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Emily Upholster Me – Upholstery Classes


Homespun, Aratula

Since becoming a Furniture Fashionista, the most frequent questions I am asked is “where did you learn how to do this and can you please show me how to re-upholster and up-cycle my own furniture”. So I decided to teach a class at the workshop at Homespun, where my furniture is on sale, for anyone interested in learning the basics of upholstery.


Date: Saturday, 28th of April 2012
Time: 10:00am to 12:00pm
Cost: $35.00 includes a $50 Furniture Fashionista voucher and a slice of arguably the best cheesecake you’ve ever had.
Location: Homespun, Cunningham Highway, Aratula

What will you learn:
This is not a standard upholstery class, it is a look into how I pick my fabrics and how to take something ordinary and turn it into a design statement no matter if your style is modern, retro, traditional or shabby-chic.

I will walk you through:

  • What tools you need and where to get them
  • What fabrics to choose the to suit YOUR style
  • The techniques you need to know to get a professional finish.

You will get hands-on experience reupholstering chairs that I will supply for you to practice your newly learnt skills on so you can go home confident that you can tackle your own project.

Places are limited, for further information and to book, please contact Justine at Homespun on 0423 479 649 or email

My Vintage Chair Obsession

In this blood of mine runs a type of passion hard to explain. It is not for a person, or in fact any living thing. Inanimate objects, but they are alive to me. Every one has her own voice and style. You can not  insinuate a colour, a design on her elegant bones without meeting objection if it is not quite right.

Some are aqua flocked damask with a parchment background. Some are lilac with small pink dots. Some are white and beige stripped linen. Some are grey velvet with contrast braid.  Some are loud. Some are quiet. Some have multiple personalities with hot pink and orange plaid on the back and floral silk on the front. And that is just the upholstery! Her frame may be white, shabby chic, french polished, gloss black, blonde…red? Hydrangea blue?

It is not easy to find her flavour. You have to sit (and sit you must), research and ponder. I conjure an image of the lucky person who will have her gracing a deserving corner of a beautiful room or accommodating many gracious rear ends at a happy dining table. Can you see it? Can you hear it?

It has taken it’s inspiration from France and England. It has been infused with the modern day. Our lifestyles, various as they may be. Our homes, contemporary, urban or country in style. We all deserve a beautiful vintage chair and there is one for you, for your home.

I am Emily, my obsession is the vintage chair.  It spreads to any beautiful furniture whether it be my style or not. Which brings me back to the blood, my grandmother had it, my mother has it, a family tradition. A tradition like witchery — the furniture obsession. It is not a choice but a passion imbued at birth. It consumes you, the desire to find and recreate and give them a new home, these lost and forgotten, undiscovered pieces of time, once loved or even brand new, dormant characters waiting to be given life.

Reverse Garbage ‘Trash Amour’ Exhibition

Upcycled Furniture

Trash Amour Submission

I have these cool little bedside tables that I am re-invigorating with fabric and paint. I picked them up from Lifeline for next to nothing, they were sitting there in the dust, all sad, pining away. Now they are fabric fantastic and have friends the Coffee Can Twins. These are destined for the Reverse Garbage exhibition Trash Amour.

Trash Amour at Reverse Garbage
Opening night: Saturday February 18th 6pm – 9pm
Address: Reverse Emporium at Reverse Garbage
20 Burke St. Woolloongabba

Furniture Fashionista – That’s Me!

We may be Veritably Vintage in many ways, but we are so much more than that, we are Furniture Fashionistas.

I am re-branding Veritable Vintage and will be launching Furniture Fashionista in January 2012. All the fabulousness of my vintage treasures and products with a totally modern twist to suit ANY interior.

As part of the launch, I am offering an exclusive Interior Styling Consultations for all customers with a purchase over $500 because I love to see a room come together!

Upcycling and Painting a Bedhead

I want a bedhead to match the bedsides I’m taking to the market. I find an old one in storage with legs that suit. I take it to the shed and start work. I really only need the legs, as they have the same turning as my bedsides. So I start pulling it apart. I am going to upholster it, so the spindles and the board in the centre are superfluous. I could leave them where they are but that would be a total waste! I will find a use for them another day, everything gets upcycled in our shed.

I paint the legs with Porters Milk Paint in Oyster White to match the bedsides. Then I stand back and wonder what is missing. I crack open the Porters Venetian Glaze and stipple it over the legs and bedsides. It imparts a beautiful antique gloss that exactly matches the satin upholstery fabric.

While I’m waiting for paint to dry. I start thinking what I can make with the pieces I took off the bedhead. The bedhead is sentimental to my mother as she painted it with her friend Marie who is no longer with us. By keeping these pieces and repurposing them, a disused piece of furniture still in great (and now perfect) condition, doesn’t lay idle in storage and mum gets to hold onto something precious to her.

When I am upcycling I don’t use more than I need to. One piece can become many if you use a bit of creativity.


Come back to see me finish the head board and turn the repurposed bits and pieces into something new.

Shedful Experience

This weekend has been about the dozenth time my mother and I have cleaned up our shed and work area. Each time we do, something, or someone happens to it to make it look as if there has been a tornado run through the place.

The reason for the latest disaster was the inundation of rain we have had in the past months causing the water to rise too high on the outside of the shed and seep into it. Luckily, we managed to move all of the beautiful chair frames, other furniture, upholstering equipment and materials in time before damage was done to any of it. It did mean we were up to our knees in mud digging a bigger gutter on the outside, though. It also meant that all the hundred or so thoroughly organised and carefully stored furniture was now strewn over any dry place we could find.

A few weeks later, dry and clean, we move the stock back into it’s home and I am thanking myself for labelling each storage bay with the item number and style, so replacing was a reasonably straight forward procedure (apart from the impatience of my assisting husband who would have rather been watching soccer, luckily my persistence trumps his impatience). My mother’s studio gallery is also taking shape and her hand painted cushions are now being placed on Ebay (To Do: 1. List cushions on Ebay…).

Now I really should get back into the real work, but there is always something else to do, like making labels and reference sheets for the boxes and boxes of fabrics so that we can see at a glance which specific material is in which box so I don’t have to waste precious time looking for ‘those 3 pieces of coordinating material with the big roses, small roses and stripes’ (…so far found big and small roses, no stripes as yet).

Also preventing me from the ‘real work’ is the planning and all the Ideas. I have been thinking about other possible things we could create, like iPhone pouches and fabric covered magazine boxes and lever arch folders. I have been making these for myself after being inspired by shops like Kikki K and Typo, but not finding exactly what I was looking for. It has been so much fun, and instantly gratifying, unlike the chairs which tend to take at least 4 days wo to go rather than the hour to create some beautiful and practical office-ware.

But I digress, ‘Princess’, the rose detailed, champagne coloured bedroom carver chair, will be on the market by the end of the week, I will miss her, but I need to move on. The retro furniture that Ryan and I are doing is begging to be completed and sent out to find new homes. Orange, red and black tub chairs with graphic upholstery, very cool!

Joyful Service Assistance

I have been lucky to have had so many positive experiences lately with incredible customer service.

Today we were in Porter’s Paints at GS1 Centro On James in Newfarm. Joy, whom obviously has had years of experience with using the milk paints, was more helpful than I could have hoped. She was very kind and gave me a lot of information and insight into the various paints, methods of application and the most popular colours. I picked each of her words up like a juicy treat and stored them all in an air-locked jar for future use. After speaking with Joy, I am confident that we have definitely made the best decision by using the Porter’s Milk Paints on our chairs and other furniture. I am going to pull out the brushes as soon as I am done on this post and give the new colours a try as so far we have only used the Oyster White. I think today I will give Sableux a go because it looks good enough to eat! I think our French Oval Back Carver will be Sableux with some sumptuous velvet upholstery. When she is done I will post her photo.

I digress, I also wanted to mention that a few weeks back I was at Trade Tools in Coopers Plains and recieved so much helpful advise and honest feedback from Craig that I will remember it always and go back that shop anytime I need a new tool or even a box of staples. Craig was very informative and helped me pick out a compressor, spray gun and staple gun. He took the time to show me how to use them and to understand my needs. He didn’t try to sell me anything I did not need and even tested the compressor before putting it in my car.

Thanks Joy and Craig, there should be more people like you!