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“I always try to look for something original whether it’s through the colour or an upholstery technique,” Paul Fleming – the fourth- generation owner of family run business, Fleming & Howland – enthuses. He was born into the world of interiors he says, “My father was a big manufacturer back in the 80s. His mother was a French polisher and most of the family were chair makers since 1780 [when Fleming & Howland was founded]”. The go-to place for chesterfield sofas, it’s no surprise Paul knows a thing or two about seating. When asked about what one should splurge on for the home he is quick to assert, “The best sofa money can buy, made in England. No accessories required.” Having worked on some high-profile jobs – including the Intercontinental Hotel, St. James Park and collaborations with big interior magazines – what Paul enjoys most, he says, “is working with a private customer whereby our furniture is far more appreciated”.
With three upholstery collections, Fleming & Howland have all their pieces made in Britain at the factory in Manchester or their workshop in Kent. His favourite piece, Paul explains, is the Pablo sofa named after his son. “I designed it specifically for me. You can do that sort of thing when you’re the boss.”
I am inspired by the original methods of upholstery, the hand-work and the real spirit that goes into the craft of chair making as followed by my ancestors.
Although Paul says Marché aux Puces St-Ouen de Clignancourt is a great place to discover amazing pieces for the home, he is quick to add “but that’s too easy”. Spain is where he cites as a must-see. “Boutique stores in Madrid [are great] if you know whereto look.”
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