2017 was my busiest year so far at EJD, I worked on a variety of projects from tartan armchairs to gypsy caravans and everywhere in between. So when I was struck down with the dreaded man flu in the closing days of 2017 and being confined to the sofa, I finally found the time to sit and write a new blog post sharing my all time Top 5 Favourite chairs from 2017.
Number 1 – The Tartan and Velvet Tub Chair. I love to combine contemporary with traditional and this chair illustrates what can happen when I can do what I want. It came to me covered in a tired pale blue draylon and the woodwork had been stained orange pine sometime back in the 1980’s. It was just horrible. There is no return from orange pine wood stain, no matter how much you sand the wood back, the only real solution is to cover it up, so I did in Farrow & Ball’s ‘Downpipe’. The tartan is from Abraham Moon’s fabulous range and the gunmetal velvet was a remnant from my fabric stash and the gimp braid from Troy North. I just love the final look and was delighted when it was snapped up via my Etsy Shop in early January 2018.
Number 2 – Suzie’s Armchair. My friend Suzie, asked me to look out for a winged armchair for her, so I did, but I bet she wasn’t expecting the one I found to be quite in the state it was. You can read about it here ‘The Abused Armchair’. In a nutshell this chair makes it into the 2017 line up as it really was a furniture makeover that Kirsty (bloody) Allsopp (as I call her) couldn’t even dream about plus the stunning Moons tartan was a challenge in its own right. I am very proud of this one and please don’t tell her, but, quite a few of our friends suffer from a bad case of chair envy.
Number 3 – Katie’s Patchwork Chair: Take one rather ugly fireside chair, add a lovely client with a vivid imagination and this is the result! Katie wanted an armchair that her elderly Mum could sit in comfortably and get in and out of without struggling, but it also had to fit in with Katie’s rather stylish lounge. She had looked around for a while but the ones she liked were too low or squidgy for Daphne or ‘bloody ugly chairs that look like they have come from an old folk’s home’ as Katie described them. She came to my workshop to chat about some Roman blinds and then spotted this chair tucked away at the back. We pulled it out, dusted it off and Katie decreed it was just perfect. ‘Really?’ I asked in genuine surprise as I considered it rather old fashioned and not the sort of chair I thought Katie would go for. Out came the samples from Moon’s and we draped them all over the chair – it was then Katie decided that she would go with a patchwork look. I adore the contrasting use of tartan, dots and checks. She was right, it is just perfect. Daphne loves it and it fits in as a statement piece in the lounge.
Number 4. The Sunflower Chair. This one makes the line up as it is Ruari’s favourite chair and as head of quality control he knows what he is talking about. It came covered in a deep red draylon. It is a huge chair (the kind that makes me wish I was a foot taller so when I sit in it my legs don’t stick out like a 5 year old), and whilst the red suited the traditional Victorian style. It didn’t sing. I had a chat with my client Pat who didn’t really know what she wanted so I ordered a huge number of samples of fabric. She ummed and aahed but I knew none of them were floating her boat. So I went ‘off piste’ from her colour range and found this fabulous fabric featuring gold sunflowers. As soon as I laid the sample on the chair we both knew it was ‘the one’. This fabric makes you smile and appropriately I was working on it in the middle of summer, it brightened my workshop up. It looks absolutely amazing and totally transformed the chair from a boring bit of furniture into a real eye catching stunner.
No 5 – The Patchwork Rocking Chair. I had done a bespoke chair for these clients a few years ago and I was delighted when they came back to me to ask me to transform a Parker Knoll, green draylon granny style rocking chair into something a little bit more stylish for their nursery. Nicola was expecting their first baby in January 2018 – she had sourced the lovely printed panels featuring a Beatrix Potter characters on Ebay and wanted them combined with a patchwork look. Together with her husband Chris, they went through my entire fabric store selecting a range of fabrics that they liked for the chair. Off they went with a wave and left me to it. I looked at the pile of selected fabrics. Nicola had chosen lots of soft muted colours, faded linens and gentle velvets. Chris had selected lots of bright and breezy tartan wools in bright, bold colours. Add the fact that the printed character panels were all different sizes and you can see why I had my head in my hands. How was this going to work? In the end I just went for it and prayed it would work out. I can honestly say that I will never, ever do anything like this again but I am pleased with the result, it is truly original and my clients were delighted with it too. Apparently Baby Isla Avery likes it too!