It all started in 2011 when upcycling fan Amy Cawson transformed a worn out vintage sofa she found at her local YMCA in to something spectacular. Replacing the worn-out leather seats for fabric ones and giving the whole piece a little TLC, Amy not only found a buyer for the transformed sofa but also her calling. Realising there was a market for her fantastically restored vintage and retro chairs, Florrie+Bill was born in early 2012.
Named after her grandparents, Florence and William and inspired by memories of their home (fit-to-bursting with retro radiograms, string pictures, teak furniture and Bakelite telephones), the name and Amy’s passion is personal. She handpicks all of the pieces you see on the website herself and gets to know each chair by carefully stripping it of any old fabrics and tired fillings (as well as any rogue old coins and toys from yesteryear she finds hiding in their historic frames!) and hand-selects the perfect new fabric for it.
It’s important to Amy that Florrie+Bill supports emerging UK textile designers and she uses British-made materials and designs from the likes of Romo, Designers Guild and Flock for her reworked vintage chairs. Many of her chairs are covered with luxurious yet plain cottons and velvets to help show off vintage features like a beautifully decorative arm but Amy’s not afraid to play with colour. Several of her fast-becoming-iconic retro chairs are adorned with bold, geometric patterns, creating the perfect talking point for any modern home.
Quality is important at Florrie+Bill too. Amy seeks out classic designs and furniture names such as G Plan, Ercol and Parker Knoll, renowned for their workmanship and longevity, and she breathes life in to old pieces of furniture that really have stood the test of time and will for another 50 years with a little help from her. To ensure each chair’s long-life Amy works alongside experienced and highly skilled upholsterers in Long Eaton, Nottingham and charts the process on her blog (the perfect way for Florrie+Bill customers to see how their very own vintage chair has been made-over!).
Once Amy’s done with her finishing touches they are delivered to customers UK-wide using a carefully selected courier service, and also provides a worldwide service for far-flung vintage furniture fans! To find out more about delivery and prices click here.
Like Amy’s story? Well there’s more where that came from over on her Instagram page. Expect pictures of Amy’s latest Florrie+Bill projects, fabric inspiration and behind the scenes pics....See you there!