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Cheerie chairs

You wouldn’t want to leave one of these deckchairs on an Italian beach to save your place for the next day – and not just because you might risk a fine if you do – they’re just far too nice to leave behind. In fact, if I had one of these beauties I’d probably never leave my back garden.


Kate Blake trained in traditional upholstery techniques (clever girl) and now spends her days in her beautiful old house just outside Wells, transforming old deckchairs, armchairs and other pieces of furniture into, well, almost works of art.  She finds original wooden frames – much sturdier than modern ones – in boot fairs and flea markets, which she then takes back home to rip off dirty and dull fabric, then sand, treat, restore and oil them…

CdWg1QHWEAAjqz-…ready to fit with gorgeous vintage cloth.  This director’s chair, seen after it’s transformation under Kate’s magical touch, has a 1930s frame – notice the curved arms?

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Kate scours fairs, markets and charity shops for original vintage fabrics, which she then pads or reinforces with a calico – you’re not going to fall through the bottom of one of these – and she also sometimes uses contemporary fabrics like Sanderson’s retro range. I love the citrus colours and bold 1960s patterns on these two.

pair of chairs

A simple stripe or back to the nursery with Winnie-the-Pooh?

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Ever wondered what to do with that ancient pair of jeans? Kate’s had a few ideas…



As a nice touch, all the deckchairs come with a cushion in the same fabric. Prices start at £80 for a basic deckchair and then upwards depending on the frame and the fabric; the steamer chair above, for example, costs £180. You can buy online, call Kate on 01749 673577 to commission her to make you a chair to a specific design or try out a deckchair for size at The Frome Independent market (on the first Sunday of every month). She also up-cycles and reupholsters armchairs, dining chairs and footstools.

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Now where’s that Pimms?

Find more ideas here


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The Urban Guide to the Countryside - Somerset