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So Canadian Eh? : Lindsey Gerrish from Recreated

June 8, 2012

Another sweetheart and loveable gal this week!

Welcome.....


Lindsey Gerrish from Recreated.


She is..


I had the pleasure of getting to know Lindsey when I visited Toronto two weeks ago. Our first night there she met up with Nancy, Beatrice and I for drinks! Really made us feel welcome, thanks!
We then spent another evening out with her and the other amazing bloggers after Blogpodium. 

Lindsey's blog is such a design treat, she shares what inspires her along the way and her upholstered pieces. Upholstery is an art form, taking an unwanted piece and transforming it into something magnificent!  Lindsey does upholstery work on the side and teaches classes in the art of upholstery as well! Wish I lived closer, I would love to learn the proper way, instead of my "staple-gun-and-cover-with-glue" method.
She has an eye for design and detail and can truly recreate the ugly into the beautiful.

A truly talented women. I was in awe when I found out her "day" job, it is always fun to see what we bloggers do for work. Many are not in the design industry, but can be just as passionate about it. And I love finding out where everyone comes from, we all come from various nooks and crannies in Canada, and from all walks of life. That is why I enjoy writing this series, as I LOVE getting to know a bit more about each of my guests!

Tell us a bit about your background? Your education? Has design always been in your blood?

I grew up in a small town in New Brunswick but have been living and working in Toronto for over 10 years. I have a degree in Civil Engineering (the Environmental arm) so not a very “creative” education. Initially, I wanted to take architecture because I was intrigued by home design (as a kid I used to buy home plans magazines….). I ended up in Civil Engineering thinking it would be a good base for a future architecture degree but I never got to the architecture part. Although I do have some analytical tendencies in my brain, I have always been too creative to really enjoy engineering. I have always been drawn to design and attracted to pretty things.



Your day job is not in design, but you upholster on the side. How did you come into that “part-time”?

After a few years of upholstering pieces for myself and for friends, I was contemplating how I could do it more regularly and maybe make a little extra money. I stumbled upon Re:style Studio owned by Andrea Ford. She is a designer/stylist who is also an upholsterer. Re:style runs DIY upholstery courses and does modern custom upholstery. I met with her a year ago to talk about what she does and we instantly hit it off, and I soon was helping teach the DIY courses and working on contract pieces for her. I now have some of my own clients and continue to do my work at the studio in association Re:style. Previously, I was trying to do upholstery projects out of my tiny one bedroom apartment….not an ideal space!!


What are some tips you have whether a piece is worthy of re-upholstering?

1. The piece should be in good condition. No major cracks or bows in the frame. Some imperfections can be fixed and/or refinished but the piece has to be in good shape overall.
2. Having a piece reupholstered is not necessarily cheaper than buying new, but you do get a piece that is completely custom at the end. Given that, you should choose pieces that are really good quality and you see some potential in them, pieces that you really love or pieces that are so unique in shape and style that you wouldn’t be able to buy it new.
3. Don’t reupholster IKEA furniture, it’s not worth it. If you want to keep it, slipcover it.


Did you take any courses in upholstery? Or are you self-taught?

I would say that I’m about 75% self-taught. A few years ago I took a “bring your own piece” course in Toronto while working on a chair for a friend. A little over 2 years ago I took 2 different weeklong upholstery courses in England during a 5 week vacation to the UK. The rest I picked up from books, videos, and the internet. I’ve been upholstering for many years now, but I still learn a little something new with every project.



Is it hard to do {re-upholstery}, or do you need special tools, space, etc.?

The degree of difficulty is directly related to complexity of the piece. If you are somewhat crafty you could easily reupholster a simple dining chair seat. However, a wingback chair or a tufted sofa would be a bigger challenge. I help teach some DIY courses at Re:style and the students are always the most surprised about how physical it is, particularly the stripping of the pieces down to the frame. Removing the original materials is almost always more difficult and time consuming than you might expect. As with any job, having the right tools makes it much easier, and you really need space for larger upholstery jobs.

How would you describe your design style?

I would describe my current design style as comfortable, eclectic and pretty. I like colour, unexpected textures and patterns, and touch of quirkiness. I like a space that looks like it is lived in and has some personality.

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Where do you go for inspiration for your blog?

Everywhere! Other blogs, magazines (Style at Home, House and Home, House Beautiful, Pure Green Magazine), Pinterest, friends homes, or walking around Toronto. I come up with ideas lying in bed at night, while sitting on the streetcar, or sitting in a boring meeting at work!

How long have you had your blog? What made you decide to start writing a blog and what have you enjoyed the most about blogging?

I started blogging just over a year ago. I originally started it to talk about upholstery and projects but it quickly blossomed into a place to talk about all things that inspire me creatively – d├ęcor, design, fashion and art. The part I have enjoyed most about blogging are the people I have met. I have this amazing new group of friends that I am continually inspired by and whom I would have never met if it hadn’t been for my blog. I also find blogging to be a great outlet for my creative side, which I don’t get to use in my day job.

If you could meet anyone or do anything who or what would it be?

I know the answer to this question is probably supposed to be deep and meaningful but….I would really love to walk the red carpet at the Oscars…


What do you like to do in your free time?

Well, between my day job, my part-time upholstery and my blog, my free time is scarce! But when I do get some free time I spend it working in my garden, going for dinner with friends and browsing home stores and antique markets.

How do you manage to balance your life and blogging?

Haha, the truth is, I don’t always do a great job of it. I typically get up early in the morning and write my posts before work because by the time I get home in the evening my mind is drained and it’s difficult to find inspiration. I typically don’t write posts in advance but it’s definitely a goal I have. I’m slowly learning not to beat myself up too much when I don’t get a lot of posts up in a week. I have to constantly remind myself that there are only so many hours in a day.

What are your views on the role of Canadian design? Do you feel that Canadians have a unique sense of style, the way we design and decorate our homes? If so, what do you think sets us apart?

I think Canadian design has a subtleness about it. And by subtle I don’t mean boring. I just think it’s just not over the top or in your face, just good, fresh design that doesn’t try too hard. And I appreciate that there tends to be a lot of natural materials used in Canadian design which reflects our vast landscape. Even in really modern spaces you see interesting natural materials thrown in the mix.

Thanks Lindsey. I truly enjoyed meeting you and getting to know even more. Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to spend an evening with me!
I like your upholstery tip, don't upholster Ikea furniture, just slipcover it. So true.....

XO Barbara

11 comments:

  1. Thanks for introducing us to Lindsey. I'm off to check out her blog-and hopefully get some tips on upholstery.

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  2. Thanks so much for having me Barbara, I had such fun participating. I love this series so much!

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  3. Great interview, as always! It was so nice to learn a bit more about Lindsey, whose blog I also follow.

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  4. i so appreciate the living in interiors comment she made -- practicality is a virtue!

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  5. Thanks for the introduction! Loving her blog and it's funny, I've always thought of taking up a part time gig reupholstering..... although I think you have to have serious muscles to do it. Have a great weekend!!

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  6. Loved reading about one of my favourite blogger friends. Lindsey is so very talented. On top of that, she is one of the friendliest, most welcoming people I know.

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  7. Love this! Thanks for the tips and insight into an upholsterer!

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  8. What a fantastic feature - Lindsey is just the best and such an amazing talent! Love the upholstery tips too!

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  9. Great interview with Lindsey - think Lindsey is a fantastic voice for Toronto and is extremely talented and down to earth! I love nothing more than a down to earth talented person! The best kind!
    Meagan

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  10. Oh wow Great interview! Love all the upholstery info!

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  11. Another great interview in this wonderful series Barbara. Linsday is one of my absolute most favourite bloggers, so sweet and nice and funny to boot. I love reading her answers to your great questions, and hearing more about the work that goes into upholstery - it gives me new respect for her work and that of upholsterers in general - it is more than DIY!

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