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Part disciplined craftsman, part warehouser of beautiful things, I've learned that a well upholstered piece of furniture, like a great bag, repays you time and time again

Archive for the ‘posts’ Category

Simply Missoni

Winter was put back in its box with the latest commission. A chic Notting Hill flat needed a bespoke ottoman that would be the right height etc for the sofa.  “Something colourful please Al,” and after looking through my basket of samples, this luxurious Missoni silk stripe caught their eye. 

Piped matching cushions helped bring the room together, and the hot Italian make over was complete.


A very Dashing Tweed

A dapper modernist tweed covers this month’s commission – a stunning walnut writer’s chair. The fabric is Crimson Modernist by Dashing Tweeds, and if you’ve read the March edition of World of Interiors this month, you’ll have seen the feature on founder Guy Hills’ gorgeous home and Dashing Tweeds headquarters, recent recipient of a Retrouvius make-over.

I went to meet Guy in the run up to Christmas, and had no problem identifying him in his fantastic three piece tweed suit, fresh from delivering cards around Primrose Hill on his bicycle. Wool upholstered furniture is big at the moment and I was keen to see what he’s up to with this most British of yarns. His range of tweed clothing for cyclists is brilliant, literally. Luminous threads are woven into the design, so car lights will greatly increase the visibility of the cyclist. I also adore their range of fabrics inspired by iconic London buildings (BT Tower, the Gherkin), whose essence seem to have been captured in the colours of the tweed.

With collaborations with some of the greats already under his belt (Anderson & Sheppard, Converse, Topshop…) you should check him out, but be warned, you’ll feel the need for tweed.

A portion of Fritz

I loved making this tasty treat. To have a go yourself, take one battered Fritz Hansen Series 7, fabric torn, foam preferably rotten. Peel. Layer with new foam. Beg uber talented RCA genius, Mandeep Mann to sell you prototype fabric for the back. Take delivery of sleek minimalist John Boyd horsehair (no meat required) for the front. Gently massage, then rest for as long as you can.

A Writer’s Retreat

This wonderful study was hatched as a fun project to make better use of a central London garage. Once babies and the commotion of a busy household are on the scene, I can quite imagine I’d want a space just like this, just across the garden, that I could tiptoe off to… I recovered the sofa in Olicana’s Beaufort linen with contrast piping, and the rug is by Suki Cheema. If you would like some help with a room makeover, do drop me an email.

Dining in style

It was a delight to restore this set of beautiful dining chairs. They all needed the full monty of new webbings, and to be stitched and stuffed using horsehair and black coir. The fabric is a Knowles and Christou linen called Crabapple.

Perri Lewis Book Launch

 Last night I was photographing the book launch of new craft bible, Material World by Guardian journalist Perri Lewis. If you’d like to take a peek, Anthropologie have copies in store now.

I LOVE the twitter quote that ‘Perri is what you’d get if the WI was run by MacGyver’, so unsurprisingly the launch drew a huge crowd of crafty bloggers, journos and Brooklyn types. I’m already taken with the decoupage chapter,  so have started a search for the perfect chair to give it a go on, and if all goes well..maybe I’ll try a matching pair of shoes.

Ercol upgrade


Some beautiful new large bespoke seat cushions for this Ercol classic.

Indigo Flower by Pedroso & Osorio gives a lovely girly denim feel. If you have a vintage find that could do with a little sprucing up, drop me an email 

Footwear for New York friends

It may be fireworks night but there’s also a deafening stampede of small feet at the moment. So I knitted these for the first born of some friends in New York. Mini Nina arrived just before the storm hit, thereby springing straight to the top of the list of those in need of some winter warmers. If you’d like me to knit a pair as a gift for someone, drop me a line here..

A mission of geometric proportions

Earlier this month I visited Moscow, armed with a map of the metro, zero knowledge of cyrillic and an arrogant certaintly I’d track down some Popova and Stepanova inspired fabrics. I failed spectacularly. I should have listened to the girl in Waterstone’s Russian section on Picadilly. “Even if you do find any, how are you going to bring them home? you do realise you can’t take anything pre 1970s out of Russia?” Ah. On the plus side, I did enjoy the Le Corbusier exhibition at the Pushkin (old black and white photographs of him in his apartment surrounded by tired prototype chairs, Ha!) and I did enjoy going to Tolstoy’s house and discovering the cordwainery section in his dressing room. Yes, Tolstoy enjoyed a spot of boot making in the evening, while his wife and a couple of his daughters were set to work reviewing and marking up his drafts. No joke. And no fabric. So I returned home (convinced Tolstoy is secretly back on earth as Daniel Day Lewis).

As always happens though, when one door closes…go back to the drawing board, aka the RCA. I went yesterday to meet Mandeep Mann to see if she would be willing to let me use some of her MA project fabrics on chairs. Her work is AMAZING, she IS the modern day Stepanova and right here in London. Happy. Get in touch if you have a piece ready for a reinvention with Mandeep’s fabrics.

Stepanova’s design (above)

Mandeep Mann’s work (above 2)

Sharing the Heatherwick Love

The V&A has worked hard to merit its creative stripes in recent years and now sits top of my list of places likely to shift a creative block, if and when they hit. I was therefore thrilled to get involved recently, helping Homemade London run a creative workshop in conjunction with the Thomas Heatherwick exhibition.  Mastercard had devised the evening as one of their Priceless experiences for 150 prizewinners, and our task was to get everyone designing and making their own interpretation of the Heatherwick design aesthetic,  fresh after their tour with the curator of the exhibition. Any fears that people might be reticent to put down their cocktails and play were soon forgotten and it was satisfying to see people’s minds and hands getting stuck into the challenge. The fantastic results were then hung from a beautiful chain installation.  Made me proud to be a Londoner..

If you need to arrange some teambuilding or an event,  or have a celebration coming up and would like a creative party, see Homemade London.

The Bear Truth

Turns out knitting’s fun. After years of pooh-poohing those in custody of knitwear all mustardy, I’m afraid I’ve joined the gang, and it’s great, especially in autumn, season of knee high socks, and pavement length scarves. Focusing on the job at hand however: my third nephew is due any day, so it’s one pocket sized bear in baby safe merino coming up. Scoff not, and get thee to Liberty.

And if you’re still not convinced, have a listen to the ladies at Mulberry..

For once, a caravan you would find me in

Looking for somewhere new for a drink and a bite to eat?  If you love traintrack chic, get down to Caravan. Just opened alongside Central St Martins’ new home, the Granary Building in King’s Cross, it’s a darn fine restaurant and bar, but then I would say that having helped make the seating.

Working with Polish blankets and one of Kvadrat’s fifty shades of grey made for some hot upholstering, but the results (and an enjoyable opening night taste of the small plates menu) helped put a smile back on our faces.


Traditional or modern rehauls, be it family castoff, online find, or holiday souvenir. I upholster, recover, patch up, or design from scratch.


Get organised with custom crafted sleek leather accessories. Every day seems a little easier with an organised bag, work journal, bookcover, or technology protection. Great as gifts or just for you.


Headboards, cushions, blinds, and bedthrows: coordinate the home you dream of and have fun with colour and texture.
Copyright © Alexandra Griffiths 2012 - All Rights Reserved - all enquiries to
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