This past year, ‘support local’ has been the mindset of the nation to help sustain homegrown industries and individuals, from UK furniture to British mills and weavers. Consequently, the craft movement has become a greater focus than ever before, but so too has the world seen reason to celebrate the full spectrum of makers, be it the heritage kind or those up-and-coming.
Here our Senior Creative Buyer Jessica Harding shares the eight UK furniture brands to have on your radar for 2021 and beyond.
Image Credit: Chapel Street
An English furniture brand that prides itself on its custom-made collections. Chapel Street is all about bespoke – almost every piece in its assortment is handmade to the client’s requests. Take a tub chair like the Lamont armchair as an example, where there’s a selection of ten-and-counting luxurious fabrics as well as three finishes of metal stud to choose from or its range of dining chairs that allow you to tailor both fabric and leg finish. They welcome textiles outside of its curated fabric book too. Supply its upholsters with your particular cloth and it shall be crafted within five weeks.
Upholstery is not the only furniture type to be discussed at Chapel Street. Cabinetry for every room of the home is exquisitely made here too so that you could furnish your complete interior under one British-designed roof should you wish.
Image Credit: Davidson London
In its own words, Davidson London is: “contemporary in style with inspiration from the mid last century dating from the Art Deco period of the 1930s moving through to the 1970s.” And in LuxDeco’s words, its collection of freestanding furniture is the sort with which you’ll never want to part.
A family-run design firm since its inception in 1986, one of its founding figures (Richard Davidson) remains at the helm of the business to this day so that his rich past in antiques dealing continues to inform the look and feel of its creations – always with one foot in British heritage and another in the contemporary customers’ shoes.
Expect strong shapes that want to make themselves known in a room as well as pieces that encourage entertaining such as games tables and drinks cabinets alongside staple pieces including sideboards and bedside tables.
Image Credit: Decorus
This next British furniture brand prides itself too on the beautifully crafted with a robust bespoke arm to the business that appeals to both its personal clientele and the many interior designers and architects that turn to Decorus for their private commissions. You may alter the tabletop of a console table, choosing between natural stone, toughened glass or – in the case of its petite Tilia side table – a smoked oak surface.
Whether it’s lighting, mirrors or furniture, elegance really is the buzzword here as there is not a piece that doesn’t exhibit graceful lines and room-enlarging silhouettes – most of its designs are slender in leg and when this proves not to be the case, its designers will have made a concession such as a lower profile or glass surface so that they never dominate a living space but accent it, beautifully.
Image Credit: FBC London
24-carat gold finishes, ornate carvings and a selection of sublime stones – just three of the reasons why FBC London has learnt itself a reputation of being one of the most luxurious English furniture newcomers of the past decade. In fact, its book of finishes has to be one of the most exciting aspects of the design process – iridescent glass with gold leaf, walnut burr, pink onyx and almost 20 ‘specialist’ finishes that are as transfixing in real life as their tiny thumbnail images suggest.
Founded in 2013 by award-winning designer Fiona Barratt-Campbell, she cites nature as being her greatest muse, evidenced by her growing collection that also exhibits clear influence from centuries gone by. Much of its pieces are handmade in the northeast of England by a carefully chosen team of artisans who each specialise in a different area of production.
Image Credit: Hyde House
British furniture at its best, Hyde House, which was established well over a decade ago, is another showcase of bespoke manufacturing for the truly tailored interior.
Unlike many, it specialises not solely in upholstery but custom-made cabinetry, all of which is achieved at its workshop in Herefordshire. Fabric finishes can be altered, multiple sizing options are available and should you be quite content with the original Hyde House design, you can choose the non-customisable route, as many do.
Masters of traditional joinery but also cutting-edge technology, Hyde House designed and patented its own furniture finishing system, RESINATE™. As the name suggests, it is a resin translation of a client’s preferred wallpaper that can be applied as a highly individual finish to console tables, coffee tables, headboards and wall panelling alike.
Image Credit: Loom
Loom – a lesson in why not to judge a book by its cover. You’d be forgiven for assuming it would be a textile-based brand, but no, Loom is accent tables through and through.
Based in Bristol, its made-in-the-UK collection is first and foremost dedicated to fine metalwork with timber coming through as its second most-used material. Appealing to those with an eye for industrial design but equally to people seeking to add a contemporary element to their interior, Loom’s creations are remarkably versatile, thanks to their restrained palette and lightweight aesthetic that promises a clean, uncomplicated character.
But a Loom design can be playful too – abstract metallic panels in brass and copper and pebble-shaped tabletops are both pleasant surprises to be found. And naturally, its pieces can be custom-designed – faux parchment table surface anyone?
Image Credit: Gerard Lewis Designs
Another brand that prides itself on its made-in-Britain collection, this family-run furniture-maker spearheaded by husband and wife team Nick and Sandra Harvey, can be found in Essex though its workshop is on a small island off the east-coast of England. Whether it’s supplying products for furnishing luxurious super yachts or homes on dry land, Gerard Lewis Designs is a label synonymous with luxury, utter precision, exacting standards and a celebrity following.
Meticulous too with its range of materials and finishes, every option in the Gerard Lewis portfolio has been hand-selected. And, in terms of aesthetics, its product range covers designs that are traditional and quintessentially British but also those with influence from further afield, such as its Orient collection with its astragal beading, mirrored panels, strong lines and bold wood finish.
Image Credit: Theodore Alexander
There’s something instantly soothing about the Theodore Alexander collection. Varied as its designs might be, there’s clear union in the pared-down palette of easy neutrals and the visual weight of each piece that signals strength and security that’s seen across the board.
Founded in 1996 by pioneer for high-end furniture production, Paul Maitland Smith, today it describes itself as being one of the finest luxury brands in the world that is committed to creating furniture to last a lifetime.
British born as it may be, Theodore Alexander is a brand with global recognition with interior designers and furniture collectors gathering its pieces in America as much as in Great Britain. A favourite of ours? The Sabon extending dining table with its Mangrove Primavera tabletop and buff leather pedestal base – a future heirloom, no question.