18 Vintage Esavian Stacking Chairs Restored for a Cafe

Vintage Esavian Chairs 2Earlier this year, a client in Aberdeen contacted me about the 18 vintage Esavian stacking chairs I had available for bespoke recover. The client was opening a new cafe and wanted something with a vintage feel to them.

These chairs were originally designed for Esavian (the Educational Supply Association) by British designer James W Leonard, and they were produced around 1949. ESA produced low cost, quality furniture for schools. These particular chairs have a cast aluminium frame, with upholstered chair seats and back rests. These chairs are adult size, and were still covered in the original tatty yellow and orange vinyl when I purchased them.

Vintage Esavian chairs before restorationEsavian Logo on Vintage Esavian ChairsVintage Esavian Chair backs before restoration Vintage Esavian chair frames before restoration Florrie+Bill

The client wanted the chairs to be covered in a leather similar to the original yellow vinyl. I sourced the yellow leather, and posted out the swatches to the client. I then got asked to source and send a couple of other complementary colours too. So I sent a blue and a green colour which was available in the same leather range. The client decided that in fact he loved all three colours I had sent, so he choose to have each colour on six chairs!

This project was a lengthy one! As there were 18 chairs in total, it seemed to take forever to get them finished! But it was a project I immensely enjoyed as the transformation was beautiful. The chairs had originally come from another cafe, and were very dirty and greasy. After removing each seat and backrest, every aluminium chair frame was thoroughly and gently cleaned with a detergent degreaser, and buffed back up. Each seat pad and back rest was stripped of the old vinyl (rusty staples galore!!!) and finally recovered in the new leather, with the addition of new foam.

Stripping the Vintage Esavian chair backs Vintage Esavian vinyl chair backs during stripping down

The original protector feet, which were inserted into the leg frames were certainly showing signs of wear – as you’d expect from something nearly 65 years old! The original feet appeared to be made from a nylon type material, so I contacted a local plastics moulding company, Markfield Plastics in Bagworth, Leicestershire about getting some replacements made. The manager, Gary, was a star and painstakingly hand-machined all 18 sets of feet – and the end results were excellent. We were then able to add the new feet to ensure there were no wobbles or nasty scrapes to the floor when used in the cafe.

Esavian Chair Feet before Restoration

The old nylon feet above

New Esavian Chair Nylon Feet

The new nylon feet above

I was so pleased to see all the chairs finally come together before they were packaged up ready for transport. What a beautiful set of bespoke cafe chairs! They look so proud, and its hard to believe these are the same dirty, worn out chairs I first started with! I can’t wait to see a picture of them in situ when the cafe opens.

Vintage Esavian Chairs 3

Origami Garland from Origami-Est

Vintage Esavian Chairs Stacked Vintage Esavian Chairs2 Stacks of Vintage Esavian ChairsFlorrie and Bill Stamp on Esavian Chairs

If you are interested in vintage or retro chairs for your cafe, bar or restaurant – please contact me and I will be happy to help source and restore chairs to your own requirements.


Bespoke Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair in Full Leather

A couple of months ago, a gentleman contacted me about purchasing a vintage G Plan 6250 swivel chair in a bespoke cover. He was a friend of the new owners of the grey G Plan chair I restored a while ago. He told me that he thought the chair was so comfortable and beautiful, that he too wanted to purchase ‘the’ chair – also as a surprise for his wife’s 40th birthday. What a lucky lady!

Lifestyle Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel chair in Parchment LeatherVintage G Plan 6250 before restorationVintage G Plan back view 6250 before restoration

I already had the chair in stock awaiting to be recovered, so that worked out as perfect timing!

As this chair was for a present, I made up a gift card with a picture of the chair on, so that husband could present it to his wife on her birthday. I was also sent a picture of the room where the chair was going, along with a photo of their curtains. I picked out the neutral tones, and made some leather swatches up reflecting those colours so that they could choose the leather.

G Plan Florrie and Bill Gift Voucher Florrie and Bill Leather Sample Swatches


As you can imagine the present went down really well with the wife! After some thought it was decided that the chair was to be covered in full leather, in a parchment colour, which picked out the colour in the curtain design. They wanted to keep it plain so it would sit well with any future redecoration projects.

As ever, after transformation this chair looked stunning. The leather colour looked great on this style of chair, and seemed to enhance the curves of the wings and buttoning beautifully.

The new owners were really happy with their new chair and it looked lovely in its new home.

If you would like to own a vintage G Plan 6250 swivel chair and choose your own fabric or leather, then please get in touch. We can source a chair for you and help with the design of your bespoke chair. We now also SHIP WORLDWIDE!

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel chair in Parchment Leather SideSide of Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel chair in Parchment LeatherVintage G Plan 6250 Swivel chair buttoning in Parchment Leather Back of Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel chair in Parchment Leather

Bespoke Reupholstery Project for a set of Retro Benchair Dining Chairs

I was recently lucky enough to be asked to restore 6 original retro 1980’s Benchair dining chairs for a local client. These particular Benchair dining chairs were originally made in Frome, Somerset, UK in 1989.

Restored Retro Benchair Dining Chairs Andrew Martin Concourse

They were originally covered in a dark orange vinyl, with the teak coloured legs in a great used condition. I especially love the design of the legs on these Benchairs, and with a rather roomy seat and backrest, they offer superb comfort.

Vintage Retro Benchair before Restoration in Vinyl

Each chair was fully stripped of the old vinyl, foam, and hessian. The frame was polished, but not touched up as the original patina was to be kept. Each chair was then re-webbed with the addition of new foam on the seats.

Stripping Benchair Seat Base Frome Somerset BA11 4BW Stamp

The chairs were then reupholstered in a hardwearing sand beige coloured leather, and teamed with a complimentary Andrew Martin ‘Concourse’ fabric to the back of each chair. ‘Concourse’ is a cotton print depicting American subway signs.

These chairs looked completely different when the project was completed. They are individual, and a real statement set. The new owner was so happy with their new chairs, and they looked really stunning in their new home –  a newly converted factory with exposed brickwork and huge windows. The mix of the leather and fabric worked well with the industrial vibe of the new house.

Restored Retro Benchair Dining Chairs Duo Andrew Martin Concourse Restored Retro Benchair Dining Chair Andrew Martin Concourse Back benchairs florrie and bill stampRestored Retro Benchair Dining Chair Andrew Martin Concourse Under Restored Retro Benchair Dining Chair Andrew Martin Concourse

Each chair was stamped with the Florrie+Bill logo and the ‘restored in 2014’ mark. Benchairs at tableThe Benchair dining chairs in their new home.

I currently have 4 more of these Benchairs in stock available for bespoke recover.

Custom Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair + Ottoman in Red Leather

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair in custom red leather

Over the last few weeks I have been working on another vintage G Plan 6250 swivel chair and footstool. The enquiry came to me via my Etsy store. The customer had seen the black chair we did earlier in the year and requested the same chair in a deep red leather.

At the time I didn’t have a G Plan chair in stock, but luckily I was able to source one in good condition within a week. I prepared some red leather samples in varying shades and sent these out to the customer. Upon receiving the samples, the customer decided to use a mid-tone red leather, called Bordeaux.

When I received the G Plan chair into stock it was covered in the original brown dralon and also had the original G Plan label attached to the seat platform. The chair was in average condition for its age with the base in good condition, but the castors, although functional, were showing slight signs of wear.

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair Brown before Restoring

Red Leather Samples Florrie and Bill

G Plan 6250 Chair Back stripped down

Original G Plan Label on vintage 6250 Chair

Once the frame was stripped, it went off to the workshop to begin its transformation. When the chosen leather was delivered, there was a problem with the quality of one of the hides. There were a couple of holes in one of the pieces (which isn’t unusual as natural scars are cut out of the hides) but as we were cutting such large pieces, this hide was not suitable. I had to return this hide and a new one was promptly sent back out. This delayed the project a little but couldn’t be helped.

The chair frame required new webbing, wadding, and a new foam seat cushion. Once the chair was reupholstered in the soft red leather, it looked out of this world! The colour suited the style of the chair and complimented the dark show wood perfectly.

A few weeks into the initial order I had the opportunity to buy another of the matching 6251 footstools. I contacted my customer to see if she would also like to purchase this and have it covered in the same red leather. She decided she would love to have the matching stool, so this was secured and delivered to me.

When I took delivery of the footstool I realised that the wooden base was a lighter colour than the base of the chair. So, off it went to Neil my local french polisher to darken it down! Neil came to the conclusion that the base had originally been lightened in the past. When he took the chrome support off, there were remnants of old masking tape, and the original dark colour varnish was underneath!

I was really pleased with this project and my customer was a real pleasure to deal with from start to finish.

My customer was also delighted with the result once it was delivered and unpacked. She sent me this kind message:

”We are OVERJOYED with our beautiful new chair and footstool. It is absolutely wonderful to sit in something that is so very comfortable and it fits into its new home absolutely perfectly”. – C.W + family, Surrey

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair in custom red leather footstool

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair in custom red leather front

Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chair in custom red leather side

Vintage G Plan 6250 6251 Swivel Chair Ottoman footstool in custom red leather

If you think this project is pretty cool and want your own G Plan swivel chair to relax in, then I’ve recently had another 6250 swivel chair and footstool come into stock which is now available to pre-order. Please contact me to discuss further!

Busy behind the scenes… and another vintage G Plan Footstool!

Apologies for the lack of blog updates over the past couple of weeks. I’ve been super busy working on custom chair orders, which is great, but as most of them are ‘secrets’ until they are actually finished I can’t update you with progress as I go along. Booooo!

I can, however, now show you something that was collected last week. Last month I had the opportunity to restore another (yes, another) vintage G Plan 6251 footstool to match a 6250 swivel chair I did at the end of last year. A nice man purchased this chair for his wife as a present for her 40th birthday (how lovely!). He loved the chair so much he then decided to order a matching footstool to compliment her chair.

I sourced a suitable vintage G Plan footstool and recovered it in a vintage effect grey leather and the Tamasyn Gambell ‘Textured Stripe’ geometric linen to match the chair. It looked amazing when finished. I am hoping to get a photo of the two together! I heard they also ordered the matching Tamasyn Gambell lampshade too!

G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Tamasyn Gambell Linen

G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Tamasyn Gambell Linen Top

G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Tamasyn Gambell Linen Underside

G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Tamasyn Gambell Linen Castors

Vintage G Plan Footstool

What’s in the box….?

Florrie+bill G Plan 6250 Grey 1

Restored Vintage G Plan 6251 Footstool Ottoman

The lovely family who gave a home to the two black vintage G Plan 6250 swivel chairs last month, really wanted a matching vintage 6251 footstool / ottoman to compliment their chairs. After numerous phone calls and internet searches I managed to track one down. They appear to be quite hard to get hold of in good condition.

I was really excited about this project as this was the first time I had actually managed to (physically) get my hands on one. I wasn’t disappointed – they are every bit as beautiful as they are in the pictures.

The original foam foot cushion was covered in a beige dralon so this was removed and recovered in a matching black leather. These cushions are attached to the curved wooden base using press fasteners. One part is screwed into the wood, and the other is fixed into the fabric strap underneath the cushion. Slight panic set in when I realised I would have to replace the fastener on the straps, but, thankfully they are a standard size fit (15mm dia.) and the efficient ladies at J A Milton Upholstery Supplies were able to advise and supply the kit I needed! Phew!

There were some slight wear marks to the wood at the edges of the curved support. I decided to get these recoloured by Neil, my local french polisher and the finshed result looked fantastic.

The customer was really pleased with this footstool and sent me this lovely comment:

“The footstool is GORGEOUS – a HUGE thanks!” S.H & family, London

I’ve just managed to secure another two of these footstools. They will be custom covered to match some of the G Plan chairs we are currently working on. I’ll update you with the progress on those over the next few weeks.

If you already have a vintage G Plan 6250 swivel chair and would like a matching custom vintage footstool, please contact me to be put on the waiting list.

Vintage G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool OttomanVintage G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Ottoman SideVintage G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Ottoman TopVintage G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool Ottoman Before Restoration

The Vintage 6251 Footstool Before Restoration

Vintage G Plan Footstool 6251 6250 Top ViewVintage G Plan Footstool 6251 6250 BaseG Plan Footstool 6251 Press FastenerPress Fasteners for Vintage G Plan 6251 6250 Footstool

The Press Fastener Tools + Kit from J A Milton

Custom Order for a Pair of Vintage G Plan 6250 Swivel Chairs

The G Plan 6250: This iconic model is believed to have been designed by Paul Conti for G Plan in the early 1960’s, and quickly rose to fame as it was featured in the James Bond movie of 1967, ‘You Only Live Twice’. It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Blofeld Chair’ (see Ernst Stavro Blofeld if you are not a James Bond fan!). Last year, G Plan re-launched this model, now called the ‘Sixty Two’ – as part of their Vintage range.

Last month, we received a custom order request over on our Etsy Store, for an original retro G Plan 6250 swivel chair to be recovered in black leather.

Luckily we already had one newly recovered in black leather waiting and ready to go! So we couriered this to our excited customer in London. When they received this chair, they decided that just the one chair looked a little lost in the space they had, so we were immediately given the go ahead to restore another one to match.

We already had a chair in stock waiting to be stripped down, and just a few weeks later (after a bit of hard graft), chair number two was completed and sent on down to London to form the iconic pair.

“Dear Amy. Just a quick note to say what a delight it has been dealing with you. Fast, efficient and fabulous. Great result. We love our chairs. Many thanks!” – S.H & family, London

I’m sure you will agree that they look rather stunning together in their new home. They have been teamed with a charcoal grey corner group sofa, set within a basement living space.

The customer was so pleased with the order that they asked us to source a matching vintage G Plan 6251 ottoman footstool. After many phone calls and internet searches, the seemingly rare item was finally tracked down. It will be delivered to me this week and we’ll be working on it over the next few weeks. This will also be recovered in the black leather to match the chairs.

I am currently completing another custom G Plan 6250 chair order, this time in a beautiful deep red leather. If you have been inspired by this post, and would like to place a custom order for one of these chairs (or a pair!), please do get in touch to be added to the waiting list. I will source the perfect original G Plan 6250 for you, and also help with the choice of custom leather or fabrics. For inspiration view our previous projects here.

Custom G Plan 6250 ChairFlorrie+Bill G Plan 6250 Black 2 Florrie+Bill G Plan 6250 Black 1 Florrie+Bill G Plan 6250 Black 4G Plan 6250 chair being stripped down Custom Vintage G Plan 6250 Chair in Black Leather

Project of the week! G Plan Swivel Chair

Our long-awaited G Plan swivel chair has now been lovingly restored!G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

With its rock and swivel action this chair has been described as ‘The most comfortable chair in the world’. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a truly unique version of the chair made famous by Ernst Stavro Blofeld in the Classic Bond Films. The original model number of this chair is 6250.

When we first acquired this chair, it was in a very sorry state. The original orange vinyl was faded, and split in places. The seat webbing had deteriorated and it was a little moldy. However, here at Florrie+Bill we look past the rips, tears and garish fabrics and see a stunning piece of British Furniture design awaiting to shine once more.

We thought about how we would reupholster this chair a great deal. We deliberated many times over the fabrics, leathers and colour choices – it really has been a project of devotion! The one thing that we wanted to create was a piece of furniture that was unquestionably unique.

When we saw the completed chair (sat proudly in our living room) we fell in love with it ourselves!

We settled on covering this stunning chair in sand coloured full aniline leather from Halo, teamed with stunning Andrew Martin ‘Concourse’ fabric. The leather used is hand finished to show all the patina, warts and all – which will age beautifully with use.

The luxurious deep buttoned back has been contrasted with Concourse fabric covered buttons to bring the chair bang on trend.

We have retained the original tilt and rocker swivel base, which ensures that the chair maintains its original sit. We gave this a good clean up to find all the show wood in perfect condition.

As a finishing touch we have also hand stitched the original G Plan (Ebenezer Gomme) label to the seat platform, to retain the authenticity of this product. This label was previously salvaged from the lining cloth on the underside of the chair.

This chair is a definite statement piece, and you will not find another like this!

Buy this chair

All our chairs are reupholstered to comply with current fire regulations.  Please note: The scatter cushion shown is not included.

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250 Before Restoration

G Plan Chair Before Restoration

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

G Plan Chair After Restoration

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250

G Plan Swivel Wing Chair Model 6250