Tucked away in a workshop in The North East of England, Wendy Esther Walker, owner of Peeling Paint busies herself renovating distinctive furnishings back to 'new glory'. As a self proclaimed treasure seeker, Wendy searches high and low for any discarded furniture she believes could be given a new lease of life. "My furniture is sourced from anywhere and everywhere. From the smartest antique auction rooms to, literally, the side of the road. Furniture hunts are one of the mail highlights of our work. I have many regular haunts that we visit from flea markets, car boot sales, charity shops, house clearance warehouses and auction rooms to the good old internet...I love the worn discards of others".
Wendy first started dabbling in furniture restoration alongside her father, more than 20 years ago. Since then her hobby has developed into a passion which saw her launch an on line shop 6 years ago. As a result she has spent years researching and mastering her craft. All of the furniture Peeling Paint deal with goes through six distinct processes from restoration to protection...it is a real labour of love. "All of our pieces are one-offs and although we use the six stages every time, the techniques differ for each...This depends upon the furniture, the client and our mood".
Taking inspiration from French, Scandinavian and Coastal American interiors Wendy has managed to re-create simple and elegant designs, which would be the perfect centrepiece for any home. "Whenever I would look at images in books or magazines for inspiration I was always drawn to the beautiful choice of 'shabby chic' style furniture from these countries...I admire their celebration and lack of fear with regard to faded elegance". An element, which she believes people are starting to pursue in the UK. As we do away with cheap and accessible pieces in favour of timeless classics, which last a lifetime if treated well. "More and more people are moving away from mass produced and flat pack furniture to the re-claimed, re-invented and re-loved...embracing the nostalgic and bringing it into the 21st Century".
Wendy passionately believes that there is a positive ecological consequence of buying reclaimed furniture, heralding it as a great way to source a statement item with a contemporary twist. "Preserving and reviving Vintage, Antique and Reproduction pieces brings out the best in them, with the least impact on the environment. It’s the original green option that also allows you to bring something quirky, unique and very special into your home".
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