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Hi, I’m Caroline, the founder and owner of Godfrey’s Ear.
I’m a professional furniture artist with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I love to create a look that really suits the style and character of a piece.
I am based in the Derbyshire Dales. My shop is called Humble Bee View. I like to think of it as my little shop of colour and inspiration. Built on the footprint of an old barn, my shop is full of natural light, perfect to showcase my paint ranges and restyled furniture. I run my furniture painting workshops from here too. There is plenty of parking, lovely views and disabled access. I am just a 20 minute drive from the city of Derby and the market towns of Belper, Ashbourne and Wirksworth.
Here you will most likely find me working on my latest project: in my scruffs, hair like a bird’s nest and covered in paint! But I’m always ready to down tools and welcome you with a brew.
I’m passionate about sharing my love of paint, how it can transform a piece of furniture and the happiness it can bring to its owner.
I’m here to help and guide you to choose the right products for your project.
I have brought together my expertise under one roof so no matter where you are on your painting journey, I can offer the right service and products for you.
Whether you are looking to paint your first project or you are a professional furniture painter, I have a lovely range of eco-friendly paints and finishes for you to choose from.
If you are looking for that unique bespoke piece for your home, I always have a selection of painted furniture available and a small selection of raw pieces awaiting their transformation. Can’t see anything that is quite right for you? I can always source something for you.
You may have a piece of furniture thar has been handed down to you and holds fond memories but is sadly dated, or a piece that no longer suits your taste and décor. I offer a commission service, working with you to create a fresh new look for your furniture with an array of products available for you to choose from.
If you want to get really hands on, I offer a range of furniture painting workshops in my studio at Humble Bee View. These are really fun days, an experience to learn new skills amongst like-minded people and a place to meet new friends.
Vintage furniture can tell a story a modern piece never can — giving a nod to the past and a smile to the future. Old is the New New.
How it came to be that I do what I do
This really stems back to my childhood (and for this I blame both of my parents) and Changing Rooms!
As a child I would visit my grandparents who lived on a lane that led to the council tip. My father and I would go down there and wander round to see what discarded treasures we might find (long before health and safety). I remember once finding a little doll: I rescued her, bathed her and gave her some new clothes. From a very young age I had the bug to hunt for hidden treasure and transform it.
My mother always had an eye for a bargain. She proudly bought a pair of chairs for a steal back in the 1970s. She covered the seats in a ‘modern’ gold draylon fabric, but didn’t secure the seats onto the chairs. I recall being told to make sure the seat was on properly or I would fall through and break it. No mention of “you might hurt yourself!” I couldn’t understand how she could be satisfied with them. This irritated me even at such a young age, they had not been done properly and I hated that fabric. One day I finally got my chance to transform them into statement pieces. I painted them black and had them professionally upholstered in a gorgeous Timorous Beasties fabric.
Changing Rooms. An interior design staple of the late ‘90s. I was a huge fan of Changing Rooms. I so wanted to be Linda Barker, with the one exception of the famous teapot disaster (her flimsy shelves collapsed and smashed a collection of teapots). I would look forward to each episode: guessing who the designer would be that week, what colour would be in the paint tin as they removed the lid, their use of MDF, scumble glaze and rag rolling techniques. I wanted to give up my 9 to 5, I wanted to be an interior designer. I wanted to be on Changing Rooms!
In 2006 I realized my dream and trained in Interior Design at KLC in Chelsea, I loved every single minute of my time there, but boy was it hard work. (akin to training in the Army for Interior Design students). However, my efforts paid off and I came away with an honours grade certificate under my belt. Sadly, I haven’t made it to Changing Rooms YET!
My passion lies in vintage furniture and so I decided to specialize and channel my interior design skills into furniture refinishing and at the same time I decided I wanted to use the skills I had gained to start my own business. Having been taught and mentored by some fantastic furniture artists in the industry I opened my own business which I decided to call Godfrey’s Ear. If you are wondering where this wacky name came from, Godfrey is a wooden giraffe who lost one of his ears. I rebuilt his ear and gave him a whole new look. Restyled giraffe, restyled furniture: it just had to be.
If you live locally why not pop along to the shop, I would love to meet you. If you live further afield, I really hope you enjoy viewing my website and just remember I am only a phone call or a message away, don’t let distance put you off: we can still work together, I’m always happy to help.
I am hoping to resume workshops in early 2022
I currently offer:
Two Hour Taster. Working on a board, you can sample the paints and finishes I stock.
Create A Crate. Paint up a small wooden create and apply as many paints, finishes and techniques as you can in a day.
Paint Your Own Smalls. Bring along a kitchen style chair (no upholstery), small table or bedside; learn to prep, paint and finish in a day.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday: 11:00 – 15:30
Saturday: 11:00 – 14:00
Thursdays, and any other times: happy to open by appointment.
It’s always best to call in advance, just in case I have had to pop out.
*Please contact stockist directly for opening times confirmation