[huge_it_share]As the Money for Nothing BBC1 shows start to air this April, find out about the large reclaimed dining table, cocktail chairs with a TV appearance under their belt’s will only add to its value.
Hello good people of the world,
I’m playing truant from my own business to spend some time with you lovely lot – phones switched to voicemail, curtains are drawn and the door bolted to my Smither’s man cave. Or should that be Bat Cave?! Seriously considering giving the office a Bat-tastic style makeover after watching Batman v Superman last week. Have you seen it yet? So good, ignore the critics – they’re all tossers anyway.
Along with indulging in my love of all things Marvel recently, I’ve also eaten my weight in chocolate eggs, got very drunk at a kids Easter party and nearly had my ankle broken by a crazy go-kart driving three year old. Thanking you Mr Kit – aka Hulk Baby!
The past few weeks have also seen us take delivery of some of the Money for Nothing reclaimed furniture products we’ve been discussing in anticipation of the arrival of my favourite camera crew and the second round of filming. Despite Smithers HQ being the choice of filming location this time, being in front of the camera is still not quite in my comfort zone, but I am getting used to it. Luckily for me though, the products were brilliant once again and the motor mouth in me soon took over previous to the Money for Nothing crews arrival, the Smithers team had set up one of our barns with the delivered products ready for filming. The barn is in no way renovated but the crumbling stone walls and aged woodwork appeared to be the perfect backdrop for the upcycled furniture that had very much been given a new lease of life. If anything, it magnified their new zest and polish. Don’t worry though, the barns still perfectly safe – we’re not quite at the hard hat/hazardous area stage yet………although you know I need very little excuse for a new hat and I could definitely see Sarah Moore in a hi-vis vest.Our filming agenda began with the first of two of the most imaginative dining tables I have seen in a long while. Probably ever.
The Alley-OOP Dining Table fills me with school day memories of squeaky plimsolls on the gymnasium floor and being told off for not having the right PE kit. Maybe that’s why it makes me smile. Maybe. I think it’s more to with the simplistic genius and bucket load of gumption behind it though. To elaborate more clearly, the tabletop is cut from a vintage basketball gym floor and still bears the original lines of play. Aged lines of red, white, green and blue hint at a past dictating zonal life atop the smooth Beech wooden surface. Could it get any better? Genius recycling with a designer’s touch and huge dollop of gutsy amusement thrown in for good measure. Perfection in my book.
The Alley-OOP upcycled dining table was created by British award- winning wallpaper, textile and surface designer Daniel Heath. Daniel is world renowned for his illustrative and engaging designs and from what I’ve seen, it’s easy to understand why. As if the imaginative surface wasn’t enough, Daniel has finished the piece by placing the tabletop on garage workshop salvaged re-appropriated axle stands. All metal work has been painted in a cobalt blue durable finish and new pins added to the recycled engineering trestles to allow adjustable height and maximum versatility to the home or work place. I’m not one to give away compliments easily (ask the wife), but this table has really impressed me. Awesome with a capital A.Sat alongside the Alley-OOP Table is Daniel’s second piece, which just happens to be the perfect after dinner accessory to any dining room – a Cocktail Cabinet. Of course this is no ordinary cabinet, but one created from an old salvaged storage trunk that’s been flipped on its side and given a large drop of sassy to boot. Placed on steel hairpin legs, all metalwork has been painted the same durable cobalt blue finish, making this and the Gym Table a perfect partnership for entertaining.
Upon opening the unit, there’s a real ‘Pandora’s Box’ moment thanks to the hand printed Art Deco wallpaper called Onyx Skyline designed and fitted by Daniel that offers an excellent backdrop to your shelves of mixers and shakers. Brass studwork completes the piece and all in all, makes for a somewhat sexy cocktail cabinet.
The next feature on our Money for Nothing agenda comes from an infectiously brilliant designer, Neil Wragg of Ragsto. I love Ragsto’s enthusiasm and ethos behind their creations. They are fully aware of the slight snobbery and narrow mindedness when it comes to purchasing someone else’s discarded junk, but this does not diminish their absolute goal to upcycle and do their bit for the planet. Ragsto’s view is that regardless of previous use, if an item is made with expertise from quality materials to the highest standard possible, then you are still buying the best you can get – guilt free!!
The collection of recycled goods from Ragsto comes in the shape of one leather holdall, one leather messenger bag and a selection of hessian bags, and to be completely honest with you, they are some of the best I’ve seen, particularly the leather bags. That holdalls got my name all over it!! The craftsmanship is undeniably good, but the fact there’s a history behind the materials used to create such an understated bag is an invaluable bonus to me.
The leather used to create the weekender holdall and messenger bag, was salvaged by Sarah from the tip and although in excellent condition, was in dire need of a more appealing finish so Ragsto set to work with some dyes to achieve the desired tone. The interior linings were also upcycled – from a canvas mess tent that the local scout group were no longer in need of and in the process of throwing away. Smatterings of toggles and existing eyelet features can be found throughout the bags giving subtle clues to their previous life.
The hessian sack trugs were originally full of onions and about to be discarded before Sarah got her hands on them. Due to their agricultural heritage, Ragsto decided to add the Scout Mess Tent canvas to the interior of the bags, which he waxed for waterproofing, then inserted flexible curtain rods from an old campervan to offer some structure to the now completed gardening ‘trug’ style bag. Stylish enough for grocery shopping, but equally tough enough for gardening – you decide. You begin to see just how unique each and every piece from Ragsto is and thanks to the history of the materials used, what a brilliant backlog of untold stories they all carry!
As previously mentioned, todays filming showcases two brilliant tables and our next item is the second of those outstanding pieces. I give you The Mail Cart dining table. This large reclaimed wood dining table’s path to reincarnation first began when Sarah stumbled across (or possibly accosted) a lovely fella at the refuse tip throwing away two wrought iron wheels and some other metal work from an original mail sorting cart.
Sarah whisked the wheels away to the brilliant boys at Forge Creative once again and thanks to a selection of old barn doors of a similar era Oli and Josh already had in their possession, it was decided that both would be incorporated into one very striking dining table. All metal work was stripped back and painted matt black and the two barn doors given a sanding and buff job like never before. Original hinges were also removed, heated, flattened and reattached to the tabletop to create an in keeping trivet feature for hot pans – stylish and usable.
Some of the other metal work and leaf springs form one end of the table legs, whilst the mail cartwheels take pride of place supporting the other end. There’s even a small amount of suspension movement involved – not enough to cause a problem with a gravy dinner thankfully!
Who’d have thought parts of an old mail cart, that had even spent some time lost and unloved in a hedge, could be transformed into such a strong and stylish designer piece of furniture?! I absolutely love the natural ageing of this table that has been so phenomenally and sympathetically restored by the Forge. Imagine the dinner parties you could hold around such an amazing product that breathes history yet shines with a designers touch. This sizeable piece truly is a giant dining table amongst men. Well done indeed fellas.
By the time we move on to the next product, I’m almost in full, charismatic swing – which could well be to do with it being the last item and the end of todays filming torture is in sight or the simple fact that I absolutely bloody love these chairs?! Lets opt for a bit of both.
Our final piece to camera is on the sassiest pair of chairs imaginable, brought to us once again by the hugely talented Anthony Divine of Ministry of Upholstery. This man can do no wrong I tell you.
I’ve had many names for this pair of perfectly pink pews- The Tasty Twins, The Saucy Sisters……….you see how my sordid mind works, but opted for The WooWoo Cocktail Chairs after some gentle persuasion from the rest of the Smither’s team. Only the best would do for these beautifully bespoke chairs – having been reupholstered using modern techniques in nothing less than fabulously floral designer bed sheets (I told you they were sexy) and topped with a Pantone style Rose Quartz tinted Mongolian Sheepskin that’s bang on trend. Anthony achieved this must have tone by mixing Annie Sloane’s Scandinavian Pink and Antoinette Chalk Paints and dyeing the natural shearlings. Classy pink wool cloth and brass studwork finish these gloriously feminine chairs superbly. Sheer perfection once again Mr Divine.
The WooWoo cocktail chairs would make a fabulous hallway statement or perfect addition to any beloved’s boudoir, but my favourite resting place for this twintastic pair would have to be the VIP area of the coolest club, where gold can be found in the expensive drinks and their reserved tables have the longest waiting lists in the world. Nothing but the best for the WooWoo’s!
I can see messages flashing at me on the answer phone in a slightly angry fashion if I’m not mistaken, so I’d best wrap this up and sign off. Don’t forget to watch Money for Nothing BBC1 weekdays on BBC1 at 3.45pm. It’s great watching the products come to life, the narrators pleasantly amusing and, obviously, I’m on it!!!
Until next time my friends,
Updated July 2016 – Ps don’t forget to tune in on 19th July for money for nothing BBC 2 7pm be there or be square