Dining Room
Living Room
Kitchen & Bathroom
Special Ranges
Ready Made Items
Stained Glass
Paintings & Prints
Door Furniture
Greeting Cards
Pictorial Histories
Movement Histories
Places of Interest
About the Arts & Crafts Home
Currency Converter
Metric Converter


Furniture Restoration

We are leading specialists in 19th and 20th Century furniture restoration and renovation, working with Arts & Crafts furniture, Gothic Revival and Aesthetic Movement designs.

The Arts & Crafts Home is fortunate to be closely associated with the workshops of AD Restoration, a team of highly skilled and experienced antique furniture restorers, based in Brighton.

We can offer FREE advice and FREE valuations for the repair, renovation and restoration of all your Arts & Crafts furniture.


We have recently been commissioned to repair and renovate a unique group of furniture, designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, and made by Whytock and Reid.







Dec 1995 - June 1996: Assistant conservator at Windsor Castle following the fire. This job sparked my interest in restoration and conservation.

Sept 1996 - June 1999: Batlons Furniture Restoration & Craftsmanship at Buckingham University. This unique degree course covered many aspects of this field, both academic and practical. During this period I visited numerous auctions, antique fairs and shows as well as a variety of historical houses, museums and galleries. I also found work experience over the two summer breaks with Dominic James Restoration at Battersea.

Sept 1999 - Feb 2000: LASSCO at Old Street, various duties

Feb 2000 - Feb 2001: Glen Fraser Sinclair at Godstone, working on very high end English and Continental furniture to London trade including Reindeer and Richard Fredericks. Researching pieces for dealers, which included visits to The British Library, The Public Records Office at Kew, The British Museum, The V&A and correspondence with the Royal Archives at Windsor.

Feb 2001 - Jan 2002: George Cooke Restoration on Kings Road Chelsea. Restoration for high end London and American trade also local private customers.

June 2003: Moved to Brighton and set up AD Restoration

June 2005: University of Brighton, part time Technical Demonstrator helping Degree students with wood based design projects.


1981 - 1986: Eton College, carpentry designing & making

1987 - 1990: Kent University, BA Visual & Performed Arts

1990 - 1992: Mallet Antiques of Bond Street, tea boy/porter

1992 -1998: Managed and played in Bristol band Burn/Sidewinder and also apprentice to an excellent restorer, increasingly restoration took over from tunes!

2005: A.D. Restoration, restorer



2004 - 2005, Bada Dip, Conservation and Restoration of Antique Furniture,
West Dean College

2000 - 2002, City and Guilds, Hand Crafted Furniture, Northbrook College

1997 - 2000, BA (Hons) 2:1 Fine Art Painting. The University Of Brighton

1995 - 1996, Foundation Studies In Art and Design, Central Saint Martins


May 2006 - Present Furniture restorer A. D. Restoration

March 2002 - September 2004 and July 2005 - Present Graham Foster Antiques,

Feb 2001 - Jan 2002 Furniture restorer, general assistant
John Hartnett and Sons, Brighton


Sir Robert Lorimer and his Furniture

Sir Robert Stodart Lorimer (1864 - 1929) was a prolific Scottish architect noted for his restoration work on historic houses and castles, and for promotion of the Arts and Crafts style.

Lorimer was born in Edinburgh, the son of James Lorimer, who was Regius Professor of Public Law at Edinburgh University from 1862 to 1890. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy and later at Edinburgh University. He was part of a gifted family, being the younger brother of painter John Henry Lorimer, and father to the sculptor Hew Lorimer. In 1878 the Lorimer family acquired the lease of Kellie Castle in Fife and began its restoration for use as a holiday home.
Lorimer began his architectural career working for Sir Robert Rowand Anderson, and went on to form his own practice in 1893. He was influenced by Scottish domestic architecture of the 16th and 17th centuries and the Scots Baronial style of Kellie Castle where he had spent much time as a young man. Early in his career, Lorimer became influenced by the ideas of William Morris, and went on to become a committed exponent of the Arts and Crafts style of architecture. He assembled a collaboration of artists and craftsmen and, collectively, they exhibited furniture at Arts and Crafts exhibitions in London. In 1896 he was elected to the Art Workers Guild.

Lorimer designed a series of cottages in the Arts and Crafts style in the Colinton area of Edinburgh, the so-called "Colinton Cottages". Constructed using traditional methods and materials, each cottage included a garden layout and interior design, including furniture, in keeping with the Arts and Crafts concept. By 1900, eight cottages had been built and four others were under construction. The decline in popularity of the Arts and Crafts movement from 1900 saw the direction of Lorimer's work change, and he undertook several large scale country house commissions, mainly designed in the Scots Baronial style. Ardkinglas, 1906, on Loch Fyne is a particularly notable example of a Scots Baronial country house.

The outbreak of World War I restricted the demand for large new houses and his attention shifted to restoration projects. He already had a reputation as one of Scotland's leading restoration architects following the restoration of Earlshall in 1899 and Hill of Tarvit in 1905, both in Fife. He went on to carry out significant alteration and restoration works at Lennoxlove House in East Lothian and Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland.

Although much of his work, and reputation, was in the sphere of domestic architecture, Lorimer also carried out significant public works. Principal amongst these include his design for the new chapel for the Knights of the Thistle in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh in 1911. He received a knighthood for his efforts and went on to gain the commission for the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle in 1919, subsequently opened by the Prince of Wales in 1927.
After working with Sir Rowand Anderson in Edinburgh and G.F. Bodley in London, Lorimer set up practice for himself in 1893 at 49 Queen Street, Edinburgh. The principal source of Lorimer's inspiration was Scottish domestic architecture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

The first work that brought Lorimer to public notice was the new chapel for the Knights of the Thistle, St Giles Cathedral, 1911, for which he received a knighthood. There is no doubt that the success of the Thistle Chapel prompted his selection to design the Scottish National War Memorial at Edinburgh Castle in 1919. After some alterations to the original plan this building was opened by the Prince of Wales in 1927.

During his early career, Lorimer, influenced by the ideas of William Morris, became an exponent of the Arts and Crafts style of architecture. He gathered around him in Edinburgh a talented group of artists and craftsmen and together contributed furniture to the Arts and Crafts exhibitions in London. In 1896 he was elected to the Art Workers Guild.
Lorimer designed a series of cottages in the Arts and Crafts style in the Colinton area of Edinburgh and also the Roman Catholic Church of St Peter, Morningside. These 'Colinton Cottages' were built using traditional construction methods and materials. They came with a package of garden layout and interior design, including furniture, all contributing to the overall arts and crafts concept. Examples of these cottages include 'Westfield', 40 Pentland Avenue and 'Binley Cottage', 42 Pentland Avenue. In 1900, eight cottages had been built and four more were under construction.

However by 1901 the impetus for the Arts and Crafts cottage movement was waning and Lorimer started to work on a series of large scale country house commissions in a Scots Baronial style: Brackenburgh, 1901-3; Rowallen, 1902, Ardkinglas, 1906 and Formakin, 1908. With the outbreak of World War 1, the demand for large new houses declined and Lorimer's practice concentrated on restoration projects. Lorimer had already established a reputation as one of Scotland's leading restoration architects following the restoration of Earlshall in 1899 and Hill of Tarvit in 1905, both in Fife.
Lorimer managed to impart an essence of Scottish spirit in all he designed and was an ardent nationalist. His influence spread well beyond the confines of Scotland.

His most eminent pupil Percy E. Nobbs called him 'the last of the great Romantics' so while one may admire the Thistle Chapel and the Scottish War Memorial it is perhaps his domestic architecture and designs which have the most influence.
Lorimer became President of the professional body in Scotland, the Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, and it was during his tenure in office that the body received its second Royal Charter, permitting use of the term 'Royal' in the title. He died in Edinburgh in 1929.



How to Repair Wooden Furniture Veneer

Because veneer is only a thin layer of wood attached with glue to a solid base, it is very vulnerable to damage on wooden furniture. On old furniture, the glue that holds the veneer is often not water-resistant. Prolonged humidity or exposure to water can soften the glue, letting the veneer blister, crack, or peel. Veneer is also easily damaged from the surface, and old veneers are often cracked, buckled, or broken, with chips or entire pieces missing. In this article, we'll discuss basic techniques to repair veneer on your wooden furniture for any at-home furniture refinishing or restoration project.

In most cases, as long as the veneer layer is basically in good shape, the thinness that makes it damage-prone also makes it easy to repair. Undamaged veneer can be reglued; chips and bare spots can be filled with matching veneer. If you're careful to match the grain the repairs will hardly show. Let's get started with the repair techniques by reviewing some common problems, blisters and cracks in veneer.


Small blisters in veneer can usually be flattened with heat.
To protect the surface, set a sheet of wax paper and then a sheet of smooth cardboard on the surface, and cover the cardboard with a clean cloth. Press the blistered area firmly with a medium-hot iron. If there are several blisters, move the iron slowly and evenly back and forth. Be careful not to touch the exposed surface with the iron.

Check the surface every few minutes or so as you work, and stop pressing as soon as the blisters have flattened. Leaving the cardboard in place, weight the repair area solidly for 24 hours. Then wax and polish the surface.

Large blisters must usually be slit, because the veneer has swelled. With a sharp craft knife or single-edge razor blade, carefully cut the blister open down the middle, along the grain of the wood. Be careful not to cut into the base wood. Then cover the surface and apply heat as above, checking every few seconds as the glue softens; if the glue has deteriorated and does not soften, carefully scrape it out and insert a little carpenters' glue under the slit edges of the bubble with the tip of the knife.

Be careful not to use too much glue. If necessary, wipe off any excess as the blister flattens. As soon as one edge of the slit bubble overlaps the other, carefully shave off the overlapping edge with a craft knife or razor blade. Heat the blister again; if the edges overlap further, shave the overlapping edge again. When the blister is completely flattened, weight the repair area solidly for 24 hours. Then wax and polish the entire surface.

Loose Veneer

Lifted veneer occurs most often at the corners of tabletops, on cabinet and dresser edges, legs, and drawer fronts. If the loose veneer is undamaged, it can be reglued.

First, remove the residue of old glue left on the back of the veneer and on the base wood. With a sharp craft knife or razor blade, carefully scrape out as much of the old glue as possible. Don't lift the veneer any further; if you bend it up, you'll damage it.

After scraping out as much old glue as you can, clean the bonding surfaces with benzene or naphtha to remove any residue; glue left under the loose area will interfere with the new adhesive. If any glue still remains, sand the bonding surfaces lightly with fine-grit sandpaper, and then wipe them clean with a soft cloth moistened with mineral spirits. If more than one veneer layer is loose, clean each layer the same way.

The veneer can be reattached with contact cement, but you may prefer to use carpenters' glue because it sets more slowly and allows repositioning. To reglue the veneer, apply contact cement to both bonding surfaces and let it set, as directed by the manufacturer. If necessary, set a small tack or two between the layers to keep them from touching. If you'd prefer to use carpenters' glue, use a small brush to spread it along the grain. Then, starting at the solidly attached veneer and working out toward the loose edge, smooth the loose veneer carefully into place.

Contact cement bonds immediately, so make sure the veneer is exactly matched; if you're using carpenters' glue, press from the center out to force out any excess, and wipe the excess off immediately. If more than one veneer layer is loose, work from the bottom up to reglue each layer.

Reglued veneer, whatever adhesive is used, should be clamped or weighted. To protect the surface, cover it with a sheet of wax paper; make sure all excess glue is removed. Set a buffer block of scrap wood over the newly glued area, and use another block or a soft cloth to protect the opposite edge or side of the surface. Clamp the glued and protected surface firmly with C-clamps or hand screws, for one to two days. Then remove the clamps and the buffers, and wax and polish the entire surface.

How to assemble a custom wood picture frame

The same method is used to assemble a do it yourself custom picture frame, whether you make a wood picture frame from scratch or are repairing the loose corners on a frame or restoring an older frame.
Each corner is a 90° angle split into two 45° angles, that makes eight 45° angles to make fit perfectly, so mitre, angle or picture frame clamps are almost a necessity. I say almost, because if you're a glutton for punishment, you can glue the corners without clamps, but it's very frustrating.
The clamps really aren't very expensive, they cost from a few dollars to just a little over £30.00 for one of the handiest mitre vices you could ever own and it will pay for itself with the first few times you make a wood picture frame with it compared to the price of custom picture frame.

Hiding Light Scratches

One of the best way's I have found is using a padding lacquer. It really works well on household woodwork as well as furniture when you get a light colored scratch in the finish. You will need a soft cloth. Fold the corners until you can make a tight ball out of the center. Apply the padding lacquer to the pad and tap it into the palm of your hand. (Gloves come in handy here). This will spread it through the pad. Lightly pad in the direction of the grain like it is an airplane coming in for a landing then taking off again. Don't over pad or come to a stopped landing. Let it dry for a couple minutes and reapply if needed until the scratch is melted back in. Usually one swipe is all it takes. This will leave a high gloss finish if you keep padding, so you may have to pad the whole surface to make it all look the same.

Another way of removing light scratches is rubbing the out with polishing compounds. These are best used on high gloss sheens. If your table has a satin or dull sheen, grab a pad of OOOO Steel wool and some lemon oil or wool lube. Put some on the pad and rub the spot moving in the direction of the grain. This only works on minor scratches, and you may need to rub the rest of the surface so the sheen is even. Make sure you go with the grain in long even strokes from one end to the other. To finish the task, simply wipe off the remaining oil and apply your favorite polish. If you need to add color to the scratch, Touch up markers and fill sticks come in real handy.

I can recommend Cornwall Furniture Restoration a fine Antique Furniture Restorers and French Polishers, who can be found at CORNWALL FURNITURE RESTORATION



email: John and Chrissie - theartsandcraftshome@gmail.com