There’s something undeniably satisfying about seeing things restored to their former glory – surpassed only by the ability to do it yourself I imagine.
As such, evening courses in re-upholstering and furniture restoration are now firmly on my list of things to learn, along side pattern cutting, pottery classes, cheese making – and anything else that justifies wearing a leather apron.
In the mean time I’ll leave the furniture fixing to the professionals – but that doesn’t make it any less exciting to see the end results.
Over the course of the last few years I have come across a few things that were magically transformed when put in the right hands and it’s a lovely feeling to know you’re helping to restore something that might otherwise have been rejected. Among my favorites so far: the Arne Jacobsen vintage classic 3117 chair was brought back to life with fresh new leather upholstery, Ole Wanscher’s PJ 112 arm chair and two seater sofa have been restored with strengthened frames and much needed new cushions and seat webbing and a group of old Danish Rosewood tables have been stripped back and re-polished beyond my expectations.
Growing up in a ‘throw-away’ culture most of us know that buying something new to replace something old/broken/unwanted is not only easier but in many cases cheaper as well. So although the days of taking your television set to the shop for a new valve to be fitted are almost surely gone forever, there has been a steady shift in values when it comes to other home items – especially furniture – and now older pieces, hand-me-downs, heir looms, travel finds and collectables are increasing in popularity – regardless of their designer status – and even more so if they have been discovered and rescued from a fate worse than the dump or someone’s skip.
While some of the things I find are fixed in Denmark, before I ship them over to the UK, I know a couple of lovely ladies here in London that help me when it comes to re-upholstering and general furniture restoration. It never gets boring to see what they can do.