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Sunday 25 October 2015

French Louis Chair Reupholster

  Before and after

A few years ago I bought this beautiful French Louis chair from my local charity shop, Emmanus. The moment I laid my eyes on the chair, it was love at first sight, despite the tired looking olive coloured fabric and unvarnished wood. I know good quality furniture when I see it and I wasn't letting this one go!

I knew in time I could reupholster it, so wasn't too bothered about the style of the chair until one day I had finally had enough of looking at the poor thing. This chair deserved better and I knew it had the potential to look amazing, so project "renovate louis chair" began!

My French Louis armchair before the reupholster

Over the years I have worked on numerous upcycling projects – painting chairs, coffee tables, tv stands and bookshelves, the list is endless.  However reupholstery is a different type of project.

Having visited the reupholstery shop and seen the upholsterer in action, I am much more aware of the different phases it takes to reupholster a chair. This is a real skill left to the professionals! The techniques the
upholsterer uses are truly amazing. The entire chair was stripped right to the frame and rebuilt to its former glory.

But before the chair was stripped down, firstly I had to choose the new fabric. Choosing the fabric for your chair might seem like an easy decision but with so much choice of fabric on offer, it can be difficult choosing the right one. I had seen lots of ideas and designs on Pinterest and kept a board of my favourite images, however, I wanted to make sure that the fabric would go with the colour scheme of my bedroom: white and silver with warm grey tones.

Example of the many fabrics available to choose from

The shop had lots of fabrics to choose from, it was like being in a sweet shop! In the end I chose this striped fabric with blue, green, yellow and brown colours, which goes perfectly with my bedroom decor. 

The chosen fabric

The chair looks fantastic and the varnishing and priming work done on the wood looks great, just like brand new.  I'm equally really pleased with my choice of fabric, it's amazing how a different fabric can give a chair a new lease of life and it's the perfect addition to my bedroom. 

 So pleased with the finished chair reupholstery

Although I physically did very little, picking the fabric was definitely the hardest decision I had to make in this project so I thought I would share my top three tips for choosing the right fabric:

Pick the right style

There are so many different styles of chairs, louis chair, wing chair, recliners etc and each chair has its unique style so make sure the style compliments your home décor too. The perfect fabric can add a lot of character to your chair and can either compliment or clash with your décor – so choose wisely!

Pick the right pattern

Patterned chairs can look great and are a good way to add character to a room. 
A patterned chair can be a focal point for a room or it can simply add a bit of depth and is a great way to showcase your brilliant eye for design!  On a practical note, most patterns can hide stains and wear better than plain fabric. However, you may be able to get away with having certain patterns on smaller chairs but it may not work as well on a large armchair so this is worth considering too.

Pick the right fabric

The fabric you pick for your chair, is really important and can often be overlooked. Yes the pattern and colour might be "perfect" but remember is the fabric ideal for how you plan to use your chair?

Upholstery fabric determines the longevity of your chair so by using combination fabrics or engineered fabrics these tend to be more durable than natural ones.  Also fabrics that are woven patterns tend to hold up longer than patterns that are printed onto fabrics.

Another factor to consider is choosing strong colours in a very sunny room in case of fading. If you do choose a bold colour then try rotating cushions which will help to slow the process of fading.  However what is most important is choosing a fabric that works for you on a daily basis and also achieves the style you wanted.

The finished product - my reupholstered French Louis chair

Sunday 11 October 2015

Montagu Place – a hidden gem in the heart of Marylebone

Montagu Place located in Marylebone

Last weekend, I was invited to stay at the recently renovated Montagu Place, a boutique hotel located in the heart of Marylebone.

This beautiful getaway destination is situated in a quiet location near Baker Street, and a short stroll from Marble Arch, Oxford Street, Selfridges and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum.  It’s also close to many restaurants including Galvin Bistrot de Luxe, Chiltern Fire House or for something a bit cheaper there's Meat Liquor. We had dinner in the Grazing Goat, a gastropub nearby serving delicious food and tasty craft beers.

 Hall way


Montagu Place is a beautiful grade II listed Georgian townhouse, with 16 guest bedrooms divided into three categories: Comfy, Fancy and Swanky. Each bedroom is as charming and lovely as they sound.  The Comfy quarters are decorated with a rich aubergine theme with heather and dusky pink, whereas the Fancy bedrooms have simple classic neutral theme.

 Swanky bedroom

I stayed in the Swanky bedroom, a charming room also decorated throughout with neutral tones and classically inspired furniture like sleek black coffee table, leather armchairs and lampshades in soft neutral colours. The décor is simple but chic and unlike some boutique hotels that can make a room feel cold, Montagu Place manages to get the right mix of both comfortable and stylish.

All the 16 individually decorated rooms have free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, coffee makers, free bottled water are among the other amenities available to guests. Guests can enjoy continental breakfast, room service, 24 hour reception and even a snug lounge with a mini bar that serves drinks into the evening.

Breakfast is served in the dining room

Although Montagu Place has 16 bedrooms, it is small but perfectly formed.  The hotel is so homey you forget you are a paying guest, especially if you’re staying in a Swanky bedroom.  The environment is complimented with the warm and friendly staff who were both helpful and attentive, ensuring we were comfortable throughout our stay here.

These small hotel gems are among London's best assets but you just need to know where to find them! If you’re looking for a boutique hotel that brings both luxury and comfort then you must visit Montagu Place, a true hidden gem in the heart of London.

For more information on Montagu Place Hotel visit the website here.

*Disclaimer: My stay at Montagu Place Hotel was complimentary but all words and opinions are my own*

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