‘A Colourful Adventure’ – Upcycling project with Farrow & Ball, Purple Carrot and The Perching Post, London.

Posted on October 10, 2013 in Textiles

Last month I was approached by the lovely Lauren from Farrow & Ball, Richmond to collaborate on an exciting new upcycling project to support Purple Carrot, a community project based in Barnes.

Purple Carrot, the brainchild of Illana Adamson, upcycles furniture that would otherwise end up in landfill and aims to create a route for income for marginalised members of the community as well as create skills for the community as a whole.

‘A Colourful Adventure’
Farrow and Ball have just announced their gorgeous new 2013 colours

and have also produced this charming and whimsical little book about the adventures of some pieces of unwanted furniture and their upcycling journey.

(available here)

Using this book as inspiration, we soon found our own collection of pieces that were abandoned or on their way to landfill. Here they are just after we rescued them.

We began work at the Castlenau Community Centre in Barnes on the day of it’s grand re-opening after huge investment and rennovation.

Lots of members of the local community pitched in and we soon got sanding and priming.

Lauren and I get stuck in.

 Above left: Illana gives some advice to young helpers. Above right: Lauren tackles the hundreds of staples that needed removing from the wooden chair.

The new ‘YellowCake’ paint colour inspired cake made by Lauren – didn’t hang around long!


‘To Market’
Fast forward a few weeks and after much hard work the pieces were finally finished. Time to show them off in Duck Pond Market, Richmond.

The once staple-ridden chair was transformed with Yellowcake No. 279 (with a Hunted and Stuffed cushion).

This lovely little chest was painted in Dimpse No. 277 and had castors (spray painted red for contrast) added for a pop of colour. The handles were replaced with upcycled champagne corks.

The chair was painted with Nancy’s Blushes No. 278 and upholstered with a vintage kaftan featuring an amazing peacock design. This piece got reserved before it even got to market!

Lauren worked tirelessly on these drawers and made them look amazing with Stiffkey Blue No. 281 and some rescued brass handles and ‘windows’. The drawers are also lined with beautiful paper inside.
To the left is the little stool painted in St Giles Blue No. 280 with a vintage 70’s linen upholstered removable top and kid-friendly vintage hooks and fixtures for decoration.

This little stool was painted with Purbeck Stone No. 275 and the seat upholstered with a vintage feed sack textile from my stash.

This desk, painted in Mole’s Breath No. 276, was also lined inside with beautiful paper and the handles made with an upcycled leather belt and silver fixings.

Me with the Richmond Farrow and Ball ladies.

Illana and Lauren have a well earned sit-down.

‘The Perching Post’
Anna, proprietor of The Perching Post in Barnes, has kindly offered her support by hosting a pop-up shop where our pieces are currently available for sale. All monies raised will go to support the Purple Carrot project.

The Perching Post specialises in reintroducing items of furniture for the home which would otherwise end up in landfill. They add colour and rejuvenate them to make them attractive and functional. They also stock a range of quirky homeware, supporting local designers and goods made in GB. Do pop in!

The pieces are also available to buy from the Perching Post online store. Hurry though, they won’t be there for long!

Happy upcycling.
Ellie x

Leave a Reply