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Furniture as Art -
Designing Statement Chairs

Are you an interior designer or upholsterer offering bespoke services to customers? Do you need to discover your own taste and style to make a statement chair? Have you inherited a chair that needs help to thrive in its new interiors space? Is your favourite chair in need of a little personality injection? Are you sustainably conscious, keen to reduce furniture waste?


‘Furniture as Art - Designing Statement Chairs’ is an exciting collaboration, brought to you by the Director of Bristol Upholstery Collective, Leigh-Anne Treadwell and Art Advisor of Art & People, Claudia Kennaugh.

Our experts will be presenting the theory and thought process behind eliciting and commissioning one-of-a-kind statement chairs, talking through the consultation process of identifying style, tuning into your taste and understanding how you want the chair to feel in your home. Gain practical knowledge of fabrics, sourcing and specifying. It’s important for your chair to be part of this conversation - so your chair is invited too!


Bring along your favourite chair, fabric swatches, or photos of your chair/home and a notepad and pen. You'll be invited to ask questions relevant to your project for feedback and ideas.


If your chair is still ‘sitable’, this will be your seat and focus for the workshop duration and discussion. Fabric examples will be on display for you to explore latest patterns, prints, textures and local designs.


This course is ideal for those offering interior design consultation or upholstery services to help elicit your customers taste and requirements, sustainably, as well as owners of chairs with meaningful connection and a story to tell.


Meet Leigh-Anne: BBC One TV Upholsterer, otherwise known as ‘The Chairy God-mother’ as she works her magic on chairs rescued from landfill, turning them into unique salable items. Her love of intuitive design, playful use of colour and sharing her skills has seen the Bristol Upholstery Collective Ltd ‘Training Centre & Upholstery Service’ win awards in Education and Interiors. Her energy, passion and drive attract clients who specifically want to share in her passion for creative upholstery.


Meet Claudia: Claudia Kennaugh is the founder of Art & People, a Bristol-based art advisory service offering guidance to artists and collectors. Prior to the launch in 2019, Claudia worked for 15 years in the arts. First as a songwriter and performing artist and then art advisor and gallery partner. Over her years co-running the Hollywood Road Gallery, London – established by her family in 1980 – she curated countless fairs and exhibitions with hand-sourced artworks from the UK, Europe & South America. 

During that time she nurtured the careers of many artists. Her dual experience of life on both sides of the business inspired her to create a service that helps the people who create art, just as much as those who collect it. Today, Art & People supports the professional development of early-mid career artists with one-to-one coaching, online tutorials and workshops with organisations such as Bow Arts Trust, Spike Island and Wimbledon Art Studios. Claudia’s curating work continues both in public residencies and in people’s homes. By sourcing artworks from her growing community and helping collectors to buy, frame and hang art that they love, she creates new connections and opportunities, bringing it all full circle.

Tutors: Leigh-Anne Treadwell & Claudia Kennaugh


Venue: UP Studios, Unit 26, Barton Hill Trading Estate, Maze Street, BS5 9 TQ

Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Cost: £75

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During this exciting 3 hour theoretical and practical workshop, you will discover:

  • What meaningful art feels like in the home and the important role it plays

  • Find your true taste using a toolkit to identify your style

  • How to look deeper and find fabrics that make your heart sing

  • Reducing fear and limiting beliefs, encouraging bolder, less safe choices

  • How to juxtapose confidently - it doesn't need/want to match!

  • The planning and practical application of upholstery

  • The techniques to emphasize and accentuate chair features

  • How to recognise fabric types, their usage and suitability

  • Understanding the specification, value and joy of investing in commissioned pieces.


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