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Book Review: Contemporary Upholstery by Hannah Stanton

The kind folks over at Jacqui Small sent me a review copy of Contemporary Upholstery by Hannah Stanton. Although the book was free, the opinions are genuine and are really mine.

Chair reupholstered!

Chair reupholstered!

So since I had the book, I figured I’d better give it a genuine test drive. I found this chair at a sewing shop (I know, right?! Best. Shop. Ever.) and while it had character, I wanted to make it sexy. Specifically, Union Jack sexy. Anyway, here’s the chair:
Woo Chairs!Nothing wrong with it, just a little bland. So I started reading about paints, and I ended up using Annie Sloan chalk paint because you don’t have to strip the wood. 0% prep? Yes please!

But obviously painting it isn’t really the tricky part. I (lovingly) read through the book, even the parts I didn’t really need to know because I love logistics. I love the format – it’s a lot like taking a class. The tools are explained very clearly and pictured:

Chair reupholstered!I also appreciated the clear descriptions of techniques. And of the fabrics – it was fascinating AND she’s very good about telling you which fabrics are appropriate for what jobs. I was a little worried I might need to replace the webbing and was a little freaked out that I wouldn’t be able to figure it out, but Hannah seriously knows what she’s talking about, and the illustrations are so clear I stopped worrying about what I might find underneath the seat cover:

Chair reupholstered!Fortunately the webbing and seat had been recently replaced. So I picked out the tacks, and got to work replacing the cream fabric with my Union Jack fabric. The book was extremely clear about what to do (and in what order):

Chair reupholstered!And I’m so proud of myself! (And my husband helped too. But ONLY A LITTLE.) Here’s how it looked all painted but still kinda naked:

Chair reupholstered!And here it is with the new, sexy reupholstery job:
Reupholstered victory!

Union Jack Chair

Reupholstered victory!Look how well that corner turned out! The others? Not so much. BUT! I am HOOKED! You know that feeling you get when you make a really fantastic quilt, like you’ve conquered it? That’s how I feel every time I see this chair in my living room! (Despite the pictures, we don’t keep it in the back garden. That’s just silly.) If you have been wondering whether you’ve got what it takes to turn that dumpy chair into a masterpiece, I recommend giving it a go. And I’d really recommend Contemporary Upholstery by Hannah Stanton as your complete go-to guide. You won’t need another book.

If you want a copy for yourself (and I know you do!), Jacqui Small is offering a discount:

To order Contemporary Upholstery (9781906417918) for £16.00 including p&p* (RRP: £20.00), telephone 01903 828503 and quote offer code JS216. Or send a cheque made payable to: Littlehampton Book Services Mail Order Department, Littlehampton Book Services, PO Box 4264, Worthing, West Sussex BN13 3TG. Please quote the offer code JS216 and include your name and address details. *UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.

It’s also available on Amazon UK and on Amazon US

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: Contemporary Upholstery by Hannah Stanton

  1. The chair makeover looks great and the fabric is perfect. A lovely finished chair. .
    The book seems helpful with the directions.

  2. Hi there Jenna,
    If was so good to meet you in the crochet session and you were very kind and generous with your knowledge to a fellow lefty!! You certainly aren’t rubbish at the social stuff. I’m enjoying exploring your blog and I want to sit in that chair right now! Whilst doing a bit of crochet of course! Jill x

  3. It looks fab, alas, all my furniture is kind of recent Ikea, so no reupholstering here! Sorry I missed you last weekend, I don’t think I even saw you there 🙁

  4. So glad you are back! I haven’t written a comment before but I share your ups and downs and when you post it gives me a better outlook on my own emotional health. You do such stunningly gorgeous work so there has to be hope for me too,right? Don’t stay away too long please….

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