What is Luxe-Cycling? Grace Interiors Explains…

July 25th, 2022

Grace Interiors and Furnishings is a beautiful shop based in Folkstone Kent, specialising in luxe-cycled furniture.

So much care and attention is given to every piece of furniture to ensure they become once of a kind pieces that will become the stand out piece in a space.

We got in touch with the two sisters behind Grace Interiors to have a chat about all thing’s furniture restoration and their TV appearances!

It’s so lovely to chat to you Katie and Sophie! Can you tell me a little bit about yourselves?

We’re sisters, Katie is 31, Sophie is 36. Katie has a 4-year-old and Sophie a 10-year-old. We’re very family oriented and have been brought up by very creative, entrepreneurial parents. 

We live in the gorgeous coastal town of Folkestone and are self-employed and have been working together on and off for nearly 10 years!

Grace Interiors was established 5 years ago this October by Sophie and Katie joined the business a year ago.

We know how fantastic it is to be a part of a family business! What gems can people discover in Grace Interiors?

Grace Interiors is a luxe-cycled furniture shop selling fabulous painted/reupholstered furniture. 

We also stock stunning soft furnishings, including lampshades and cushions. 

We even have a small range of accessories like purses, bags and bow ties made from the scraps of fabric left over from our re-upholstery jobs.

It sounds like recycling is hugely important to you, how did you discover this passion?

Sophie’s life motto is “making something beautiful, out of nothing.”

Growing up in a large family, our mother had to make our home look beautiful on a budget. That’s where our inspiration began. 

Our entrepreneurial dad had a recycled furniture business in Hythe called The Green Door and Sophie was the in-house painter. 

Then in 2014, we opened a café called Anna’s, named after our late mother, where all the furniture was second hand/vintage that we painted and re upholstered. We had a small emporium within the café selling painted furniture. 

We sold the café in 2017 so Katie could go and have a baby and that’s when Sophie knew she wanted to do furniture upcycling full time and decided to open her own shop. 

What a beautiful story about family and chasing your dreams! It must be difficult to know where to start when luxe-cycling a piece of furniture, what inspires your pieces?

We love colour! Particularly, yellow - our shop is painted in an Indian yellow to reflect our roots on our mother’s side.

We LOVE green - bringing the outdoors in… and of course blues as we love living by the sea.

But we’re also magpies for gold and we love a dramatic black number too! So it’s a real mix.

We’re also obsessed with wallpaper! We have so many favourites from high end to high street. 

Albany has some real hidden gems which we love to use! 

Birds Sinfonia by Christian Lacroix is also one of our firm favourites!

We definitely know what it’s like to feel pure joy from paint colours and wallpapers! Speaking of paints, what sort of brands and finishes do you enjoy using?

We prefer to use Chalk, Mineral and Eggshell for the best and most hard-wearing finishes on furniture. 

Our favourite being Farrow & Ball but have regularly used Albany and Johnstone’s too.

Can you tell us a bit more about some of your favourite pieces you’ve worked on?

Sophie’s favourite pieces probably have to be the flamingo pieces…particularly the flamingo chair, which we have re-created several times over since because of demand!

Using an old balloon back chair, we painted it in Rust-Oleum Coral Chalky Furniture Paint

Then we cut out a flamingo head from Albany’s Flamingo wallpaper and decoupaged it on the back rest and reupholstered it with fabulous flamingo fabric. 

One of Katie’s favourites was the Frida Kahlo inspired table and chair set. Again, taking two old, vintage pieces of furniture. 

We had some hot pink Frida Kahlo cocktail napkins that we wanted to use as decoupage and got our local Brewers to mix up some Albany paint in Acrylic Eggshell to match. 

Additionally, we are both loving the pieces that we have created for BBCs Money For Nothing that we’re currently filming for, it enables us to go wild with our creative imagination.

It sounds like you’re always working on something new and exciting! Do you have any projects coming up you’re excited to work on?

We have lots of commissions on the go at the moment, including a matching set using William Morris’ Strawberry Thief wallpaper in Gold

We’re also working on a pair of colonial chairs that we’re transforming for our next Money For Nothing project.

Pop into Grace Interiors and Furnishings in Sandgate Road Folkestone or discover Katie and Sophie as artisans for upcycling furniture show, Money For Nothing on BBC1.