieces of pine, cut to size and then glued straight onto the Ikea cabinet) – an instant timber and white floating cabinet at half the would-be cost. He originally saw something similar on Remodelista,, which is where I sourced this photo of the white painted frames (originally from Yatzer) – what is it about white on white? Just looking at this picture makes me feel calmer. Have a gorgeous week, Tx

Cabinetry photo by Anastasia K.

Before & After – vintage dresser



This beautiful old silky oak dresser would have been gorgeous simply restored back to its original condition – however, as this piece was for my daughter’s room and she had her heart set on this pretty ‘Perrier Blue’ from Porters Paints, we decided to paint it. There’s always the chance that you may devalue an antique piece by re-painting it, so it’s good to tread lightly. If the piece is particularly valuable, you’re probably best not to re-paint it at all.

To give you an idea – if I had restored this piece back to it’s original finish, it may have been worth $800 – as a painted piece it’s probably worth only a third of that – however, it is still a fairly common piece and only cost me $100 at a garage sale, so I went ahead.

We only gave it a light sand and then applied a couple of coats of paint. The reason it’s good to only lightly sand antique pieces is that heavy sanding might ruin the intricate profiling and also, leaving some of the old finish on will protect the timber in the event you ever want to restore it back to its original condition. (If you really want to ensure a piece is really easy to restore back to its original condition later, use an oil-based enamel paint as it will be really easy to chemically strip – however, I used a low VOC water-based paint as they’re so much healthier and the dresser was going into a child’s room).

If you’re looking for old dressers or drawers at garage sales and the like – always check the runners, if they’re not in good working order it’ll cost a few hundred dollars to fix them. Only buy pieces that are structurally sound and have a gorgeous shape.

B & A – Garden chair

This chair (and a matching two-seater) was a roadside find – and pretty much a cinch to do up – if you find something similar, this is what you do…

Firstly, rub over with diluted bleach to get rid of the mould and dirt – and then give a quick sand. Next, a couple of coats of fresh, white paint (enamel cracks and turns yellow in the sun – so use an acrylic (water-based) paint).

For the cushions – measure up the seat size and pop into your local foam store (I ordered mine from Dyman Foams but you could also try Clark Rubber) and they’ll usually cut it for you on the spot. I also ordered some extra pieces for the back cushions. It’s very important to ask for outdoor foam – there’s two basic types; closed or open cell. Closed cell foam is very dense and doesn’t let the water penetrate at all – open cell foam, as the name suggests, is very porous and lets the water run straight through. I prefer the open cell foam.

And of course it’s really important to use a specialised outdoor fabric, otherwise you may have problems with mould and the fabric may fade rather quickly (especially in our harsh Australian sun!).

(For this project, I used ‘Mimosa’ in Indigo from Mokum).