The skill of Restoration Art
Restoration art is a very specific – and sought after – skill. In today’s fast moving, modern world, there’s a wave of consumers and artists who prefer things a little slower, a little more crafted, and a little more thoughtful. These are the people who appreciate how furniture used to be made, or how the crafts of the past influence the styles of the future.
Restoration artists take beautiful, yet broken or tired pieces of furniture from yesteryear (it doesn’t matter which era) and make them magnificent again. These are the pieces of furniture that may have once been taken to the tip, used for firewood, or simply dumped because they are no longer fashionable – no longer deemed useful. However, they are wanted, and these skilled Southeastern artists are working hard to ensure they’re never disposed of again.
by Lisamarie Lamb
The restorers at Hangar 54 specialise in aviation furniture. From chairs to desks, mirrors to dining tables, every one of their restored pieces has been recycled from plane parts. The products from Hangar 54 make stunning statement pieces for the modern home, and each piece has its own story to tell.
Longend Lane, Marden, Kent TN12 9SE
www.hangar54.com / 0207 868 1413
Zoe Murphy takes old, unloved furniture and restores it to its former glory, with a number of modern twists. Just like her beloved Margate, some of these items are truly adored pieces, and just need a little love to bring them back to how they should be. Vintage, yet up to date, Zoe’s designs span chairs, tables and accessories – and they’re stunning!
Studio 24, Hawley Street, Margate, Kent CT9 1QA
www.zoemurphy.com / 01843 447445
Amongst his many skills, restorer, Trevor Hinton, works using traditional techniques to achieve outstanding results – his work includes painting and ageing, colour matching, patination, lacquering, repairing gilding, and much more. His main expertise lie within folk art.
2 Petersbank Cottage, Penshurst Road, Bidborough, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 0LW
www.hintonrestorations.co.uk / 07751 364343
John Lloyd Fine Furniture
John Lloyd offers talks and workshops on how to restore antiques furniture, so he is well placed to do the work himself. He restores inlay and marquetry, repairs carvings (or copies and replaces if required), is an expert in rush and cane work, and much more.
Bankside Farm, Ditchling Common, Burgess Hill, East Sussex RH15 0SJ
www.johnlloydfinefurniture.co.uk / 01444 480388
A J Brett
Since 1952, the skilled craftsmen and women at A J Brett have been restoring antique furniture and particularly 18th- and 19th-century Art Deco and Biedermeier. All work here is carried out using traditional methods.
168c Marlborough Road, London N19 4NP
www.ajbrett.co.uk / 020 7272 8462
The Arts and Craft Home
Specialising in original items of fine condition Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Arts and Crafts Movement and 20th-century jewellery, this is not just about furniture. Here, you can find everything and anything for your home, and it has all been restored to a high standard including pieces from Liberty, Heals, Wylie and Lochhead, Shapland and Petter, Epstein, Hille, Lalique, Archibald Knox and many more. On 19th April 2015, 11am, there will be a celebrity charity valuation day at The Design Gallery – see more details on the website.
The Design Gallery, 5 The Green, Westerham, Kent TN16 1AS
www.achome.co.uk / 01959 561234
Furniture Art employs many specialist skills to restore and recreate the most beautiful pieces of furniture, from Queen Anne and Georgian to modern. Woodcarving, gilding, cabinet making, veneering, and leatherwork are just a few of the skills on offer.
The Studio, 47 Curtis Road, Ashford, Kent TN24 0DA
www.furniture-art.co.uk / 01233 612115
Clio the Muse
Clio the Muse offers a range of services to restore and upcycle old furniture – including that already in your house. If your sideboard is looking shabby or your armchair could do with some tender loving care, then Clio the Muse will discuss, design, and implement ideas to give your home and the furniture within it a new lease of life. Alternatively, browse the London-based shop or the Clio the Muse website for new-old furniture.
Unit 11, Print Village, Chadwick Road, London SE15 4PU
The Applebird House
The Applebird House creates bespoke designs using your well-loved furniture, sources beautiful items for your home, and runs courses on how to make the most of the furniture you have, without spending a fortune on buying brand new pieces to fill your home.
Brighton and Hove, East Sussex
www.theapplebirdhouse.co.uk / 07732 197304
When you want vintage and you want different, seek out the expertise and knowledge of Clubhouse Interiors. Whether it’s a retro locker, an old and restored bookcase, original Harrods’ crates made into modern storage, or even a roller-style filing cabinet from the 1920s, you can find it here. Furniture and interior design items that were once discarded are now able to find a new purpose thanks to Clubhouse Interiors.
Unit 35, The Vinery, Arundel Road, Arundel, West Sussex BN18 9PY
www.clubhouseinteriors.co.uk / 01903 883137
The Retro Station
A chair made from an old steamer trunk, a vintage Victorian armchair remade with new, modern materials, solid oak filing cabinets, lights made from old tripods, and bespoke dining room furniture are just some of the exciting and daring pieces of furniture and home décor available at The Retro Station.
Unit 41 Berwick Court Farm, Berwick, Eastbourne, East Sussex BN26 5QS
www.theretrostation.com / 01323 870618
A hobby that became a career, upcycling is what Amity Baker-Smith loves to do. She reclaims, restores, and recycles vintage furniture to give it a fresh new look that is just perfect for the modern home.
Hurst Lane, Egham, Surrey TW20 8QJ
www.amitydesigns.co.uk / 07780 434186
Seth Whitehead cares about unloved, abandoned, and generally forgotten about furniture. His knowledge and experience in bringing the neglected back into the mainstream is exceptional. It could be anything from dining tables to wooden flooring, garden furniture to upholstery, or he can even create and restore beautiful banisters to make your home look as good as it possibly can.
52 Wyles Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 6LE
www.sethwhitehead-restoration.co.uk / 01634 847234
Not only do the craftsmen and restorers at RM Restoration work hard at bringing damaged and neglected vintage furniture back to its former glory, but they also maintain the furniture, ensuring that it never again falls into a state of disrepair.
Unit 8 Hilltop Meadows, Old London Road, Knockholt, Kent TN14 7JW
www.rmrestoration.co.uk / 01959 533771
The Vintage Dove
The Vintage Dove specialises in French furniture in the ‘shabby chic’ style. Up to the minute with modern trends, yet using vintage furniture that otherwise would have been destroyed, The Vintage Dove’s experts restore these one-off, unique pieces to showroom condition.
5B Rainham Shopping Centre, Gillingham, Kent ME8 7HW
www.thevintagedove.com / 01634 372178
The Painted Finish
Outmoded furniture is an expensive thing – it needs to be disposed of, and new, modern, up-to-date furniture needs to be purchased to take its place. Or does it? Not so, when using The Painted Finish’s expert services. The skilled artists here will paint your old furniture until it looks like new – or until it looks like old, depending on the look you are going for! Whether it’s stylish and sleek or shabby chic, you will have new life breathed into your home.
177 Western Road, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH16 3LH
www.thepaintedfinish.co.uk / 01444 473634
The Treasure Trove
The philosophy behind the work carried out at The Treasure Trove is that it’s the furniture that tells the artists just what it needs in order to be enhanced and restored to an incredible – and totally one-off – finish. Using style, creativity and expertise, the furniture at The Treasure Trove is in safe hands, and always ends up being a beautiful, much-desired addition to any home.
Unit 4 Mine Pit, Dern Lane, Little Dernwood Farm, Waldron, East Sussex TN21 0PN
www.thetreasuretrove.co.uk / 01323 488049
The Recycled Goods Factory
The mission of The Recycled Goods Factory is to save as much vintage furniture from the landfill as possible. Not only is this good for the environment, but it means that these once-gorgeous chairs, tables, dressers, sofas, and anything else that can be used in the home, can be restored and loved once more.
Unit 1 Parklands Business Centre, 44 Chartwell Road, Lancing Business Park, Lancing, West Sussex BN15 8UE
www.recycledgoodsfactory.co.uk / 01903 753377
Petit Miracles creates beautiful bespoke furniture at an affordable price, upcycled from handpicked salvaged, antique and vintage pieces. What’s more, it is a charitable social enterprise, teaching furniture restoration, interior design, and basic DIY to those needing help to get back into work. Petit Miracles offers a way for everyone to be part of the future of environmentally friendly working, and creates some stunning, unique designs in the process.
West 12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush Green, London W12 8PP
www.petitmiracles.org.uk / 07903 566429
Revived London is a small business born out of a love for antiques, décor and breathing life into old pieces of furniture. Specialising in unique, yet affordable pieces of art that are also furniture, Revived London’s experts take the neglected and make it wanted. Revived London also takes commissions, and welcomes the change to chat to you about what you see as your vision for your old furniture. From Union Jack-covered wardrobes to perfectly restored vintage school desks that make excellent talking points, anything is possible.
East Dulwich, London
www.revivedlondon.com / 07813 856361
Specialists in both modern and antique furniture repairs and restorations, as well as re-upholstering and picture framing, Kendal Restoration is dedicated to bringing old or misused furniture back to how it was always meant to be. With free quotations, personal visits, and good advice, the experts at Kendal Restoration – with 33 years of experience behind them – are committed to ensuring no furniture is disposed of just because it no longer suits.
Oakfield Business Corner, Works Road, Letchworth Garden City, London SG6 1FB
www.kendalrestoration.co.uk / 020 8419 1697
Godfrey Honeywill Antique Furniture Restoration
Godfrey Honeywill is an artist when it comes to staining furniture – he mixes and matches the colours of varnish so that the finished result looks authentic and beautiful. As a bonus to the fantastic work he does, all of the products and methods he uses are environmentally friendly (as it is restoring old furniture, rather than throwing it away).
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
www.godfreyhonnywillrestoration.co.uk / 01892 890417