chair and cushions
Friday, 08 June 2012

Home Help: 8 June

From sourcing reliable handymen to finding a company that preserves wedding bouquets in glass domes, Hugh St Clair finds the answers to your interiors queries

Written by Hugh St Clair
QWe have just moved to London to be near our children and grandchildren. We are having our kitchen done up and we have chosen self-assembly kitchen units. Back home in Worcestershire there was a trustworthy oddjobman who would have willingly put them together. Our children have recently returned from abroad, and don't know who could do this. How can we find a trustworthy and inexpensive odd-jobman in the capital?

JS, London

A Contact a company called The Handy Squad. They can do everything from your to-do list from hanging pictures to assembling flatpack furniture and making bespoke joinery. Their call-out charge is £20 plus £20 per half hour. Reading through online comments about their service, favourable ones seem to outweigh unfavourable. Indeed, there's praise from Samantha Cameron and Loyd Grossman.

The Handy Squad: 0800-012 1212,

Q I have bought some very stylish but rather uncomfortable metal antique French garden chairs. I would like to find some pretty cushions for back support. They must be machine washable, too. Where can I find them?

JV, by email

A Cabbages & Roses sells the most delightful soft floral-print cushions – both the Hatley, and Tulips & Roses (shown above) are so pretty. At 55cm square they will squash into a garden chair nicely and give back support. They cost £45, plus pad at £8, and can be washed at 30C.

Cabbages & Roses: 3 Langton Street, London SW10: 020-7352 2444,

Q My daughter is getting married this summer and she wants her bouquet preserved. She tells me floral displays in glass domes are fashionable. This is a surprise to me as I associate anything in a glass dome as a relic from the Victorian era.

PD, Somerset

A Flower Preserve is based in Surrey – the company preserved Victoria Beckham's wedding bouquet. Company founder Teracy Meachen describes herself as a floral taxidermist. Courier the bouquet to her and she'll remove all things that make flowers decompose and encase them in a dome or frame. Prices start at £150.

Flower Preserve: 01372- 817373, 

Q Our family relies on Postit Notes and letters from the school to remember things. This looks untidy, so I'd like to replace them with an old-fashioned framed slate or blackboard paint.

GR, Suffolk

A Not On The High Street has chalkboards in different shapes and sizes. To buy the black paint, contact Rainbow Chalk. It comes in 250ml and 1 litre tins and you'll need two coats.

Not On The High Street:

Rainbow Chalk: 01279- 424491, 

Email your design enquiries to Hugh St Clair at 

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