When it comes to sprucing up the home with unique upholstered furniture pieces that tell a story, there's one name that comes to mind; Paige Miller. Since moving to Byron Bay over 8 years ago, she's become a well-known name around town, and for good reason. Each piece that she's worked on is individual and eclectic, and sparks conversation whenever on show. We took 5 with Paige at 'The Dusty Studio' to find out more about her life, the world of upholstering, plus get some insight into her style.
Tell us a little bit about what you do:
I’m a furniture upholsterer. I have a little business called The Dusty Road.
How did you get into furniture upholstering? How has your style changed from when you first started until now?
Oooh well, I used to be the PA for artist, David Bromley. I don’t know if you’re familiar with his work or his world but for me it’s was like falling down the rabbit hole and finding myself in Alice’s Wonderland. It opened my eyes to so many things, upholstery being one of them. He has a great love and appreciation for artisans, and the old trades.
He’d trawl the auctions and every antique store on the East Coast for interesting furniture, rip up an old canvas he’d painted, or a drop sheet he’d used in his studio covered in paint, call the local upholsterer and say “I want that, on that.” They thought he was mad, I thought it was awesome!
And that-was-that, the love was born. Upholstery was going to be my thing.
I got a older couple in the hills to show me a few things (they got sick of me and my over enthusiasm), then very nervously and awkward walked in to the local upholsterer, Geoffs, and asked for a job, worked for $15 an hour which I was actually stoked about, travelled back and forth from Byron to Daylesford where the Bromleys had a little studio that I worked from, watched a lot of YouTube videos and did a lot of googling and here I am, 5 years later.
How has my style changed? Hmmmm, 5 years ago I would have reupholstered a dogs bed for money and experience. Now I just do furniture.
What part of your work do you love the most? Why?
I’m a massive upholstery nerd. I still get pretty excited about all of it.
You’ve got a real love for mid-century, retro vibes. Where did that come from?
I think the love is in the history or the story. I love pulling a chair or lounge apart and seeing what materials were used because you get a sense of the era, the progress in industrialisation and technology over time. It’s fascinating!
Describe your style in 3 words.
Garage sale randomness
Tell us a bit about how you style your outfits.
Denim is my default. On the fruity days, lots of colour. Other days, a little bit of leopard . The general theme is usually pretty daggy. I’m still massively into my early 2000s Asics. Those a pare of sparkly socks, a baggy looney toones or mickey mouse t-shirt and I’m feeling goooood.
Tell us a little bit about living in Byron Bay? How long have you been living here? Any tips? etc.
Byron Bay, a rollercoaster of emotions.
I’ve lived here for 8 years.
What’s a typical day-in-the-life of Paige look like?
Typically walking around in circles looking for my scissors.
What do you do in your spare time?
When I’m not looking for my scissors, usually something that revolves around food, drinking beer with friends, music, surfing or planning my next weekend escape. Love a weekend getaway!
Some things inspiring you right now:
My friends. I have super talented friends. Most recently, seeing Ozzie Wright’s latest appliqué wall hangings he sewed. Got me psyched about sewing again!
Music you’re listening to right now:
I listen to so much music and it’s usually pretty random but here’s what I listened to today:
Wendy Matthews (had a moment..)
2019 goals/plans/something you want to speak into existence:
I’ve got a 2019 list on my wall at home, which pretty much rolled over from 2018, with things like “do my tax, go to the dentist, pay off my credit card...” So yeah, it should be a pretty exciting year! Nah, I’m going to Europe in the middle of the year. Can’t wait! And I really want to do an exhibition just for fun.
Well done Dr Paige. We are very proud of you. Looking forward to seeing you on 6th July for family Christmas in July.
All our love Pop and Nan Thomson 💞💋👌❤❤🥰