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Keep up to date with the latest upholstery trends, see pieces transformed and gain insights on how to make the most from your furniture. Enter your details below and you’ll receive new blogs, direct to your inbox.

women writing in a notebook with a spotty pen

Stay up-to-date

Keep up to date with the latest upholstery trends, see pieces transformed and gain insights on how to make the most from your furniture. Enter your details below and you’ll receive new blogs, direct to your inbox.

  • Piece of mid century furniture waiting to be reupholstered with modern fabrics containing toxic chemicals

    We have a crisis looming in the new and second hand furniture industry, in particular the high use of chemical toxins that impact the health of our families, homes and pollute our air. These chemicals have been proven to be more dangerous in a fire, than the fire itself according to the fire service. [...]

  • Chair with wooden arms covered in Linwood Omega pin velvet fabric

    Every September I take a deep breath, as I ease out of Summer and into the Autumn months in the knowledge that this is always the lull before the ‘Christmas rush’ storm. With less than 100 days until Christmas, the energy shifts and the sense of urgency ramps up, as people start to plan what [...]

  • Restored rocking horse spotting dobbin

    I hope you’ve all had a wonderful summer and are easing into Autumn, whilst enjoying this wonderful blast of heat we’re having. I know I’m not ready start wearing jumpers just yet. For my 1st blog of the season after a Summer blogging break, I thought it would be a good time to catch up [...]

  • The Joyful Chair features pattern-matched buttons and self piping.

    This week I added a new addition to my Very Vintique shop: The Joyful Chair. In my signature pop-of-colour style, it’s a super modern spin on a classic spoon-back nursing chair. This vintage chair was originally covered in a typical 50’s green velour, but I thought it was time this beauty had a print. [...]

  • Behind the scenes in the Vintique workshop filming for the BBC's Money For Nothing programme.

    “This is a fabulous chair. Yes, it’s seen better days. It’s obviously well-loved, and she’s had it for over 40 years, but I still think there’s a lot of years left in it.” – Jacqui Joseph This week my latest Money For Nothing project aired on the BBC. This project was from June last [...]

  • G-Plan chair reupholstered in Romo Fabrics Linara.

    My workshop is endlessly filled with pieces that have a family history or sentimental connection, but this was a project that had extra meaning… Mr Evans’ chair is a project that sums up why my job as an upholsterer is such a joy and a privilege but so emotional sometimes. This job wasn’t just [...]

  • Why a regular website review is essential if you want to attract the right customers.

    Is your website working for you? When was the last time you really reviewed it? If it’s been a while, or you aren’t sure what to look for, you must keep reading. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll notice something is different; my site has a brand-new look and feel. But that’s not [...]

  • French Connection blue velvet sofa

    Your bad sofa stories keep coming. In this blog we share Emma's experience buying a new sofa from a large retailer, plus unmissable tips so you avoid buyers' regret.

  • Custom Union Jack wingback chair

    From ordinary wing back chair to Union Jack statement chair - a challenging project for more than reason.

  • Green sofa needing upholstery in a vintage floral design

    We explore conscious consumerism and the excellent benefits for the environment and your home when you choose to reinvent second-hand or vintage furniture instead of buying new.

  • Sharon O'Connor shares 10 lessons I've learnt from 10 years running an upholstery business.

    Key lessons and unmissable insights for upholstery business owners. Whether your just starting out or you've been in business for a while, this blog is for you.

  • What you need to know before buying a new sofa. Photo of old sofas

    Avoid these common sofa-buying mistakes and beware those good "deals." How to choose a sofa that will last and tips to extend its life.

  • Client's finished upholstery transformation, now a light pink velvet chair

    We explore what makes furniture eco-friendly and your options for giving a new life to pre-loved chairs, sofas and other items.

  • Tori Murphy grey and white stripe sofa in the style of banquette seating

    Our latest trend update covers everything you need to know about upholstering with stripes so you can choose the right style for your sofa, chair or any other upholstery project.

  • The Gavel and The Gabble podcast logo

    Sharon talks all things upholstery on The Gavel and the Gabble auction podcast. If you love Antique Road Show, you'll want to listen.

  • Sharon on laptop with upholstery beginners starter guide open on the screen.

    How to prepare for training as an upholstery beginner to ensure you make the most of your investment.

  • Captain's chair transformed with Harris Tweed: How to make your upholstery project a success

    Learn the things that lead to upholstery project success - and insider tips you don't want to miss.

  • Garden seat with cushions in a green palm tree design Palma Verde by Michael Szell. Flamingos in the background

    Discover the best outdoor fabrics to revamp your garden furniture seating, plus tips for choosing the right fabric for your project.

  • 2 seater sofa upholstered in a vibrant fabric on a hessian rug

    An interview with long-time client, Sarah-Jane. Read her customer experience and see images of her reupholstery transformations.

  • Sharon O'Connor at work reveals the best places to buy upholstery supplies. Here she is holding a mallet and chisel to remove fabric on an upturned chair

    My pick of the best places to buy upholstery supplies and the go-to stockists I couldn't be without.

  • One of the reupholstery projects completed while living with Lupus an armchair covered in a stripe fabric

    Read my story about living with Lupus and running a successful business despite the challenges.

  • The Vintique Upholstery workshop during filming of BBC Money For Nothing show showing a camera filming an armchair with gold painted legs covered in pink fabrics

    Have you just started your upholstery business? In this blog I share my top business tips, the things I'd wish I'd known when I started.

  • Sky blue and indigo colour combination wing chair fabric by Timorous Beasties

    Knowing what works and what doesn't can be a minefield, so here are my pick of the five best colour combinations.

  • In this article I reveal the 5 all-time best statement chairs, and some examples to look out for!

  • A large pile of furniture waste at landfill

    In this article I share how we can make upholstery greener and suggest a few ways to get started.

  • External shot of the Vintique Upholstery workshop, Sharon O Connor standing by an open door

    I’m still learning every day but have definitely picked up a few lessons along the way. Here are my five best tips for small businesses…

  • Sharon O' Connor stand with presenter Jacqui Joseph in front of the finished ottoman covered in a blue patterned fabric

    Three years ago this week my first episode of Money for Nothing (MFN) aired on BBC One. One of my projects was a fairly unremarkable Ottoman. See the transformation in progress.

  • Pantone colour swatch in Very Peri Lilac

    The tastemakers at Pantone have announced their colour of the Year for 2022, naming Pantone 17-3938 Very Peri as its choice. Every year the company endorses a shade that it believes will be ever-present in the year to come. This year’s colour has definitely caught my eye! Described as “happiest and warmest of all the [...]

  • Vintique Upholstery's Sharon O'Connor on a Power Hour call talking into the phone

    When I started out in upholstery there was no post training support. I did my training and mastered the technical side of the trade. But as for setting up in business? I felt totally alone and didn’t know where to go for advice. The world of upholstery seemed like a very secret club and asking [...]

  • upholsterer Indya Hanlon from Indya Creates

    When I embarked on my upholstery journey over 10 years ago, I knew hardly anyone who was an absolute beginner like me. Since I launched my online guide to getting into upholstery Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered, with its own private online community, I’ve loved hearing all the stories of other people’s pathways into this incredible profession.  This [...]

  • an upholstered ottoman with a flowery themed pattern

    When you first get started in upholstery, the most important thing is to master the basics and practice, practice, practice. With a bit of patience and by starting with something simple, trust me, you will gradually build your knowledge and confidence. Before you know it, you’ll be tackling more complex projects. Imagine taking up running - you wouldn't expect to complete a marathon straight away. [...]

  • Linwood Fabrics sofa featuring pink recycled fabric from their Verde collection in a lounge

    As we begin 2022, one thing is very clear: finding more sustainable options in our lives and our businesses is no longer a choice, it’s a must. The great news is that upholstery is one of the most eco-friendly crafts on the planet. After all, what could be greener than saving a tired piece of furniture [...]

  • Very Vintique upholstered chair from the Danish Mid Century modern era in a patterned fabric

    Well, it’s been another bumper year of wonderful upholstery triumphs and remarkable furniture transformations. As 2021 draws to a close, I’ve had a rummage through the archives and come up with my personal top five projects of 2021. I’d love to know what you think… 1) Modern makeover I loved this challenge as it was reinventing something fairly modern and making it [...]

  • headshot of upholsterer Sue Garth from Suzie's Attic

    When I embarked on my upholstery journey over 10 years ago, I knew hardly anyone who was an absolute beginner like me. Since I launched my online guide to getting into upholstery Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered, with its own private online community, I’ve loved hearing all the stories of people just starting out.  This week on [...]

  • Upholsterers Sharon O'Connor and Robbie Richardson at the launch of Stuff Stitch

    I recently had the absolute pleasure of meeting up with fellow upholsterer Robbie Richardson to co-host the launch of Stuff Stitch – his bi-monthly magazine for hobbyists, students and professionals who are passionate about the Upholstery and Soft-Furnishing profession. How brilliant that finally there is a magazine dedicated to all things upholstery! I travelled to Wiltshire to meet Robbie – who unbelievably I’d never caught up with in the flesh before. And I didn’t just [...]

  • Vintique Upholstery personal branding photoshoot: Sharon O'Connor outside the Vintique Upholstery workshop

    I realised recently that the profile photography on my website needed an update. It wasn’t only my outfits and hairstyle that were bugging me, the shots just didn’t feel like me anymore. It was time for a refresh! As luck would have it, I was introduced to the wonderful Hannah Macgregor. Not only is she [...]

  • a completed reupholstered a chair in the journey of reupholstering a chair. Wing back chair covered in an orange fabric

    It sounds simple enough when a perfectly good wing chair arrives in need of a spruce up, a recover, and a fresh set of threads. The thing is, when a customer says ‘it only needs new fabric’, us upholsterers smile a knowing smile; rarely is it just new fabric. A good upholsterer will always look at ways of improving a chair, whether it’s in for full re-upholstery [...]

  • The corner of a red and pink floral upholstered sofa

    This week it’s really felt like autumn has been in the air. As well as the prospect of pulling out the cosy knits from the wardrobe and snuggling up for the darker evenings, it’s time for the launch of all the new season trends. If you’re after some inspiration for your next upholstery project, here’s a peek at a few [...]

  • Becca Who sketching designs outside

    One of the great joys of my job is finding beautiful fabrics and discovering designers with a fresh and inspiring look. Every now and again someone comes along who becomes a firm favourite. Becca Who’s statement fabrics are a riot of glorious colour and dramatic patterns. I decided to catch up with her as she launches her second captivating fabric collection – Earth Odyssey. Hi [...]

  • Photo of Teach me Upholstery, Vicky Grubbs new book

    My first meeting with Vicky Grubb from The Upholstery Cabin was virtual, when she kindly agreed to appear on an Instagram live with me. I was launching Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered - my guide to getting into upholstery. It was only later that we actually met in person, which is a rare thing indeed in [...]

  • Gold scissors on Neo 13 Blackpop British velvet fabric

    I talked earlier this year about something very exciting that I’ve been working on and today is the launch day! Very Vintique was born from a desire to create beautiful one-off pieces of furniture inspired by my own imagination. The idea of seeking out my OWN pieces, inventing a vision and creating something inspirational is [...]

  • Sharon O'Connor working on a chair using her upholstery skill with upholstery tools on the wall in the background

    I’m Sharon O’Connor from Vintique Upholstery and I thought it was about time to say ‘hello again’ to new followers and friends. It’s been a while since I started my blog - designed to spread the joy of upholstery as a business and an everlasting craft, but also, to show that we don’t need to [...]

  • How to slip stitch - Final thread being cut for chair covered in a birds and floral fabric

    We’ve already talked on the blog about single piping and double piping, so now that you’ve hopefully mastered these two techniques, let’s move onto one of my favourite upholstery skills. Next up in the masterclass is slip stitching. Also known as blind stitching, it’s the neatest, most efficient way to seal your seams and create [...]

  • Sharon adding upholstery springs into a chair

    Springs, stuffing’s, coverings, linings, webbing… There are all kinds of upholstery supplies, sundries and materials you’ll come across – even at a basic level. The list can seem endless and slightly overwhelming, so I thought it might be useful to talk through the basics. Choosing the right materials for the job is all part of [...]

  • Black chair with dark wood legs having the double piping attached

    A few weeks ago on the blog, we talked about how to master single piping. So, no surprises, next up in the masterclass is double piping. A slightly more elaborate version of single piping, double piping is one row of trim that is two rows of single piping sewn together. It's a common finishing element [...]

  • A upholstery nightmare due to a woodworrm infested brown chair

    As an upholsterer - whether you’re just starting out or have been at it for years - there are some things you come across that will cause your heart to sink. Unfortunately, no one is immune to the nightmares that lie beneath the surface or the hidden secrets that spell upholstery hell. Here are the [...]

  • Stapling upholstery single piping onto chair with a staple gun

    Piping is used as a finish for many upholstery projects, so it’s an essential skill to learn. As well as being used frequently on boxed cushions and scatter cushions, you’re likely to come across it on a whole range of traditional and modern upholstered furniture. In this easy to follow masterclass, we’ll focus on single [...]

  • Deep pink fabric being sewn onto chair during upholstery process

    The craft of upholstery - what does it take to excel at it? Picking a great fabric and having the talent to put it on a piece of furniture, right? Well, yes, that is the most important part, but there are three extra skills that you definitely need to grasp before you can consider yourself [...]

  • Paula Johnson from Treasured Upholstery

    When I embarked on my upholstery journey over ten years ago, I hardly knew anyone who was an absolute beginner like me. Since I launched my online guide to getting into upholstery - Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered, with its own private online community, I’ve loved hearing all the stories of people just starting out. This [...]

  • Photo of Sharon O'Connor inspecting upholstery hammer with other tools on wall in background

    Over the years as an upholsterer, I've picked up a fair few tips on where to source and buy your essentials. Whether it’s fabrics and finishes or tools and fillings and foams, good suppliers are worth knowing about wherever you are in your upholstery journey. These are my go-to places I know I can rely on to find [...]

  • 19th Century Cornelius V Smith armchair with blue velvet material, wooden legs and castors

    I’m ALL for people having a go at upholstery themselves and as with most skills, much of it you learn through trial and error. But, if you’re an absolute beginner, I do have a word of caution: “don’t bite off more than you can chew”. If you choose an achievable transformation, you're more likely to [...]

  • Virtual Vintique logo

    March has been a manic month. In fact, I have barely stopped for breath since the start of 2021. Behind the scenes, I’ve been bringing to life my very own online guide. Virtual Vintique: Upholstery Uncovered is my take on everything you need to know if you’re considering pursuing upholstery as a new hobby or even thinking [...]

  • Upholstered blue patterned Lloyd Loom Ottoman lid

    When you’re starting out as an upholstery beginner, it’s really important to choose a project that won’t be overwhelming. What you’re looking for is something that will allow you to achieve a decent result while developing your skills. For this reason, something like a Lloyd Loom Ottoman is a great piece to begin with. I'll [...]

  • Very Vintique logo

    I love revamping treasured items of furniture for my customers. Hearing about the history of the pieces, whether they were picked up on the internet for a steal or handed down through generations. I don’t see it as a job. But, I can’t lie, there’s also something satisfying about the process of seeking out my [...]

  • Armchair and bed with reupholstered cushions in bedroom

    I’m willing to bet that you have NEVER spent as much time in your home as you have this past year. There’s literally been nowhere to hide from that long overdue DIY project, the furniture you secretly loathe and the spaces that desperately need an overhaul. The great thing though is that there’s never been [...]

  • Sharon O'Connor sat on reupholstered green fabric sofa

    January 2021 marks eight years since I started my business, Vintique Upholstery. Three years previously, in the depths of a recession, I’d begun re-training as an upholsterer. I had been made redundant when fashion and retail crashed in 2008, I was newly single, had just relocated to a new area and was feeling pretty miserable, [...]

  • Repholstered patterned chesterfield sofa with bright coloured cushions

    I’ve seen A LOT of sofas. Hundreds… thousands, perhaps. And I make a point of sitting on every single one that comes through my studio doors. So, I’d say I’m fairly qualified to say what makes a good one. Whether you’re choosing a new sofa or wanting to know if yours is worth reupholstering, there are some ingredients which I [...]

  • The Upholstery Bible book

    When I was training, the selection of upholstery books on offer were boring, to say the least. Rudimentary, uninspiring (and mainly written by men); they were functional, technical and it stopped there. So, when I was recently sent The Upholstery Bible by Cherry Dobson to review, I could tell as soon as I saw it, this was [...]

  • Vintique Upholstery's Sharon in workshop

    When I first started in upholstery, I set up shop using my mum’s old kitchen table as a workbench in a beer shed behind a friend’s pub, freezing but happy! Things have changed a bit since then - but guess what - I still use that same tabletop. If you’re wondering about the key things [...]

  • Ligne Roset Togo furniture

    Very rarely does an upholstery project come my way that I have to turn away. Usually, if someone brings me a piece of furniture, whatever state it’s in, I can see its future potential. And I’m flexible enough to work around even the strangest requests. But, every so often, there are things that are simply [...]

  • Blue fabric sofas and foot stool in living room

    Let’s get it out there… I’m a fabric geek! But to be fair, in this line of work you have to be. It’s not enough to love the pattern of a fabric or the way it perfectly suits a certain piece of furniture. If it doesn’t do its job and stand up to technical scrutiny, [...]

  • Oxley Range by Romo fabric reupholstered sofa

    As we head into the cosier months and cooler temperatures, there’s a whole new phase of trends destined to warm up the interior design world. Here’s my round-up if you’re looking for some inspiration for your next upholstery project… Colour The colour experts at Dulux have announced their shade of the year for 2021 and it’s a slightly controversial choice. [...]

  • Reupholstered arm chair in zig zag fabric

    Throughout my time of revamping pre-loved pieces of furniture, one thing I’m sure of is that investing in upholstery is ALWAYS worth it. As with any service that involves spending cash, there is always that question of value for money. But I’ve seen enough satisfied customers to know it’s an expense you’ll never regret. It’s [...]

  • Sharon sat on a chair reupholstered in green pattern fabric in her workshop

    One of the questions I’m asked the most is: “How can I get started in upholstery?” Just this week, I had three calls from people enquiring about an internship, and so many people seem intrigued about what the best training course is if you really want to make it. I can’t lie, it’s not cheap [...]

  • Green fabric sofa and green pattern fabric armchair

    Velvet. A bit like the marmite of the fabric world – you either love it or hate it. I’m a total fan. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’s my favourite genre of fabric. Forget any misconceptions of the naff crushed velvets of the 1980s, velvet has made a stylish comeback and [...]

  • Colombia Cartagena Old Town

    So, I think we can safely say that 2020 is the year that travel forgot. I know I’m not the only one who’s seriously missing a summer holiday. As a small business owner, my work can be full-on. But however busy the diary’s looking, I always try to make time to travel. For inspiration, for [...]

  • Sharon O'Conner - Vintique Upholstery owner looking out of window

    As any small business owner will know, when you run your own show you have to master a multitude of different skills. It’s not enough to excel in the craft or talent you trained for. Almost overnight you need to become an expert in sales, marketing, project managing, customer service, and the list goes on… [...]

  • Reupholstered Parker Knoll sofa in neon red fabric

    In my line of work, I come across all kinds of furniture. From genuine antiques to modern classics, the everyday to the extraordinary and all kinds of things in between, I’ve seen it (almost) all. We all know that chairs and sofas come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are petite armchairs and [...]

  • Upholsterer Sharon O'Connor's bedroom interior

    Do you ever wonder why your house looks the way it does? Why you’re drawn to certain interior styles, or seem to choose the same colours time and time again? Have you considered whether your choices would be the same if you started all over again? Or are you a style chameleon who’s always dying to revamp [...]

  • Cuddle chair reupholstered in a graphic pattern fabric

    When you think of upholstery, you may automatically imagine valuable vintage chairs, Mid-Century design classics or inherited items of antique furniture. But actually, upholstering something more modern can make all the difference between an unremarkable place to sit and a statement piece that sums up your personal style. I like to think of upholstery as [...]

  • Window seat for Manchester United and England star Luke Shaw

    Furniture can hold memories for lots of different reasons. An antique chair passed down through generations or a sofa that provided many happy hours of sitting on during childhood, for instance. But did you know that you can create a piece of furniture entirely from your memories? Memory chairs are something I’ve been asked to [...]

  • Lisa Potter Dixon sat on outdoor sofa with 2 dogs

    Think you have to settle for boring garden furniture? Think again. If your mind is wandering to lazy summer evenings sipping Rosé in the sun, it might be worth taking another look at your outdoor furniture. Most people know that they can reinvent a sofa or a chaise longue, but actually, revamping your outdoor furniture [...]

  • Reupholstered 1920's headboard in Studio G Lolita Summer Linen

    The ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi is based on the belief that ‘broken is beautiful’. Celebrating flaws and imperfections, it’s a technique where damaged objects are put back together using precious metal lacquers. The repaired object is then displayed with pride – a symbol that its unique history is something to be admired and not [...]

  • View of blossom tree from bedroom window - Charlotte Bland photography

    What lessons will we learn from 2020, I wonder? The year that turned all our lives upside down and forced us all to stop in our tracks. I can’t help thinking about a synergy with another time in my life, when my love of upholstery began. When the recession hit in 2008, my career in [...]

  • Mid century sofa reupholstered in a green fabric in a sitting room

    Spring has always been the most popular time to get stuck into projects around the home and garden. This year is rather different for all of us… But perhaps you’re still feeling now is the ideal moment for a simple spring project. We have time to look at our spaces a lot more and the [...]

  • Reupholstered sofa in grey with patterned scatter cushions

    Now more than ever people’s stories and connections matter. I’m very privileged that I get to hear them and be part of them. I am a valuing those connections more than ever right now. There are all kinds of reasons why people embark upon an upholstery project. It can be prompted by a house move, [...]

  • Sharon O'Conner with upcycled piano stool

    Practical and multi-purpose, a piano stool is a great introductory upholstery project if you’re lucky enough to own or come across one. I’m a big believer in the fact that anything can have a new purpose with a bit of imagination. Piano stools may not be as popular as they once were, but they're a [...]

  • Chesterfield sofa in need of reupholstering

    We’re all looking for ways to live a more sustainable life, and most of those changes – unsurprisingly – are going to start at home. The hot topic of protecting our planet is hard to ignore. In fact, it’s never been more important to be eco-conscious. My career in upholstery wasn’t necessarily motivated by living [...]

  • Sharon O'Connor's home interior

    I always keep one eye on the latest trends. But can you incorporate fashion into your furnishings? And – more importantly – should you? Whether it’s the subtle evolution of fabrics in and out of favour, or a colour theme that creeps into our consciousness (mine being green and pink at the moment), fashion plays [...]

  • Sharon O'Conner - Vintique Upholstery owner looking out of window

    I’m Sharon O’Connor from Vintique Upholstery and I thought it was about time to say ‘hi’ with my very first blog! Most people talk about fresh starts in January, but February is the big month for new beginnings at Vintique Upholstery. First off, it’s my birthday. Second, I celebrate the anniversary of launching my business [...]