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Rebecca Davies - Aunty Mabel's Seat

Best Independent Retailer
Best Newcomer to Industry
Revamped 1950s chair
Shop Front
Area for browsing fabric books
Refurbished antique chair
Rough diamond before covering in blue
Retro sofa with Casamance fabric panels behind
Designers Guild window display
Reception at opening, now filled with goodies!
My little helpers making themselves comfortable
Revamped French chair
Another rough diamond

Aunty Mabel’s Seat is a new interior design business based in Knutsford. I opened my doors on April 17th of this year, and since then, customers have been able to browse my gorgeous, spacious showroom for all that they need to furnish their home. I have gone for the middle-to-higher end of the fabric and wallpaper market, and sell fabrics and wallpapers from companies such as Designers Guild and Colefax and Fowler, to name just a couple of the many well known brands we supply. I can also make bespoke curtains, upholster customers’ chairs, and we offer a full interior design service.

My specialty is the ‘up-cycling’ of vintage and antique seating. I scour the country for chairs, sofas and chaise longues that are ‘rough diamonds’ that just need a good polish! For example, one of the showcase pieces for the opening day of the shop was a retro 1950s armchair that had been wallowing in ugly red and black vinyl, and using some creativity and a top quality craftsman, we revamped it in turquoise velvet, piped it in black and decorated it with a black and white striped cushion. The result was stunning and after many admiring glances and remarks, found a good home with a couple who loved its individuality (see photos).

Another option is a customer can purchase from our many ‘rough diamonds’, and choose their own fabric from our many swatch books. It is a wonderful way to get a bespoke piece for your home that not only ties in with your interior perfectly, but is also an investment in an old piece. We have a large selection of pieces that span the eras, from retro curved sofas to elegant French chaise longues; the only restriction is that it simply has to catch my eye.

My love of vintage and antique items doesn’t stop at seating. We also have a stunning selection of chandeliers, sconces, tables, lamps and even the odd bed to choose from. My interior decorating style specialises in combining antique and vintage pieces with modern textiles and accessories (please see Concept For Living’s August edition), so all the pieces are especially chosen not merely for the age and romance of the piece, but also for its beauty and the ability to fit into modern interiors.

My initial experience was gained when I purchased an ongoing furnishing business in Manchester, which I ran for two years, before selling and going freelance. However, Aunty Mabel’s Seat had been percolating in my mind for a few years and it wasn’t long before I was out looking at properties. It took a while before finding the perfect venue but on finding it, I went about creating a showroom that would offer the customer something bespoke and unique, within a beautiful yet friendly atmosphere. I think we’ve created the beauty, and with the help of my two dogs who curl up on the chairs and give all the customers an enthusiastic welcome, I hope we’ve managed the friendly!