London, Great Britain
Founder Alexandra Sherman (previously known as Al Griffiths) trained in traditional and modern upholstery at the Sir John Cass School of Art & Design at London Metropolitan University (formerly London College of Furniture), and at London College of Fashion for leather accessory making.
In order to further develop a knowledge of fabrics and upholstery skills, in early 2011 Al joined Kensington's local upholsterers in Abingdon Road, London, founded over 50 years ago (after Elizabeth David lived there but before Biba landed).
'Learn to swim, then swim' they say, and so later in 2011 AG Upholstery was born, aiming to provide customers with a stylish and friendly upholstery and homewares service. Not wanting any materials to go to waste, bespoke bags soon became an additional expression of the upholsterer's skills and a natural extension of the brand.
Having previously trained and qualified as a solicitor in the city (now non-practising), Al brings a professional level of care and attention to detail to each commission. This approach ensures the service delivers on time and to budget, but also that decisions are made with integrity and respect for the artisan works and skills of times gone by.
"Starting with projects for friends and family, I found I'd often be told 'your job's fun', which I'd take to mean that they were actually having fun too, on my whistle stop tour of suitable fabrics and leathers."
Bespoke commissions have now included sofas, chairs and benches from scratch and re-upholstery of beloved heirlooms, from the 18th century to modern day. Leather upholstery, comfy cushions for uncomfy antiques, window seating, nursery curtains and roman blinds too.
"It is fun, but traditional upholstery is also one of the hardest trades, requiring painstaking attention to detail at so many levels that are hidden away and privy only to the upholsterer, not entirely dissimilar from a lengthy legal document. It's a skill that draws on both the feminine creative side, and our masculine need to exert energy whilst plotting a wise path to the finished product. If you're interested I highly recommend you try it, there are lots of courses, but be careful you don't get the bug!"
Whilst I draw from antique fabrics, photography and market finds for inspiration, I love to explore and find those working in the contemporary fabric market, who can provide resilient but beautiful fabrics. Drawn to understated and classic design, I pair colours and textures that are easy and uplifting to live with, and which enhance the shape and tones of antique and contemporary pieces. Particular loves are gorgeous khakis, faded stripes and soft tactile leathers. Having spent several years assisting cinematographers in the film industry, my approach is to imagine each piece's own story, so I pay attention to the context of where furniture will be, and of how fabrics will work in situ, not in a showroom.
How it works
Upholstery and Homewares
1. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with a picture of the piece, or a description of what you would like to have made ("a headboard", "a round ottoman"). And if you already know the exact fabric, or have an idea of the colour/texture/size you'd like, please provide those criteria. For upholstery, please specify whether it is a recover, or if restoration is also required. I will respond with a quote. Then;
Home visit (London only): If you'd like an appointment - I can pop round with samples tailored to your criteria, and we can try out different fabric options with the furniture there - I highly recommend this as we can see lots of options in situ and I can more quickly get a sense of what it is you'd like so, if necessary, I can go away and come up with final options;
Or..if you're a really busy bee...
By email and post: Tell me what style/colours and/or texture you would like and I'll send you some images by email. If you like any of these, I can send samples to you by post to be sure.
3. An appointment is arranged for me to come and pick up the furniture.
- it usually takes about 2 weeks from pick up to delivery, depending on fabric availability and how busy we are.
What are you waiting for?.
No trekking to the shops
No lugging furniture around
No interior design fees
A small number of the bags and accessories seen on the site are held in stock while most will be made to order. Delivery within 14 days subject to availability.
To order a bespoke accessory, please send an email to arrange an appointment. The delivery time for bespoke is approximately a month.
'All look skyward at this new sight and sound; a supersonic bird'
'Changing your view of time and space and distance'
'A daughter to the middle-aged, a security to the confused, a heroine to little girls'
'... only your dreams get you there faster'
'She'll fly you like you've never been flown before'
'Globing the choices of your heart'