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About Done up North

We are an award-winning Furniture Upcycling company based in Leeds, in the North of England.  

Done up North was born from a love of Vintage furniture and an urge to pursue a more creative life - something that led Founder and Designer Nicky Cash to leave behind her job in the City and move back to the North. 

Nicky Founder of Done up North

She was inspired to create using re-purposed materials by her time working for The Carbon Trust some years before and initially started working with salvaged and vintage fabrics, often sourced from charity shops. 

"That was until my love of furniture led me to rescue an old broken Victorian music stand in need of love - the first vintage piece I'd bought intending to do up to sell rather than keep myself.  

Cue what I call 'my apprenticeship to myself' which meant many hours, weeks and months of trial and error learning a craft (many crafts, in fact) from scratch. 

That in particular is what led me to want to teach others - to make it more enjoyable for them to enjoy upcycling without having to learn the (very) hard way and to give them the confidence to unleash their inner creative too.

My passion for Vintage means while I love to upcycle and re-imagine pieces now I am also extremely keen to restore and keep as much of the original wood on show as possible and ensure new designs are sympathetic to the era of the piece."  

The Done up North style is recognisable for its striking and unique geometric designs all cut and created by hand with tape, often combined stunningly stripped and refinished wood.

Done up North signature style design Drinks Cabinet

A signature style is the re-working of old linen cabinets into drinks cabinets, re-fitted with glass shelves, mirrors and lighting.   

Over the years the Done up North style has gone on to influence a great many other Furniture Refinishers' work. 

Designs such as the part painted, stripped wood front drinks cabinets with metallic fine line geometric designs have become a staple of the UK furniture upcycling industry.  

It has led to the development of a great coaching side to the business where Nicky has worked with and supported hundreds of aspiring, as well as professional, Upcyclers through courses, clubs and online and Studio classes. 

Done up North currently runs two Members groups - The Done up North Creative Club - a 600+ strong Facebook Group and a private subscription group - The Creative Insiders, where we offer more in-depth training for people starting out with their own businesses. 

Recently we have started to experiment with new design directions, products and materials and these pieces form the 'Concept Collection' which will continue to expand alongside client commission projects. 

Kirath Ghundoo Done up North collaboration

Before the Pandemic, Nicky collaborated with wallpaper designer Kirath Ghundoo when she exhibited her work at Decorex International and the piece was subsequently featured in Elle Decoration

This has encouraged her to explore the possibility of taking the designs she creates and translating them into murals, wallpaper and fabric - something we are currently working on. 

Siobhan Murphy Interior Curve
Not so long ago Nicky created the hallway for the incredible Art Deco home of Siobhan Murphy (@interiorcurve), who featured on this year's Interior Design Masters.

Several of her pieces have  won awards - in the UK for Technical and Wood Refinishing and Internationally for Modernist-influenced design. 

She has demonstrated on stage at Grand Designs Live in Birmingham and London, and was due to feature alongside some rather well known upcycling faces at the Ideal Home Show in 2020 and hopefully will be able to join them as soon as a firm new date is scheduled! 

She has also been the featured Upcycler of the Month in Reclaim Magazine and a regular contributor to Reloved Magazine and have been interviewed on BBC Radio about Upcycling.

Done up North is Associate Member of the House of Upcycling and a representative Associate for their membership of the British Institute of Interior Design.

The Done up North Studio is based in a converted Mill in Leeds in the North of England.

If you'd like to talk to us about a project or collaboration please get in touch!

Contact the Team:  studio@doneupnorth.com  


Nicky & Jay Blades


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