Renee Chair by Deryn Relph

Deryn Relph is a British textile designer with a penchant for color and a mean set of upholstery skills – we’ve already featured her work and we were so smitten we wanted to find out how she chooses her vibrant fabrics and makes her psychedelic designs. In keeping with the eco-mantra “reduce, re-use, recycle” Relph re-invents discarded furniture and lampshades, transforming them into contemporary treasures with fibers and yarns sourced predominantly from factory surplus stocks. She shares the steps involved in creating the Renee chair from her Retro Rainbow Rejuvenation collection in this month’s Deconstruction.

I begin a new collection with research around an inspirational object, image, painting or idea.  I then create a mood board, which informs my choice of color and the style of the collection.

My Retro Rainbow Rejuvenation collection was initially inspired by seeds. I developed stripe patterns and proportions by looking at the stripes on sunflower seeds, then translating them into knitted samples.

I selected this old chair because of its retro style. It was definitely in need of some attention!

After selecting the furniture piece, I start to look at groupings of my fabric samples to see how they might work in different combinations.

By pinning a jersey fabric to the chair, I was able to make accurate patterns that allowed me to shape the pieces as I knitted them, while eradicating waste.

The knitted back panel of the chair is seldom seen in photos, but it was screen printed and flocked. Here you can see the screen loaded with the adhesive before printing.

Once the back panel was fitted, I made the pattern pieces for the inside.

Once I knitted the outside pieces, I pinned them to the chair, and marked them up in preparation for joining them.

The final pieces are pinned in position, ready to be joined.

The three cushions are all different patterns, but still need to work together. I spent a while trying out different combinations of the border stripes, main panels, and bobble trims.

With the finished cushions in position on the chair, the last stage is to choose the colors of the velvet buttons.

The finished Renee chair has three reversible cushions and a removable stretch cover. It is totally unique!

Marni Elyse Katz is a Contributing Editor at Design Milk. She lives in Boston where she contributes regularly to local publications and writes her own interior design blog, StyleCarrot.