Bespoke Interior Design Done The Right Way

12 Jun 2024

In the next in our series of guest blogs, we welcome bespoke upholsterer Emma Patchett to share some of her wisdom about the best way to go bespoke. Who to talk to, which questions to ask, and what she loves most about her job. 

Yorkshire born and bred; Emma Patchett began her career in interiors following the birth of her children. She was looking for a career change, having worked in food product development since graduating university. She completed her upholstery training and began producing pieces for friends and family. From there, her expertise grew, and word of mouth propelled her onwards and upwards. She now works on the same premises as her husband, who runs a sixth-generation joinery business, producing her own woodwork and upholstering on site. 

Have you had a favourite project? 

It has to be the ornate Jim Thompson fabric headboard we worked on at the St John’s House project with AMC Design. The fabric is just beautiful and full of colour. Statement headboards are a joy to work on, especially considering the intricacies of some of the designs chosen. For some, there is the added issue of how we transport the piece into the property which can be nerve wracking! But nothing feels better than when it all starts to come together and the piece comes to life.  

What are the benefits of bespoke? 

Primarily, it is that you can ensure you get exactly what you want – the right size, the feel, the design and that the piece is made especially for its designated space. It also means that we can work with fabrics that are often hard to get hold of on the High Street, that bring a real touch of personality to a space. 

What are your top tips for those about to start redesigning their home from an upholstery perspective? 

  • Before a project gets started, have a think about your colour palettes and gather swatches of fabrics and piping that you really love.  
  • Be clear on what your budget is for each bespoke piece, as we can be flexible with the fabrics, inners, trims etc that we use to meet this. If budgets are getting constrained, we can always keep your favourite part of the piece and find alternatives for the secondary items.  
  • It is also key to understand what the piece is going to be used for – will it be a guest bedroom headboard, which is rarely used, or perhaps a footstool in the family room which will be in constant use by children and dogs. This is key when choosing the right fabrics, especially if they need to be robust. Being practical doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful. 

Do you have any key pieces of advice for new customers? 

  • Be aware of timescales. At the outset of a project, we will always be clear with you how long items will take to be planned, designed and produced.  
  • Trust us – as your suppliers, we will always endeavour to give you the best possible advice, to ensure your project runs smoothly and you ultimately have the piece you long for. So, if we start talking about different cushion and sofa fillings to what you had envisaged, it is because we care about your comfort! 
  • Don’t be afraid to be adventurous – fabric is the perfect place to get excited about colour. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and use patterns and textures you thought might have been ‘a little much’. 

What are you favourite products to work on? 

The bespoke headboards – the bigger the better! 

What does being based in Yorkshire mean to you? 

My entire family are originally from Yorkshire, so there was nowhere else I really wanted to be. It is a big part of my life. It’s a wonderful part of the world, with some incredible talents, from fabric weavers, to mills and joiners, and not forgetting designers of course. Once you dig these incredible people out, they will always go above and beyond. I just love it. 

Do you have any thoughts on the positives and negatives of collaborating with interior designers to create really beautiful things? 

Well, the positives are that you get to work with a lot of incredible fabrics that you wouldn’t necessarily find without working with a designer. Interior designers are always on the lookout for fresh patterns and colours, which makes my life as an upholsterer that bit more fun. It also helps me expand my own creativity and learn about fresh new ideas in the industry.  

I also love seeing the final images of our pieces in the scheme as a whole. When you are working on a piece in isolation, it can be hard to picture the final project, so this always brings me a thrill.  

It is worth noting, that working with interior designers as opposed to private clients is completely different. Working with a designer can aid the clarity of realistic timelines and management of ongoing logistics, to ensure the work we are carrying out is scheduled appropriately, and not all in one window of time.

If you are interested in exploring your own interiors project and exploring bespoke upholstery, please get in contact here now: