Alfie Loves Design

Bringing vintage, retro finds to contemporary living x

Vintage Fair Sneak Peek

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This Sunday we are off to The Decadence Summer Vintage Bridal Fair.

Held at Malone House in Belfast, an impressive late-georgian mansion, a perfect elegant backdrop for the vintage treasures on display.

Around 50 vintage dealers, designers, and wedding suppliers from all over Ireland will showcase an exquisite selection of authentic vintage and designer bridal wear and accessories, jewellery, china and homeware gifts and much more.

I will be bringing along occasional chairs, dining chairs, vintage china, quilts & cushions.

I will be alongside the very talented Lynn Wilson and her beautiful cards.  You can check out her designs at:http://www.facebook.com/#!/lynnlovescards

To give you a little preview of some of our handmade items, check out the photos below.  They are unique handmade ring pillows skilfully crafted by my amazing mum. They are made from embroidered silks & velvets with satin ribbons. They are a lovely keepsake from your big day, and perfect for your photographer to show off our rings.

Each one is individual, so arrive early to get the first pick!

For more info on the fair, check out this link:

http://www.decadencevintagefairs.com/5th-august—decadence-vintage-bridal-fair.htm

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Patchwork Parker Knoll Before & After

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I love the clean lines of retro furniture; they can easily work in a contemporary space by changing upholstery or wood finish and this exactly what I did with this 1950’s Parker Knoll chair.

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The top upholstery wasn’t totally offensive, but I knew it was covering something more unpleasant.  When I took it off, I found a crusty velvet upholstery ….Mmmm! lovely, so off with it too.

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When all the upholstery was removed I unearthed the original pillow back cushioning and rubber waffle seating, both where re-useable after a cleaning.

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The frame got the usual pampering (sanded, treated & beeswax).   Its springs were in great shape but needed new fabric covering between them & cushioning with box pleats to accommodate their movement.  Then it was on with the cushioning & under cloth, ready for the fun; top upholstery.

I had a nice collection of fabrics in pale pink and greys which can add a feature to a neutral palette room.  Check out the results:

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Stylish Sewing

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Plastic tool & sewing organisers are quite useful but let’s face it they’re not very exciting or attractive, so when I spotted this sweet Victorian sewing box in the auction  I fell in love with it.  When I opened the top I found the original blush pink satin pin cushion and accessory holder, unfortunately the rest of the interior was thread bare & stained and sadly beyond repair.  This didn’t put me off; I bid & won and headed home to restore her to her former glory.

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What remained of the base interior had to be stripped out and as with all my second hand items, a wood treatment was required, I sanded the exterior  to remove scratches and gave it a few coats of beeswax.

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I wanted the interior to look as original as possible but it would be really difficult to match exactly to the satin on the pin cushion, so I chose a beautiful French silk with classic Victorian flowers to complement the pink satin.

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When completed and ready for the vintage fair my friend saw my photos and also fell in love with it but didn’t live nearby to purchase it.  Her lovely hubby contacted me and arranged to have it sent out as a surprise for her, the week before their first baby is due….too cute!!

All her threads & sewing accessories are now homed in a stylish, tidy fashion, ready for making cutesy tiny baby stuff…love it x

(thanks for the photo’s CJ)

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A chair make-over with a colour injection

Before & After

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I picked up this little occasional chair which was neat, comfy but the fabric was much stained and the legs quite scratched. I took the fabric off, sanded the legs, treated them and bees waxed.

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I decided a deep button back rest would make it more attractive; I marked the foam for the button position.

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As I work with fabric remnants; I needed to choose more than one fabric to have the right quantity to re-cover the whole chair.  I decided upon two fabrics with the same pattern but different colours.  I used the brighter green on the front with the deeper green on the back and buttons on the front for a contrast.

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I was really please with the finished Chair,and after a visit to the fair, she found a new home.

Painting with Pastels

There is something so fresh, yet homely about pastel colours in a kitchen. Here are some images I came across online which inspired the make-over of my set of four kitchen chairs.

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http://www.homeanddecor.net/pastel-kitchens

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http://nordicbliss.wordpress.com/2011/08/04/swedish-blogger-home-underbara-clara/

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http://spiffingsporadics.blogspot.co.uk/2011/02/colour-me-50s.html

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alliedberlinvm.jimdo.com

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http://vintageamethyst.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/pretty-pastel-kitchen.htm

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http://a-cottage-in-the-woods.blogspot.co.uk/2009_09_01_archive.html

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http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/flickr-finds-katisworlds-kitch-64350

My Kitchen Chairs before

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I lightly sanded them

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Then a primer coat before each chair was given its individual shade of tastiness (pastel colours always make me want ice-cream!). Four coats of paint for each chair, and then they were off to the fair, and sold that day.

After Photos

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Designing & Making a Patchwork Headboard

I first decieded to learn how to upholster when I got a quote for the re-upholstery of my retro 2 seat sofa and armchairs, the price was out of my budget so I needed a plan B.  Plan B was to attend a city & gills upholstery class and learn how to do it myself and I did.

In order to obtain the city & gills certificate I had to work on various pieces on furniture, one was a headboard.  I needed a single headboard for my small spare bedroom which I was about to decorate.  Here are my designs, my work and the completed headboard.

Designs

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Making the headboard

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The Bedroom was decorated and the headboard finished the room.Image

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Bespoke Engagement Gift

When my very good friends Kerry & Niall told me they got engaged, I was so happy for them.  With party plans on the cards I started to think of an appropiate gift for the happy couple.   As they already owned their home, they had most of the standard engagment presents,  I wanted to get them something personal and unique that they wont find in another friends house.  I got a small list of what they still needed for their home, and on it was a chair for their kitchen, so off I went to the auction and here are the two options I found.

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We had a look at the two options and decieded the tall printers chair would be most suitable.  The space for the chair was neat and this chair wouldnt feel too squished in.  Its frame would also sand back to match the tones of her kitchen.  Now for the make over.

When the rusty tacks came out and the musty vevet came off I found a broken wicker base, it could have been repaired but as we wanted a fabric upholstery with the colours of the kitchen, I removed the wicker and made it a new base.  I sanded the frame, treated it and lots of beeswax to protect it.  The new base was upholstered with a little remnant of Mulberry fabric to tie in with the kitchen beautifuly….check out its new look

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Add a little bow to the present and she’s good to go..

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Retro Rooms Vintage Fair

Fun at the fair, buying & selling

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Retro Armchair Before & After

One of my early finds which had a lovely frame, really comfortable but not so attractive on the upholstery side of it.  I stripped it back, sanded the frame, wood treated it, a few coats of beeswax, a new patchwork upholstery and we’re done & looking good.  See my before, after & in between.

Before

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After

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The Work

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