Specialist restorers Urban Upholstery take furniture that has been discarded – found in skips or on the streets – and, using traditional methods, transform them into unique, contemporary pieces. They also offer a bespoke upholstery service whereby clients can send in antique piece of furniture to be updated or sensitively restored or they can choose from a range of existing frames and specify a fabric or style.
The business was established in 2007 by Andrea Simonutti and Patrizia Sottile. They took on the lease at 21 De Beauvoir Road, then owned by a private landlord. “I’ve always recycled furniture to decorate my houses,” says Patrizia, who has an MA from St Martin’s College of Art. Together with Andrea, an established upholsterer, who previously worked for clients including the Gianni Versace Group and Harrods, they set out to establish a business that championed recycling furniture.
Their studio showroom is in a 1970s-era building on De Beauvoir Road. “We chose the area because we felt it was well connected to the industry,” says Patrizia. “At the time, Clerkenwell was a centre for design and was within easy reach. Things have changed, of course. Ten years ago, De Beauvoir Town was full of artists’ studios – today there are many more designers and architects. So, we chose well.”
When the building came up for sale in 2016, The Benyon Estate bought it and re-issued a contract. “It was a seamless process,” explains Patrizia. “Not only that, but the team also came in and made some good improvements to the building which, by that stage, wasn’t in great shape with leaks in the roof. Now it works really well for our needs.”
Urban Upholstery 21 De Beauvoir Road, London, N1 5SF (020–7275 9436; www.urbanupholstery.com)
From artist to florist, young family to lifelong resident, those who live and work in De Beauvoir Town each have their own connection with the local area, the community and The Benyon Estate team. We pride ourselves in providing the best possible accommodation, whether living or working space, to each of our residents, and enjoy seeing the spaces in which they live become their home. Read the first-hand stories of some of these residents here.