Inspired by coastal furniture, Katie at All Made Up

We had the opportunity to catch up with Conscious Cubby seller and furniture artist Katie Thomas owner of All Made Up Furniture Co where she shares with us her upcycling journey, tips for creating a stylish home and thoughts on what trends we can expect to see in 2022.

How did you get into upcycling?

It was always around me from a young age as my dad was a carpenter by trade. I grew up in a household with the motto ‘if you want it, you make it’. So, I blame my dad!

I had a lot of visions for my first home, but I could never find the piece of furniture that I wanted and I kept looking and looking but they didn’t exist… Until I realised that it was because these furniture items were in my head! This is where I started upcycling for myself. Then, over the years this would evolve into commissioned jobs with friends and family. I soon realised that through upcycling I was able to own quality pieces of furniture – I just simply fell in love with it!

How long have you been upcycling furniture for?

I’ve been upcycling on and off for around 10/15 years, purely through our home, family and friends. I then took a leap of faith back in May 2021 to turn it into my business, All Made Up Furniture Co. It’s quite a new venture, I absolutely love exploring new techniques on different furniture items and I love meeting like-minded people who also share a passion for unique furniture with creative designs that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Being in lock down gave me the valuable time to look into what’s important to me and I found my outlet again which is painting! Before launching All Made Up, I would take the opportunity once the children were asleep to paint away and get creative which is when I realised, I needed to turn my passion into my business. I’ve been able to meet lots of people, develop my style, and I have lots of ideas on how I can make it grow in 2022!

What is your decor style for the furniture that you paint?

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I try not to pin point my style to one particular type, because I often think that the pieces dictate where they’re going to end up. I think that the hardest thing for any artist not to do is to overthink before we start.

In the beginning when I started, I would sit there for ages and plan it all out meticulously but I  soon realised that the furniture would dictate where the design goes. I do have a general idea of where I want to go with it, but often the piece depicts this, so I try not to pin point myself too much.

In terms of favourite décor style, I do love the coastal inspired pieces! I love the simplicity and the calmness of coastal furniture. I live in Wales and I’m constantly around the coast, so I get a lot of contentment from beach walks and being along the sea, and I just love creating pieces with that coastal vibe. It’s very calming.

It’s so lovely when you get to see your painted furniture in the homes that they’re designed for. I did a piece called ‘Louis of the Sea’ [blue chest of drawers pictured on the right] and I knew it was going in a bay window with a sea view and I had an idea that it was going to be a blue with a whitewash to encapsulate the sea backdrop. To see it in place was magical. I love the coastal vibe.

But at the same time, I’m working on some pieces with a quite urban and industrial vibe. So, I’m trying to go with the piece rather than be quite rigid in my work. It’s an exciting new journey with the company so I’m enjoying exploring all styles at the moment and it’s interesting because although I will go with the flow in terms of the design, ultimately it has that hint of ‘All Made Up’ in it.

What advice would you give for decorating a coastal home?

Think about the moods that you want to create. Whether it’s coastal or an interior for your home, my advice would be to those that don’t know where to start is to not over think it. Don’t think about the end product, instead use the next couple of weeks to plan and be inspired while you’re getting ready to refurnish. Anything that you see whether it’s in a doctors surgery and there’s a magazine and there’s a picture that you like… snap it! And save it to an online app like Pinterest. Before you know it, you’ve created a scrap book and you will find a common theme there. So, I think when it comes to décor style, when you start saving things you like and when you look at it in a big collection you’ve subconsciously already answered your own question.

It can be overwhelming with interiors and styles and not knowing where to start and that’s where I say don’t panic. Just snap everything that you like, even if it’s two ends of the spectrum because as you look at all the images together you will identify your own style.

What is your biggest painting mishap?

There’s loads! I think you learn so much, and I don’t like to think of painting mishaps as a mistake. At the beginning, you can overthink things so I’ve now come to the attitude that if you just go with it, the worse that can happen is that you need to start again or just strip back. That’s the best thing about a piece of furniture, the blank canvas.

What trends do you think will be popular in 2022?

I think green is on the up, we’ve already had the navys and the greys, but I think people are seeing green in a different light. There’s some striking greens but subtle greens that are almost neutral that I think are proving to be very popular.

You can find All Made Up’s furniture here where you can find a beautiful mix of coastal furniture plus other trends. She also loves to create bespoke items, so do get in touch if there’s a piece that you have in mind for a commissioned job.

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