Large Wingback Armchair

Fully Restored Chair. Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

Upholstery Fabric. Haveli by Matthew Williamson (2020) by Emma Mullender

"High Wingback Chair" Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

We love how my Dad’s armchair once again takes pride of place! Emma was extremely patient with us, expertly guiding us to make the best choices, and we absolutely love the finished piece! Thank you so much!

Jenni and Nic De Knoop
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Finished picture by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Top fabric on seat and back by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Calico on, adding horse hair to arms by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery, adding cotton wadding to back by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Calico seat, Coconut fibre back by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Adding Calico to the seat by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Adding horse hair layer by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Scrim with roll stitch by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. Vulcanized coconut fibre on seat by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery webbed back, hessian on by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery webbed and re-sprung by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery. stripped chair by Emma Mullender
  • "Large Wing Back Chair" traditional upholstery before picture by Emma Mullender

The Brief

This large winged back chair originally belonged to my customers father. It had been sitting in the garage for a very long time and was very much in need of a makeover. After viewing lots of fabrics, Nick chose “Haveli” which is the most beautiful richly coloured chenille jacquard fabric designed by Matthew Williamson. I was excited to work with such a luxurious fabric!

The Process

This chair definitely wins the title of “The Longest time stripping a chair” as it took me 7 hours to strip back to the wood! There were many layers underneath the dishevelled top fabric. The chair seemed to have been upholstered many times, without removing any of the old layers! As you can see from the above slide show, there were many techniques to reupholster the chair. It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed bringing it back to life, and the fabric was an absolute dream to work with!

Victorian Horse Shoe Chair

“Fully upholstered Victorian Horse Shoe Chair” by Emma Mullender

Crushed velvet fabric on antique chair (2016) by Emma Mullender

Victorian Horse Shoe Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

Thank you so much for the painstaking attention to detail in restoring my chair. It looks and feels beautiful and has been given a whole new lease of life. The care, craftmanship and professional service was more than I had hoped for and I am therefore a very happy customer.

Zoe Constable
Victorian Horse Shoe Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

The Brief

This Victorian Horse shoe chair had been in the clients family for many years. Nothing was salvageable needed a full strip down and be rebuilt. My client found some great quality crushed velvet fabric that was a dream to work with. She wanted the chair to sit pride and place again in her home.

The Process

Rebuilding a chair is a physical job. It requires a lot of patience and a huge amount of time to strip and rebuild a chair. Traditional methods, which include re-webbing, sewing in new springs and a gradual build up of stuffing using hessian, horse hair, coconut fibre, cotton wadding and special stiches were used to complete this antique chair. Double piping frames the arms and side panels.

"Victorian Horse Shoe Chair" Traditional upholstery by Emma Mullender

Wood & Peacock Armchair

Fully upholstered chair covered in Themis fabric by Sanderson.

Upholstered chair (2018) by Emma Mullender

"Woof Framed Armchair" Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

“Emma went above and beyond to help me source the most beautiful fabric. She has an excellent eye for detail and has given my chair a new lease of life. I love it”

Liz Stark

The Brief

Quite often the reason I’m asked to upholster a chair is because it has been inherited and has a sentimental value. Liz wanted to transform her dads old chair and small footstool. She wanted a modern fabric, but a design that would stand the test of time.

  • "Stripped back chair" traditional upholstery by Emma Mullender
  • "Traditional upholstery" with webbing and hessian by Emma Mullender
  • "Traditional upholstery" with springs by Emma Mullender
  • "Traditional upholstery" with hessian ready for coconut fibre by Emma Mullender
  • "Traditional upholstery" calico ready by Emma Mullender
  • "Woof Framed Armchair" Traditional Upholstery by Emma Mullender

The Process

I took Liz fabric shopping to get a feel of what she likes. She chose a beautiful peacock design fabric, made by Sanderson. When I received the chair it was in a sorry state to say the least! It needed to be stripped back to the wood and built back up again. Originally the chair had a very flimsy box cushion seat made of foam, which I changed to a fixed seat by building up layers using traditional upholstery methods. I also sanded the dark varnish off the arms, exposing a lighter shade of oak, which matched perfectly with the feathers in the fabric.

"Traditional upholstery" busy at work by Emma Mullender

Pub Bench

“Pub Bench” Stig Ljunberg fabric” by Emma Mullender

Upcycled Bench (2019) by Emma Mullender

"Recovering Fabric of an Old Pub Bench" Upholstery. By Emma Mullender

Creativity is making marvellous out of the discarded


I was lucky enough to be gifted some beautiful fabric from my mother in law. She bought the fabric, which designed by the famous designer Stig Ljungberg, whilst visiting Sweden. Ljungbergs fabrics was founded by Erik Ljungberg in 1948 and sold a collection of fabrics designed by Stig Ljunberg. I was super impressed by the design, it was right up my street! and I knew that I wanted to use it to cover a bench for our kitchen. Now I just needed to find the bench!

The Process

It took a while, but I eventually found a bench that would be suitable for our kitchen table. As always, I bought the bench second hand for the bargain price of £20! The bench was in great condition, but I wanted to paint the wood. I used a chalk paint (which rarely use) because I didn’t quite fancy the job of sanding the wood down! I also had the arms on the bench shortened by a carpenter so it would fit under the table better.

Unfortunately the fabric wasn’t quite long enough, but I was determined to use it, so I sewed in some black end panels each side and made a feature out of them by decorating the ends with some yellow studs. I’m really happy with the finished result and the bench sits happily in our kitchen. I even made some art to match the design!

Upcycled Retro Furniture

The Best Things in Life Are Old, Loved & Rescued!

Leopard Print Cabinet

  • "Upcycled Drinks and Glass Cabinet" Leopard print wood door by Emma Mullender

We bought this from Emma to use as a drinks cabinet. High quality finish. We are very pleased and looks great in our room. Thanks Emma!

Maggie Sharp-Smith

Large Retro Sideboard

  • "Up-cyc;led Retro Sideboard" Cole and Son Frutto Proibito wallpaper after picture by Emma Mullender
  • "Upcyc;led Retro Sideboard" before Frutto Proibito wallpaper. Door detail by Emma Mullender
  • "Up-cyc;led Retro Sideboard" before Frutto Proibito wallpaper by Emma Mullender

“Emma transformed an old and very weathered G plan sideboard for us. I fell in love with the wallpaper and set about finding a sideboard to put it on. Emma was very helpful and gave great ideas and solutions. The sideboard is now the main focus in our room, and we all love it!”

Yvonne Leggett

1960s G-Plan sideboard

  • Sanderson Wrappings Wallpaper Retro Upcycled Sideboard
  • "Before Picture of Upcycled Retro Sideboard" by Emma Mullender
  • "Sanderson Wrappings Wallpaper" Kingfisher Red by Emma Mullender

We bought this lovely sideboard from Emma. We were impressed by her professional approach and her helpful manner. We highly recommend her to others!

Mr & Mrs Southcott

Retro Chest of Drawers

The essence of art is to produce the modern idea under an antique form.     

Oscar Wilde

Do you have some retro furniture that needs bringing back to life?

Get in Touch!

Emma x

Upcycled Furniture

When in doubt, don’t throw it out!

Decoupaged Bureau

"Decoupage Bureau with Assemble Art. Gilt Framed Shelving by Emma Mullender

 Restyling old furniture is a great way to transform your existing furniture. You get to choose the exact colours, textures and patterns, and quite often at the fraction of the cost of buying something new.

"Decoupage Bureau with Upholstered chair. Gilt Framed Shelving by Emma Mullender
Upcycled Peacock Design Bureau, picture frame wall shelf and Upholstered Chair

Maid Marion Kitchen Cupboard

" Maid Marion Kitchen cupboard" Glass and clock after pictures by Emma Mullender
  • "Maid Marion Kitchen Cupboard" After picture with worktop out by Emma Mullender
  • "Inside Maid Marion Kitchen Cupboard" after pictures by Emma Mullender
  • "Before pictures of Maid Marion Kitchen Cupboard with worktop out" by Emma Mullender

Emma has changed an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan! Marion was a very old piece of family furniture. Little did we know what bad condition it was underneath the many layers of paint Emma had to get through! She kept me informed of her progress and advised us with the best options. A hardworking business woman with great integrity. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Emma. Thank you for what you did!

Julia Foster
"Upcycling Maid Marion Furniture" After picture by Emma Mullender"Upcycling Maid Marion Furniture" Before picture by Emma Mullender

Butterfly Design Drawers

Matching furniture to accent colours present around the room, has given this chest of drawers a much needed boost of colour and personality.

"Upcycled 3 drawer bedside cabinet" Butterfly design by Emma Mullender"Before Picture" 3 drawer chest of drawers. Upcycling Butterfly design by Emma Mullender

Lego Storage Drawers

"Upcycled Lego Storage" Lego base board top by Emma Mullender

Parents will be all too familiar with the intense, sharp pain in feet caused by an unassuming Lego Brick!

  • "Upcycled Lego Storage" drawer compartments Duplo handles by Emma Mullender
  • "Upcycled Lego Storage" before picture of drawers by Emma Mullender

Vanity Unit for Family Bathroom

"Upcycled dressing table" Vanity unit after pictures family bathroom by Emma Mullender

One mans trash is another mans treasure. Changing the function of an old dressing table to a vanity unit has given an old piece of furniture new purpose and lease of life.

"After Picture of upcycling dressing table" vanity unit family bathroom by Emma Mullender"Vanity unit" Upcycled dressing table before picture by Emma Mullender

Do you have a piece of furniture you would like to see resurrected? Send me a picture so we can discuss ideas!

Emma x

DJ Music Corner

Home is where the Vinyl is..

"DJ Music Corner" Interior Styling with disco ball by Emma Mullender

The Brief

  • To style music corner.
  • 3m X 1.5m space.
  • Storage of vinyl records, decks, mixer and amplifier.
  • Concealed Storage
  • Harmony with rest of room
  • Design to please both homeowners.
  • Original upcycled furniture
  • Disco ball and Lights

The Process

I started off by looking for a suitable sideboard for the record decks and mixer to sit on. It needed to be the right height, width and depth, hold a few record’s and also be at the right price! Keeping to a budget when buying second-hand furniture is important as you’ll be spending money on materials, which can be costly!

The next step was to plan the design and colour scheme. Knowing the music corner had to flow well with the rest of the room, I chose to use blues, greens, golds and browns to blend with the rest of the kitchen.

The Details

I usually use wallpaper when restyling furniture, but it can be expensive and add ££ to the materials budget. So when I came across this beautiful peacock design gift wrap, I was chuffed! It was good quality paper, the colours were just right and at £3 a sheet, you really can’t go wrong! When using paper on any upcycling project it has to be sealed to a waterproof and wipe clean finish so it is protected for many years to come.

The sideboard has a 2tone distressed paint finish. I used an ochre colour as the base layer, then a bold turquoise blue on top. The drawers were painted with a mid grey paint to give contrast. By choosing a mixture of gold, and black & white handles, I have picked out the key colours in the peacock design paper.

The tall unit was purchased in “Trading Boundaries” In East Sussex. Its a great shop that sells a lovely range of antique Indian furniture. The cupboard comfortably fits a CD player, amp and about 300 records!

The whole interior scheme has been united by either the colours (greens golds and blues) or the repetition of circles (records, disco ball, art). The circle of life painting (by local Forest Row artist Sarah Charlton) looks great against the lattice design of the tall unit. The metal circle art, which sits above the sideboard has background lights and includes a musical word-search!

If you would like a design consultation, my first initial meeting is free of charge.

Emma x

Russian Doll House

Painted Russian Doll House

"Upcycled Russian Doll House" by Emma Mullender

Inspiration and the Process

I have a collection of Russian dolls that I’ve wanted to make a ‘house’ for a long time. They had been sitting on a shelf for years, but I wanted something more permanent for them. I went on a search to find the right size ‘home’ and found a plain white kitchen shelf on a second hand selling site, which I just knew would be perfect for the job!

Using a mixture of acrylic paints, I painted flowers and butterflies on a background of black to create a arch shaped design that would help highlight and show off the dolls unique designs.

I’m not sure if I’m just imagining this, but I’m sure their smiles are wider than before, either way, they look happy in their new home 🙂

"Upcycled Russian Doll House" in room by Emma Mullender
Dolls house in their room

It is said that Matryoshka Dolls represent a woman’s fertility and motherhood. The design of the big-bellied doll portrays a mother’s plump figure and her important roll in the family, by the nesting of her “children” dolls inside.

"Before picture of Russian Doll house" by Emma Mullender"Upcycled Russian Doll House" painted by Emma Mullender

1950s Upholstered Telephone Table & Seat

Reloved❤️Retro Telephone Table

One-of-a-kind and available for sale

Retro Telephone Table with Upholstered seat and shelf. Price
Measurements: H 465mm. D- 360mm. W 740mm£395.00
"Retro Telephone Table front / top view after picture by Emma Mullender
Reupholstered, Restyled and Reloved


I found this beauty on a local Facebook selling site. It was going cheap, because let’s face it, it was in a bit of state! I love retro furniture and have restored a good few pieces, but although retro furniture can look cool, it was also the start of the era of mass manufacturing, meaning furniture was not built as solid and heavy as previous years. That said, I know people were generally smaller in the 1950s, but this little piece seems like it would be study for most butts, with no wobbling in the legs.

Although there was a lot of work to do, I knew this lovely little piece deserved to have life brought back into it❤️ I loved spending time restoring it, and I’m really pleased with the result.

Slide the arrow up and down for before and after pictures

The Process

I started by removing the very worn vinyl from the top. Sanding down the wood, then filling all the chips and breaks, before finally adding 2 layers of primer undercoat. I decided to not buy any new materials, and just get by with what I already had. The 1950s retro style wallpaper was leftover from a retro side-table I restyled a few years ago. Both the red and white paint were also used on previous projects. I bought the lovely designer yellow velvet fabric from a second-hand fabric store, knowing that one day it’ll be the perfect for the right project. I love how the wallpaper has tiny flecks of yellow and red, which enhances the yellow fabric and red painted legs.

"Retro Telephone Table front / top view before picture by Emma Mullender"Retro Telephone Table front / top view after picture by Emma Mullender
"Retro Telephone Table front / top view before picture by Emma Mullender"Retro Telephone Table front / top view after picture by Emma Mullender
"Retro Telephone Table front / top view before picture by Emma Mullender"Retro Telephone Table front / top view after picture by Emma Mullender

Print Order Form

Please complete the following order form noting your requirements and I will get back to you with payment details. Thanks, Em ❤