Maybe it’s the bright orange doors on her garden workshop. Or perhaps it’s the row of patterned aprons or the vitrine bristling with vintage fabrics.

But Vicky Grubb’s Bournemouth studio doesn’t look like any other upholsterer’s workshop I’ve ever visited. Not that most people ever HAVE visited one, generally.

In these days of DFS sofas and cheap, disposable furniture, upholstery – the art of re-furbishing and re-covering old furniture – has taken a back-seat to interior fashions.

But with the recession and the craft boom, says Vicky, a mother of two who moved down from London, there has been a ferocious revival of interest in the craft, so much so that she has been asked to write a book on it.

Not that this was her intended career, although the signs were always there...

“I’d always collected fabric; my mum’s a seamstress and looking back I now realise that as a teen I was constantly recovering furniture with different fabrics,” she says.

“When I was 16 I even attempted an Ercol sofa, which I did in a leopard print.”

But after university she took a research job which was, she says, stressful with long hours. “After the job came to an end I went to see a career coach and through our sessions, where she asked me to envisage my ideal day, I realised that what I had always really enjoyed was this.”

Vicky took a 9-5 PA job and signed on for an upholstery night-class, learning the tips and tricks she would need to make furniture revival her career.

“I started seeing people who wanted items covered in vintage and retro fabrics,” says Vicky.

“I’ve always collected this kind of fabric, I love its geometric, quirky design, and it was great that other people wanted it too.”

As well as upholstering – on the day I visited she was doing a chair, a headboard and a stool – Vicky paints furniture in her signature brights or acids, adding trims in traditional Petersham, or buttons and pom-poms.

She takes commissions and is happy to work with traditional textiles but also enjoys helping customers release their inner Seventies vibe. She operates a kind of ‘district nurse’ service, going round and repairing, as best she can, modern sofas and chairs whose webbing has disintegrated.

“My favourite style is mid-century, the sharp lines, the certain curves lends itself to vibrant fabrics,” she says.

“You can upholster a chair lots of different ways; different stuffings or materials, to make it your own.”

Her favourite trick is to add buttons for extra personality. This, together with the upholstery classes she holds in her workshop which husband, Mike, converted from the old garage, drew plenty of attention on her Facebook Page and on Twitter.

This in turn drew the attention of a publishing company which asked her to produce them a book of projects – accompanied by exquisite photos – which will be published next summer.

“I really enjoyed the process because it’s been so creative,” says Vicky. In the meantime she’s looking for a little funding to help her put on a one-day taster workshop for school-leavers to see if they would enjoy taking up upholstery for a career.

“After all, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but look at me now,” she says.

Vicky can be contacted through her website,