Tutorial on Upholstering a Bench or Chair Seat

I’ve written a little tutorial on upholstering a bench or chair seat with also a Youtube video at the end so you can use one or both if you are wanting to do some at some point too. As always when doing a DIY job there are a few things to consider before you start so hopefully this will be helpful.

The thing, I think that puts most people off doing a bit of upholstering is that it seems like it might be a tad fiddly and time consuming but you know what ? It is actually really simple and easy – and can save money by doing the job yourself. I don’t mean sofas or armchairs although there are lots of local courses teaching this too but if you’re looking to cover an old stool, dining chair seat or in my case a bench seat, then it is well worth putting aside a few hours and giving it a go. I promise !

What you will need.

Fabric of choice. Ideally thicker upholstery fabric to stand the test of time.

Fine sandpaper, primer and your chosen paint colour.

Staple gun, tape measure, pins, scissors, newspaper, pencil / fabric marker, screwdriver.

Things to consider.

You don’t alway have to have co-ordinating colours. You may want to of course. But I have chosen a paint and a fabric that are not an obvious choice together but actually work as a great contrast. The fabric is called Tropicana in Navy from the Tango range by Linwood. I love it and am a big fan of this collection, it’s  really vivid and striking. There are four colourways to choose from. They also have velvets and wallpaper. I’ve been a bit obsessed with using it on something for a while so this is quite an exciting project.

One thing to really consider is the width and length of the piece/s you are upholstering. If you are using a plain solid colour then all you need to think about is the width and whether it is wide enough to cover along with the seams needed. You will be able to use it width ways to length ways. If it has a pattern then does it work visually both ways or will it only work one way ? For example if it has animals or houses as a print, you won’t want them going sideways. They can only be upholstered facing upwards.

With this print here it works either way so as the bench is longer than one width of the fabric I am using it sideways and it works. You will see my do this in my Youtube video to clarify. I had some material left over so I made a few scatter cushions ( a tutorial for another day maybe ? )

Please do check whether your fabric of choice is fire retardant. Very important if it is for indoors.

Getting started.

Remove the seat from the base it is on. In this case it’s attached by hinges so I unscrewed them and then marked where they were so it made putting it back together again easier. If it’s a chair then you might be able to remove it without any tools.

With a tape measure work out the width and length of the seat ( always check twice ) and then you will also need at least 5 cm for extra on all sides for stapling under. Lay the fabric on the seat to make sure you have the pattern as you want it to be seen bearing in mind the seams on each end. It would be a shame to have a feature of the print left out or disappearing off to one side. Equally if you can get the print to look balanced then it will look better and not bother you for years on ( or maybe that’s just me being pedantic ! ) Cut out the amount required and save.

I may be stating the total obvious here but I will say it anyway as I have made the mistake myself in the past. Make sure you cover the floor area where you are working for the painting part. If you are using an oil based paint especially as it is near impossible to completely remove it if spilt. I have sheets but lots of newspaper is just as good.

For the bench it will need rubbing down with sandpaper and then some primer. Although you may decide not to prime over the original paint and just go straight in with your new colour, I do think it helps to use primer as the new paint sticks better, giving an overall better finish.

Once you’ve sanded the area and primed you can paint – maybe two coats if needed. Leave it to dry and set to work on the upholstering of the padded seat.

When you’ve measured out the fabric needed with a tape measure and marker or pencil you can cut it – remembering the 5 cm seams on every side. This means 2 folds of 2.5 cm to give a neat finish underneath and to avoid any fraying.

I’d recommend either asking someone to help you with this next bit as you will need to pull the fabric tightly before stapling it on – or as you will see in my tutorial you can do it all yourself with pins. It just takes a bit of smoothing out all over before pinning all around to hold it in place before you turn the seat over and staple. When it comes to all the corners there will be excess fabric in a ‘ V ‘ shape that you will need to cut away to enable you to fold the corners over before stapling. I recommend having a look at the video to see how I cut it. If you don’t remove them there will be too much bulk and the seat won’t sit properly on it’s base ? So once you’ve fastened each side down and the corners too you are done.

As mentioned earlier I also made a little Youtube for you to refer to. Any upholstering questions then leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

If you’d like to have a little look at all of Linwood’s lovely fabrics you can do so here.

Also, come and say hi on instagram.

The fabric was a gift. All opinions as ever are my own.

Win a bespoke Mood Board and Home Guide

Interior Online Service moose boards United kingdom help with designing room

I’m really pleased now to be able to share my online service, offering anyone anywhere searching for interior design inspiration, a bespoke interior design mood board, also help with room and home planning.

Maybe you’re not sure about which colour palette to use ? Or you just can’t quite figure a layout in the room that will work ?

To celebrate the start of this not only I am offering 10% off this July, I’m also offering a reader one of my services. If you’d like a mood board made for you; maybe you’re thinking about redesigning a room or want to tweak a space with a different colour scheme –  then I’d love to create something for you that’ll guide and inspire you for your project.

I currently offer two packages and the winner will receive Option 1 which is a Bespoke Digital Mood Board and a curated Home Inspiration Guide which includes lots of places to find the right pieces for you including my go to stores for the best finds. You could say it’s my ‘ little black book ‘. This is usually £90 per room as you’ll see on my online service page along with Option 2.

This will be emailed you once compete within 7 days and if you would like a copy in the post then no problem – consider it done.

Once the giveaway ends I will be in touch via email where we can have a consultation chat via email to establish what you’re looking for and go from there.

So if you fancy a bit of insight and help from an interior designer then maybe this could be the opportunity to get going ?

I’ve set up a Rafflecopter below for you to enter if you’d like to take part and the terms and conditions also.

Really looking forward to hopefully working with you on something lovely for your home. It’s so good to be able to reach you wherever you live in the world.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions. 

Winner will be picked at random by Rafflecopter.

This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide. If you are under 16 please ask a parent or guardian to enter on your behalf !

I will be attempt to get in touch with the winner via email within 24 hours of this giveaway ending and ask for a response within 48 hours or a new entrant will be chosen.

No cash or alternative prize alternative offered.

I am more than happy to make one alteration to your final mood board. Please beat this in mind when entering. Once your mood board is emailed and posted to this service will have been completed on my part and no further designs will be created.

As you will be entering via Rafflecopter which will be acting as a third party, I have added their privacy policy here.

GOOD LUCK!

If you’re looking for extra inspiration in the meantime, then have a look at my Pinterest boards.

Three stunning home for sale this month

kitchen in converted old chapel school

It’s always really enjoyable doing these beautiful homes for sale posts as it gives me the green light to be downright nosey, looking at properties online. As always there are some really stunning places for sale this month – not only for potential buyers but also give a bit of inspiration anyone thinking of doing up their current places.

Frome, Somerset.

To start with this month is The Old School Room in the West of the UK. It predates 1850, forms part of a Grade II listed Baptist Chapel and covers a pretty large 1577 square feet all on one level.

quirky home clever interior design high ceilings

Open living with a home like this has several benefits before we even start on just how unique this property is anyway. It encourages a more communal way of living with more interaction and without lots of diving walls, helps hugely with natural light. The beauty also is that you could create your own divides, where you choose them using bookcases  – which also help to buffer noise. It’s also nice to think you can cook in the house without being shut away from everyone.

This place isn’t totally open plan obviously, just the Kitchen and reception area.

blue bedroom fireplace

a hallway with a original headed chapel windows, two bedrooms, a bathroom and en – suite make up the rest of the home. With such interesting features such as the old fireplaces and nice little alcove areas it’s not difficult at all to find extra places for storage. The owners have made full use of these.

Chapel Convereted home UK Somerset chapel converted home for sale uk quirky clever interior design

Especially like this bedroom where stye have painted the coving a bold gold. It’s amazing how touches like this can completely change the look of the room. In a place with such character anyway, it emphasises the high ceilings and adds a sense of cosiness. The parquet flooring is the icing on the cake.

The Old School Room is set in a quiet conservation area of Frome town. It’s on for sale at £595,000 with The Modern House.

South East London.

Aucoot Property for Sale

Okay, so this 4 bedroom apartment sold it for me with the views let alone the architecture and interior design. It’s in Tidemill Square.

You have views with head to toe windows of the Thames. For someone who loves the bustle of London but also likes to feel they are right near water and nature ( I know quite a lot of people who need to be ) this would be the dream.

Aucoot Property for Sale

Having black kitchen units defines it from the rest of the again open living area. I personally, really like the combination they have used for the brushed brass splash back wall. It’s a strong look and fantastic combination with marble also and wooden floors. The owners here have chosen a very, what is called ‘ Winter ‘ type of colour palette throughout which is lovely and luxurious. For anyone wanting to buy it, they could stick with it or have plenty of scope to put their own mark on it.

Aucoot Property for Sale

Along with an en – suite, the Master Bedroom has a walk in dressing room. I’m sold all over again. There is also underfloor heating in here as with all the bathrooms and bedrooms.

There are also a couple of balconies to this to really enjoy the atmosphere and relax.

It really is quite a huge home with at the end of a corridor leading to a self contained studio with more open plan living, dining, a bedroom and another bathroom. The bonus of something like this is it could be rented out or ideal for an older teenager.

Aucoot Property for SaleAucoot Property for Sale

As well as owning the most incredible pad, there are other positives, lift access, on site security, underground parking and in my opinion best of all some shared amenities as it part of Greenwich Peninsula Community which is free membership to a cinema, gym, nursery and places to eat.

All you need is £1,300,000 and you can move in. I’m currently saving up :) It’s with Aucoot who have lots of stunning homes to see.

Whitstable, Kent.

kitchen black unites gold marble contemporary devol

What first attracted me to this house for sale was the kitchen. It’s handmade and by Devol who I am a big fan of. But there’s so much more to look at. It has been refurbished to a really high standard.

The front entrance of this two storey home in Salts Close can be found in a secluded courtyard, making it nice and private. It’s very smart and the owners have used large pots to decorate, I think I would do the same.

stylish painted staircase painted black red brick flooring retro style home mid century

Inside are absolutely stunning Moroccan hand crafted terracotta tiles. At first glance I thought they were parquet but no ! I would love to use these in a design soon. The mixture of the brick with the wood and marbles gives a very tactile finish. Adding some retro pieces of furniture to complete the downstairs. I love their taste.

blue bedroom fitted units cool

Heading upstairs, they’ve definitely utilised space with built in wardrobe around the head of the bed. I do really like their use of colour throughout, light hues and just the right amount of them makes it friendly and very suited to a home five minutes walk from the sea.

pink trendy bathroom cool gold

There’s an outside space at the back too with large picture windows either end to show them off.

I’ve always wanted to go to Whitstable and even more so now I’ve seen this. If I was looking to buy, I’d be there in a flash.

Also on the market with The Modern House at £475,000 Freehold.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this months trio of rather special homes ? Let’s see what I can come up with for July. You can sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to in the right hand side of this post. Or follow me on instagram or Pinterest from some interior inspiration.

If you’d like to see the past properties I shared  – you can find them here.

Images 1 – 5 & 11 – 15 © The Modern House. Images 6 – 10 © Aucoot. All rights reserved.

Win £70 worth of Artwork from Permild & Rosengreen

Artwork Astrology Aquarius Blue Chair retro mid century scandi home cool living area
Ad – This post is a paid partnership with Permild & Rosengreen.

It’s been a little while since I last offered a giveaway here on the blog. High time for another one. I was over the moon with this Aquarius print sent over by Permild & Rosengreen. Having looked through their website, I liked loads of them but I’ve never had astrology artwork before and love the deep teal and light pink colours they’ve used in this constellation artwork. It came framed and super quick delivery.

I was really impressed by their service generally and thought you might like the opportunity to have some of their art in your home too ?

Danish founded company Permild & Rosengreen are offering my readers up to £70 worth of artwork from their website which has started now and will last for the next week until 12am on the 9th June.

Livston Copehagen Astrology Print Aquarius Starsign Art retro phone trendy prints

They feature a really diverse collection of creatives. Some I hadn’t even discovered before – and many gorgeous vivid posters. In business since 1947, they are well known for producing lithography, art catalogues, calendars etc and have worked on many artist collaborations.

There are lots and lots of pieces to choose from such as Retro, Typography, Kids, all signs of the Zodiac and also art from the National Gallery of Denmark. They come in different frame options and sizes and it’s very easy to navigate to find what you want.

Artwork Aquarius Astrology

It was hard though with all the choice to choose my own print and frame but I go there in the end and went for the black although was tempted by the wooden version.

artwork giveaway win prints uk
1. Colorful World of Eames 2. København by Jacob Sneum 3. Muui 4. NASA Voyager 2 5. Louisiana 6. Flamingo by Palle Wennerwald 7. Vintage Camera and Polaroid 8. SØNDERGAARD 9. Muui 10. Bike by Dominique Jal

Just to give you some idea of what they have I’ve put together 10 here but there are so many more that you will find on their website.

Best I tell you about the giveaway now incase you’d like to take part ?

It’s run by Rafflecopter this time and below you can see all the different ways you can enter. You don’t have to be on social media as you can see but this time you do need be a UK resident.

You’ll can choose up to £70 worth of art work and framing and the postage will be on Permild & Rosengreen as any orders over £50 have free delivery included.

I will be in touch with the winner soon after. All the terms and conditions are below and I’d like to wish you the best of luck !

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and conditions.

You must be 18 or over to enter this giveaway.
Winner will be picked at random via Rafflecopter.
Entrants must live in the UK.
The winner will be able to choose up to £70 worth of artwork and framing.
Postage & Package supplied by Permild & Rosengreen.
No cash or alternative alternative prize offered.
The winner will be contacted by me within 24 hours of winning. A response will be needed within 48 hours or a new winner will be picked.

How to Choose the right Parasol for your Outdoor Space

Solero Parasols Garden shade inspiration ideas summer
Ad – This post is a paid partnership with Solero Parasols.

As I’m very garden focused at the moment, finding a good parasol is something I’ve been giving quite a bit of thought to. If this Summer is anything like last year then it’s definitely worth considering some good shade somewhere outside to be prepared.

Gone are the days of just umbrella type shades with little slightly wobbly bases, there are literally so many stylish and practical parasols on offer that it’s hard to navigate the internet sometimes and decipher what you’ll need, so I’ve put together some pointers that might make it a bit simpler all round using a company called Solero Parasols for examples as they know their stuff when it comes to such things.

solero parasols garden sunny shade ideas inspiration

Size.

A factor before you invest is  – will it fit ? I have made the mistake before of loving something and buying it without measuring up. It’s vital to work out the measurements to ensure it will cover all the chairs and table if going over a dining or seated area. Or that it will fit in lots of different areas without being over bearing. I do think go as big as you possibly can for as much as ground coverage as possible. In our case I always think of our pets as well and keeping them shady at the same time.

If you do need shade for a smaller space then a smaller square version should be just the ticket.

parasols ideas south facing garden bright shade

Durability and protection.

Thinking about the weather. Is your garden prone to extreme weather ? Or is the space South facing meaning that you will get more sun and heat at the hottest time of the day ?

For colder weather, A hydropholic (repels water) coating will be useful and also reinforced ribs will mean standing up to powerful winds. A cover for the parasol while it is not bing used is obviously a sensible idea too.

being safe from UV rays is right up there on the list and so good to know if the material used for the parasol have 100% filter for radiation.

Wall Parasol garden restaurant shade sunny ground solero parasol wall attached

Base and mobility.

Are you going to be moving the parasol around or will you want to station it in just one area ?

Is it going to be a side arm ( Cantilever ) parasol that frees up the seating area or do you want something more classic like the Centre Pole Parasols ?

There’s also the wall parasols with integrated gas spring to make easy opening and closing like the one here above. These would be prefect for a smaller patio, a restaurant or even as a sunshade for a beach hut ? The thought of coordinating a parasol with a bright beach hut fills me with colour happiness.

If you are wanting a base there’s tile, granite or if you want something permanent then anchor bases that are stainless steel and poured in to the terrace with concrete to fix them.

If you are going to be moving the parasol around you can find bases with wheels which are very handy.

Which Shape.

Round, square or rectangle ? The pro’s for the round are it can generally open and close above a table and has a higher closing height because all the ribs are the same length.

As for a square shape, they can connect with wall gutters so if it is raining the water will find it’s way through the gutter and not all over you. So you can sit outside whatever the weather without getting wet.

Aesthetically it really depends on the look you prefer and it’s as simple as that.

Parasols outdoors beach garden ideas

Colour and material.

Of course, I am going to bring up the colour aspect but it’s definitely important. I notice that Solero Parasols offer a 4 year guarantee which I think is excellent and a real deal maker personally. For instance, you want to be able to trust that it won’t fade from a nice vibrant turquoise to a palid light blue within the first year or that you are at least looked after by the company if that were to happen.

If you have a table and chairs already or surrounding fences etc then it’s worth taking in to account whether everything is cohesive. You could even make up a little mood board before purchasing. It always helps pull everything together and decipher which colour parasol will look best. You want to be happy with it for years to come, after all. The parasols that I am showing today are fade resistant and 100% recyclable fabric.

With the poles being made of possibly aluminium or wood this is another thing to add in to the mix. Would you prefer a rustic wooden look or a sleek metal contemporary design ?

Tilting Parasol garden swimming pool colours sizes Tilting parasol outdoor sunny

Operating and technical options.

Where do I begin? You can buy parasols that tilts from side to side very discreetly with the sun like the Solero Fratello Pro here.

There’s no need these days to have garden heaters separate to your parasols as now you can buy waterproof ones that attach to the inside of the brackets creating a nice low glare warmth.

For lighting there are clip on LED like the Solero Lux  which is basically a strip type light which you affix to the rib of the parasol or lights that clip around the pole.

These accessories help to free up space around you which can be useful and more practical.

But you’d need to double check that the products work alongside each other before buying.

I think maybe most of us have grappled with an umbrella or parasol before, trying to open it. It’s much easier with a push pull system which means the parasol opens up by just pulling the handle of the parasol down. But there are other ways to open some of the parasols such as using a winch handle. Last but not least there’s a double purely system which is nice and simple and opens the parasol by pulling a cord down.

parasols outdoor ideas shady garden summer

Overall quality and pricing.

Check out reviews. Read up on the websites about the materials used and do your research and also – does the company offer a decent warranty ?

I chose to collaborate with Solero Parasols on this because they are specialists, have a 5 star rating and have so much on offer that you can’t go wrong – being able to specify colours and finishes along with bases. They describe themselves is middle to high end when it comes to pricing point.

In terms of a good quality parasol – it will be an investment for some time and will be well made so you may be looking at around £295 to start with and remember to bear in mind the extra accessories of required, that I have just mentioned. I am saving up for one myself and having done some research for this post will be spending a little more than I had initially planned to make sure I get something that will last throughout the coming years.

As there are so many different variations to choose from, you can often mix and match on this particular website to find exactly what you need as long as they are designed to work and fit together.

If you want to know any more then do head over to the Solero Parasols – their site is incredibly informative. I think I’ve learned everything I need to know today just by looking through their pages.

Are you looking for garden pieces too ? What do you think of these ?