Furniture | The Bespokesperson

Furniture that’s customised with a quirky aesthetic

This upcycled furniture comes with a uniquely English twist

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Furniture that’s customised with a quirky aesthetic

March 16 2011
Charlotte Abrahams

Antiques dealer Andrew Seccombe is an avid upcycler. This practice of giving worn-out furniture a new lease of life is now the hottest of eco trends, of course, but Seccombe has been busy upcycling furniture as a sideline to his Cheltenham-based antiques business, Blighty, since 2008.

“I like to reinvent pieces and give people things that are useful for today,” he explains, “so I buy very good-quality Regency to Edwardian chairs, have them completely rebuilt and then reupholster them in vintage fabrics as well as English wools and tweeds. The end result is a chair that, rather than going to landfill, will be loved for another 100 years.”

Each of these chairs is upholstered to order using traditional techniques (keeping these skills alive is another of Seccombe’s passions) and he works with clients to source suitable styles and fabrics. Seccombe sees the commissioning process as an equal collaboration between himself and the client, and will only accept projects that he feels meet the Blighty aesthetic. “We’re not just upholsterers,” he explains. “We have a very particular style.”

That style is best described as English eccentric – think wing-back chairs covered with vintage Savile Row tweed suits (first picture, from £2,500), Chesterfields sporting military gold buttons and sofas dressed in scarlet military broadcloth (second picture, from £4,000). The look might not be to everyone’s taste, but if quirky country house is your thing and you’re prepared to let Seccombe call the shots (and he does have the most impeccable eye), then this is the place to come.