Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Restoring a leather sofa

Our old green sofabed has been looking a bit sad while. Despite cheerful blankets draped over the back and slightly bonkers cushions nothing was hiding the fact that it was just a bit tired. The snag is that a new one ain't cheap.

Eyes peeled for a bargain then....On the way home from work one Friday I decided to take a mini detour via Criterion Auctions. It's a good place for a bit of a rummage. I usually find loads of things I would love to buy but sense prevails when I remember that I have nowhere to put them. This time I spotted a small dark brown leather sofa. Not in great condition but nothing that a bit of TLC wouldn't fix. A little more investigating revealed that it was originally from the Conran shop. This was a bit of furniture that somebody had probably spent a good few grand on. Well worth putting a bit of effort into restoring.

The next day my matey and I went for another look with the practical hats on and wielding a tape measure. Now here is the thing. Being sensible we needed another sofabed. In a small house,even with a spare 'oom, having an extra bed is handy. But we really, really liked it and the old sofabed really, really was looking dreadful. In the end we agreed to put a very cheeky bid on and see what happened.

To cut a long story short. We won! The auctioneers pointed us in the direction of a nice chap who would deliver it and it was with us by 7am the next morning. All for just over £100.

In-situ it looked better than I imagined.  The dust had been blown off in the move. The feather cushions had been plumped up so they looked a hundred times better. In proper light I could see that the leather is a really lovely dark brown, worn in places but nothing that wasn't fixable. Naturally I spent at least half an hour playing with cushions and blankets and poking and prodding before admitting that I really did need to go to work.

This weekend I knuckled down and started cleaning it and touching up the scuff with this rather good stuff: Liquidleather.com . (Not cheap but it does work well.)  A few hours later and it looked a bit like this.

An awful lot better.  We decided that we liked the slightly battered look so deliberately left some of the worn parts alone. (I suspect some people pay a fortune to have a 'gently worn' look added on!)

Now my only problem is deciding on accessories. We have a rather bonkers collection of cushions which may not be to everybodies taste but we like a cheerfully eclectic mix:

The cats drinking tea and the worried owl cushions are from Lush designs and the fish one Jorja Wilkinson. (It's actually a homemade one make from left over fabric but she does sell cushions as well.)

 The main thing to decide is blanket or no blanket:

Without the blanket it does look more stylish. BUT!

With the blanket it looks cosier.

At the moment the blanket is winning as it is lovely to be able to pull a blanket over yourself if it's feeling a bit nippy. Nothing at all to do with the freezing weather! 

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