Reioni used to rent this self storage unit in Redhead, where she crafts her pieces for Upholstrei. She has since moved to a new workspace, so I was lucky to get to see how she made the most of this last studio. Here and there throughout the workshop were pieces of furniture that had been saved from landfill or a future of neglect, in the process of being made beautiful again. Reioni reveals the integrity and charm of these original pieces, qualities that are becoming difficult to find in the mass market of today.

What gave you the idea to get into upholstery?
Growing up I had always tinkered with creative projects and spent Saturdays op shopping and going to markets with my Mum.  I loved sewing and repurposing and for these reasons upholstery had been on the ‘to try’ list for years.

What was your family couch like?
The first I remember was a three-piece parker suite (two armchairs and one two seater) which had brown berber style woollen upholstery.. a bit on the itchy side, I remember not wanting to sit on it in a swimsuit!

Favourite piece you’ve upholstered?
Probably the first chair I completed which actually resembled a chair once I had finished it.  It was a green bedroom chair.  Nothing beats the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve spent a few years learning bit-by-bit and finally have a finished product.

Tell us about your new house!
A 1950’s style home with a pitched roof, a front facade of glass and some rather quirky additions – but we love our shower hallway ha!

Who’s Slim Aarons?
Slim Aarons was a mid-century photographer who shot celebrities and socialites in glamorous properties and destinations (Amercian & European summers).  My partner and I have always admired his work and adore the ‘Palm Springs’ style mid-century look, which is why we fell so in love with our house.

Best piece of furniture you’ve found?
A big blue fluted curved lounge which is in three pieces (and is sitting in my shed waiting to be reupholstered!)

Whats on the cards for you next?
I’d love to work on architecturally designed commercial spaces.