Window seat

When I tried to think of an upholstery project for my own home I realised that I’ve pretty much run out of space for anything new and so I’ve had to move to my mum’s house for this project using Clarke & Clarke upholstery fabric (lucky mum!). My mum still lives in our family home but it’s a four storey town house in London so they’ve chopped it in half and have the bottom two floors now. There is a large open plan sitting room/dining room/kitchen on the first floor with access to a terrace and steps down to the garden at one end and a big bay window onto the street at the other end. When they recently renovated the house they built in a window seat here for storage and for extra seating for guests. However, they never quite got round to finishing it off with seat cushions so this is where I step in.

I asked my mum what colours she wanted the cushions to be, bearing in mind that the window has a large, very colourful stained glass panel attached to it (this came from Orme’s wine bar that my parents used to own in Clapham and our amazingly talented friend, Jo, made it for them). My mum picked out the painting below, that sits to the left of the window, as the inspiration for the cushion colours to tie the window and this side of the room together.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

Use a piece of art as the basis of colour choices in a room. Oh, and meet beautiful Phoebe who is Otto’s best friend.

So we picked out three different fabrics for the window seat: a textured petrol blue for the seat itself (Tornado Surf), a chalk pink for the back of the scatter cushions (Tornado Chalk Pink) and a blush pink for the front of the cushions that blends well with the stained glass (Squall Blush). All of the fabrics are from Clarke & Clarke’s SS15 Monsoon collection.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

The colours work perfectly with the stained glass window as well as the painting, which is on the left above the sofa. Anything darker would have absorbed too much light from the window.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

My mum decided to leave both ends of the window seat free of cushions for drinks/vase/lamp etc.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

The stained glass is from Orme’s wine bar that my parents used to own and run in the seventies and eighties.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

The texture of the fabric is perfect for a window seat as the cushions don’t slip around and it disguises any dirt.

Window seat cushions made with Clarke & Clarke fabric @clarkeandclarke | Apartment Apothecary

What I used:

Foam cushions from eFoam – You just have to measure the dimensions of your seat and they will cut it to size. For a window seat I would recommend adding the dacron wrap with stockinette option otherwise the foam will disintegrate before long and the fabric you cover it with won’t sit smoothly on bare foam.

Tornado Surf fabric – seat cushions

Tornado Chalk Pink fabric and Squall Blush fabric – scatter cushions

Scatter cushion inner pads – John Lewis

I used a basic bench seat cushion tutorial from the Liberty Book of Sewing to make the covers, which is relatively simple but you must spend a good deal of time cutting the pieces to the perfect size and pinning them together very carefully to ensure that they fit well (the tighter the fit the better as they will loosen up over time).

I just need my own bay window now as I’m a bit jealous! If I were do my own, I think I’d choose a lovely grey wool fabric and pale pink cushions (I’m off in dream land now).

Katy x

Upholstery fabric wish list

I’ve been talking about doing an upholstery course for a while now and one of the main reasons for doing so would be to learn how to create my ideal piece of furniture, covered in my favourite fabrics. All too often I see the most beautiful chairs, sofas or footstools that cost nothing because the upholstery is ruined and I wish that I had the skills to recover it and bring it back to life. Imagine the possibilities!

I am so pleased that Clarke & Clarke is sponsoring my blog this month as it’s inspired me to dream up upholstery projects I can do without having done a course yet (one day, one day!). Many of the Clarke & Clarke SS15 fabric collections are ideal for upholstery projects so I have pored over the classical and more contemporary designs and found some of my favourites for a few projects I have had in mind for a while…

Clarke & Clarke upholstery fabrics | Apartment Apothecary

Ercol armchair in Eden Flax.

I have been obsessed with the idea of having an Ercol armchair for ages; it would be ideal in my sitting room. The subtle herringbone of this Eden fabric in Flax would work perfectly with this Ercol design classic and the colour is perfection.

Clarke & Clarke upholstery fabrics | Apartment Apothecary

Ercol daybed in Chico Aqua.

Another Ercol piece that I just can not get out of my mind is this daybed. If it were up to me I would have got rid of our sofa years ago and replaced it with this. However, Jules is not convinced that the daybed is comfy enough to be our main sofa (he doesn’t like hard arms) so I will have to wait until we have more space for this beauty. In the meantime I have chosen the Chico design in Aqua from the SS15 Zanzibar collection as the perfect fabric cover – I think the colour blends so well with the soft honey tones of the daybed frame.

Clarke & Clarke upholstery fabrics | Apartment Apothecary

Victorian blanket box in Squall Blush.

I have had my eye on an old Victorian blanket box for our bedroom as we need a bit more storage and this could happily sit at the end of our bed. I thought it would be nice to add a foam top covered in fabric to make it into a seat. The Squall fabric in this beautiful Blush colour from the new SS15 Monsoon collection would work really well with the other pinks in the room and it has a lovely texture ideal for a seat.

Finally, one tip from me, just in case you are new to choosing fabric, always make sure you request fabric swatch samples to help you choose the right design. So many of us are used to buying everything online but it is so, so difficult to do that with fabric as the colours, size of prints, texture do not translate well online. I think you need to be able to hold the fabric in your room or on the piece of furniture you want to cover to be able to judge how well it will work. Also, check it in natural daylight and at night with your lights turned on to really judge whether it works in your space. Luckily, Clarke & Clarke fabrics are available in stockists all over the country and internationally (find out where here) so I would definitely recommend going and choosing the fabric in store, if possible.

Katy x

Sugar free chocolate easter nests

When I was styling my Easter table I realised that I feel a bit left out at Easter because I no longer eat sugar, so no chocolate for me. I decided to try to make something this year that is sugar free but still enables me to join in with the chocolate fun and I’d like to share the recipe that I’ve created just in case you’d like to try it yourself – it really is very delicious.

Sugar free chocolate Easter nests | By Apartment Apothecary


(To make four nests)

6 medjool dates

8 level tps of coconut oil

6 tsps of almond or mixed nut butter

4 heaped tsps of cocoa powder

2 1/2 crumbled shredded wheat


1. Finely chop the dates.

2. Put the dates, coconut oil, nut butter, cocoa powder into a saucepan and heat over a low heat.

3. Stir and heat the ingredients until they combine to a loose paste.

4. Take off the heat and add the crumbled shredded wheat and stir until they are covered by the chocolate mixture.

5. Shape the mixture into nests on grease proof paper.

6. Pop the nests into the freezer for about 30 mins until they set hard.

Sugar free chocolate Easter nests | By Apartment Apothecary

You can fill your nests with blown eggs, chicks or anything else you fancy.

Have a wonderful long weekend everyone!

Katy x



Most useful craft projects

The gorgeous Allison Sadler of the People Shop recently featured me as her Maker of the Week. For the feature I went back into the archives for photographs of craft projects I have done and it got me thinking about what makes have and have not survived in my own home. Anything that has lived on is a sign of a good make, I always think. Today, I want to share with you my top 5 most successful and enduring craft projects…

1. Pouffe

I have to say I am so glad I made this Liberty print pouffe. It is probably the most used item I have ever made and Jules and I argue over it most evenings as it is so much comfier having your feet up on this when sitting on our sofa. Find the full post here.

Top 5 craft projects | Apartment Apothecary

2. Hanging planter

I featured this in my recent Urban Jungle Bloggers post and realised just how useful this planter is in my kitchen. It saves precious kitchen space by hanging and it is so great having herbs within an arm’s reach. Find the tutorial here.

Top 5 craft projects | Apartment Apothecary

3. Candles

I made these very recently and I’ve already made another batch and had requests from friends to make them one. They are quite simply brilliant and have already saved me money. Find the tutorial here.

Top 5 craft projects | Apartment Apothecary

4. Cushions

One of the first things I learnt to sew was an envelope cushion and it is still one of the most useful things I can make. I love being able to pick fabrics and within minutes sew them together to make a cushion. Find the tutorial here.

Top 5 craft projects | Apartment Apothecary

5. Cot tidy

I made this for my friend, Betty, and she has reliably informed me that it has been a really useful thing to have. This is also my most popular and searched for post to date so I’m guessing mums must like cot tidies! Find the full tutorial here.

Top 5 craft projects | Apartment Apothecary

I hope you find some of these useful, too!

Katy x


Ask Apartment Apothecary – Where to use chalkboard paint

Happy Monday, all! It’s time for another AAA but I’m afraid this is the last for a month or two as I’ve got a big queue of questions and I’m having lots of hospital treatment this month so don’t have enough time to answer them all. Apologies if your question is in the queue, I promise to get to it asap!

Today’s question is from Amy who really likes the idea of using chalkboard paint in her toddler’s room but can not quite visualise where to use it, other than on the back of the door. Also, it can be a bit unnerving painting a wall of black and can seem too permanent or overpowering. So, I have put together some alternatives that I hope will inspire Amy and anyone else bwho wants to use chalkboard paint but isn’t quite sure where to put it.

How and where to use chalkboard paint | Ask Apartment Apothecary

An easy option is to mask off a section of wall and paint it to create a traditional chalkboard. Image: Petit and Small

How and where to use chalkboard paint | Ask Apartment Apothecary

Get more creative and use the chalkboard paint to draw out a shape/animal/tree etc. In this case they’ve added an educational element. Image: Babies Kin Mag

How and where to use chalkboard paint | Ask Apartment Apothecary

If the idea of allowing your young child free reign with a chalkboard and chalk in their bedroom terrifies you, why not create a chalkboard in your garden? I love this idea. Image: Pinterest

How and where to use chalkboard paint | Ask Apartment Apothecary

If painting part of the wall or a door is a step too far, what about painting toy storage crates? Image: Lisa Barrett

How and where to use chalkboard paint | Ask Apartment Apothecary

You could paint a piece of furniture in the child’s room with chalkboard paint. This toy box, a small table top, a set of drawers. Scandinavia Toy Box from Argos, £34.99.

Really hope that has helped and inspired. Have a lovely week, everyone.

Katy x