DIY Home Makeovers: The Return of Wallpaper and Patchwork

DIY Home Makeovers: The Return of Wallpaper and Patchwork
Franki Hobson


Apr 12, 2021

You may think ‘swingin’ 60s when you hear the words ‘patchwork’ and ‘wallpaper’, but just hold that thought for one minute… As fabric designer and home crafts guru Chrissie Jeffrey reveals, the modern twists on these retro DIYs has incredible wow factor, and will have you clambering for your fabric remnants and roller in no time…  

Soft furnishings extraordinaire and No Chintz owner Chrissie Jeffrey has more than 30 years’ experience as a leading textiles authority, and has seen a lot of trends come and go. So Chrissie knows a keeper when she sees one. “The new spin on patchworks and wallpapers are incredibly exciting,” explains Chrissie. “They’re simple projects that even inexperienced sewers and decorators can easily master, are cost effective, visually interesting and can totally transform a room.” Here’s what you need to know about these reinvented crafts…

Patchwork Twenty-First Century Style:

Fabric remnants have never been in such high demand, with patchwork’s reinvention tres cool and uber creative. “There are no rules and no boundaries,” explains Chrissie. “People are making really unique things like lampshades and doorstops, as well as some old favourites, like traditional quilts. Fabrics are being mixed-up for effect – big offcuts with smaller pieces, soft finishes with textures, patterns with prints and plains, and casual cloth with florals! There is also a lot of abstract patterns and colour blocking, as is the trend in mainstream fashion.”

But it’s not just the DIY crew leading the patchwork movement, it’s also being seen with main furniture pieces and soft furnishings being ordered through retailers, including No Chintz’ stores. “We’ve been asked to make patchwork curtains, which look incredible as a backdrop in a living room or children’s bedroom,” says Chrissie. “We’ve also reupholstered settees and chairs with fantastic results. There are so many creative things you can make and the results are really quite impressive.”

wall paper

Patchwork for the cool crew. Go against the grain with thick awning stripes in poppy colours. in bold colours for impact.


A contemporary spin on patchwork curtains… Visit No Chintz for their made-to-measure curtains, blinds and soft furnishings service.

patchwork sofa

Breathe new life into old furniture pieces by reupholstering chairs and settees with patchwork pieces. Contact the No Chintz team for their upholstery service details.

Wallpaper (but not as you know it!)

Walls have been boring for far too long…. White. Boring. Walls. Blah… But with the modern wallpapers, you can add personality, sophistication, interest, even an industrial feel to your home. In fact, just about anything your heart so desires… “We’ve seen some amazing room transformations with wallpaper,” explains Chrissie. “The options are endless, from contemporary ikat prints to florals, wood panel finishes and even faux metals.

At No Chintz, we have a ‘naturals wallpaper collection’ that includes wood panels in a range of greys, darks and naturals, and it’s been a hit. We’ve seen faux metal and timber wallpapers totally transform entry foyers into incredible spaces. On the flipside, florals look divine in bedrooms. Wallpaper panelling and having fun with colour and movement is big too – people are using single panels on a wall to create impact. Think colour block panels in children’s classrooms, floral or contemporary print panels in bathrooms, patchwork panels in youngster’s rooms – the results are incredible!”


Use wood panel wallpaper to add warmth to your living spaces. No Chintz have a wide wallpaper range from faux metals and wood panel timbers to bold colours, contemporary prints and classic florals.

Bring the great outdoors inside with wood panel wallpaper, concrete finishes and faux metals.

Lampshades that shine the light!

Raid the second-hand stores and Gran’s attic for lampshade frames and create designer lights that will look like a piece of art. Really.  “We’ve seen an increase in our No Chintz DIY lampshade kits, with visually interesting patchwork designs being created,” explains Chrissie. If that doesn’t float your boat, try a bright block colour, bold contemporary print or classic floral and be the envy of all your friends.


A bright idea! Upholstered lampshades for wow factor. Sign up for one of No Chintz regular craft workshops and learn how to create your own shades, cushions and more.


 About Chrissie Jeffrey

Chrissie Jeffrey is the owner of No Chintz, retail stores that specialise in fabrics, soft furnishings, craft workshops and DIY projects, cushions, curtains, furniture reupholstering, as well as other home decorating ideas, including unique wallpapers. No Chintz carry their signature designs, limited editions by local Australian designers and collections from international Fabric Houses including Marimekko, Christian Lacroix for Designers Guild, Jane Churchill and more. No Chintz stores are located in Woollahra, Balmain and Willoughby (02 9958 0257), and orders can be made online at www.nochintz.com.


By Franki Hobson


Franki Hobson has worn many hats during her many years as a women's lifestyle journalist and editor. Her launching pad was COSMOPOLITAN magazine, where she moved from News & Entertainment Editor to Features Director, covering everything from the legalisation of the Morning After Pill to Gwen Stefani, fashion, beauty, sex, health, fitness, entertainment and relationships. Franki Hobson is a contributing lifestyle writer for The Carousel.


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