When searching for a partner that I could rely on to assist me with creating original designs for my clients’, I was lucky enough to find Jan Sharp and her business Creative Soft Furnishings. Jan’s services include reupholstering, loose covers, cushions and curtains through to creative one off projects. I often consult Jan on soft furnishing finishes to ensure my clients are delighted with the results.
Jan’s been sewing since six years old and her early career was spent teaching dressmaking to high school students, taking up upholstery work 12 years ago. “I was a newcomer to the craft but not a novice, having skills and techniques in sewing and handling fabrics that the average apprentice in an upholstery shop would never learn. If you can make and fit a wedding gown then upholstering a chair is child’s play!”, Jan commented. Quickly Jan’s business grew from her local area on the Central Coast to having clients in Sydney, as far south as Mittagong and as far north has the Hunter Valley and Taree.
Born out of Jan’s love for beautiful textural fabrics, this year she launched a unique offering called Lorikeet Unique Furniture. Jan says, “My first attempt used fabrics that were cheap and cheerful, but also vibrant and exciting. I used a few Spotlight specials and added to it pieces that I had in my workshop, and the results were quite arresting. I was greatly encouraged by a friend who ran a local boutique selling eclectic homewares, and she sold my first two chairs very quickly.” Jan then moved onto using better quality fabrics. Taking a brief or a theme from a client she uses a blend linen, silk, chenille, tapestry, velvet and even leather, sourcing the fabrics from Sanderson, Warwick, Unique, Mokum anywhere and everywhere as long as it suited projects theme. Jan takes either clients pre-loved furniture pieces strips them back and gives them the Lorikeet treatment or she is able to source furniture items (new or old) on behalf of a client and creates a design from there.
All you need is a theme: a favourite scarf; your interior colour palette; a fine art print; or even a love for something unusual. Jan will then create a design around this for you. A Lorikeet design will cost anywhere from $1500 – $2500 for a one off chair, depending on size, and the fabrics used.
Jan’s 2013 focus will be spreading the word about Lorikeet and, “to finding a receptive audience of discerning clients who are looking for an original and beautiful piece of furniture which expresses their personality and is absolutely unique”.
I just love these designs and personally feel that a piece like this can bring an interior to life and give your room a personality that may be otherwise lacking. I admire Jan for her creativity and passion and wish her every success in her venture that is Lorikeet Unique Furniture.
Check out existing Lorikeet designs here http://www.lorikeetuniquefurniture.com.au/