Hi, I am Gareth. I set design at 31 up initially as a blog, but quickly it soon became the home of my furniture upcycling business.

By day I work at a local university, where I have worked since completing my PhD in 2016. By night, I can often be found tinckering with furniture. I started upcycling furniture for my own home, as I was just sick of flatpack building (definitely not a strength of mine) but still wanted to make my home mine despite a limited budget.

I first had a bash by slapping some gloss onto a charity shop TV stand. I loved it, and from there did more and more. Only recently did I find it a very healthy pursuit to switch off from the stresses of a busy working life. However, the one problem was space. I was quickly running out of anywhere to put the pieces I was buying and painting. So, at the age of 31 (and whilst living at Number 31 – hence the business name) I finally had the confidence to start doing pieces to sell.

What is design at 31?

design at 31 is a small, independent furniture upcycling business. Offering pieces for sale, sourcing of furniture, advice and commissions, one way or another design at 31 will be able to help you get the right pieces for your home.


design at 31 was established in 2018, initially as a blog. This was an extension of an Instagram account and the result of a growing passion for design and interiors.

In 2019, it became primarily focused on furniture upcycling selling pieces online via Etsy. In August 2019, design at 31 moved into Sheffield Antiques Centre, occupying Unit 22. Here, you will find unique, hand-painted and individually sourced pieces of furniture and other antique items for your home.

In September 2019, design at 31 became the Painter in Residence at the Heritage Lifestyle store, the local Annie Sloan paint stockist. All design at 31 furniture is painted and waxed using Annie Sloan products.