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Meet the Best High-End Furniture Brands in The UK ⇒ British furniture can conjure images of smoke stained chesterfield sofas, mahogany dressers or antique wood-wormed wardrobes. But the British furniture industry is experiencing a renaissance, combining an unparalleled history of craftsmanship, quality materials and eccentricity, with a more modern pulse. Some incredibly skilled designers have catapulted British design up to the highest standards of the pickiest clients. Feel free to click on the topics which interest you the most.
In this Article, You Can Find:
- The Best High-End furniture Brands in the UK
- The Best Interior Designers in London
- Other Honorably Mentioned Interior Designers in the UK
- The Best Design and Craftsmanship Galleries in London
- Craftsmanship in the UK
The Best High-End furniture Brands in the UK
British Luxury Furniture design has conquered new status in recent times, influential product designers are now creating new ideas and products, a more confident and polished work. Designers are taking risks bringing clean-cut, inspired or edgy pieces that are more than objects of aesthetic value.
The history of Tom Dixon as a brand goes beyond its conception in 2002. From studying pottery A level to pursuing a career in music, to receiving an OBE in the year 2000.
Tom Dixon himself has a history of creativity that has culminated in an award-winning British design brand, the brand has and continues to represent the heritage of British industry.
Founded by David Snowdon, formerly David Linley in 1985, Linley creates bespoke furniture, as well as interiors, collectable pieces and luxury gifts and accessories, all showcasing the finest British design and craftsmanship. Almost everything is designed and made in the UK, relying on a network of 260 master craftsmen who all share David’s love of handcrafted design and attention to detail. Renowned British furniture designer, Matthew Hilton, collaborated with Linley on the new Savile Furniture Collection –a departure from the private commission tradition, creating a range that could be ‘tailored’ rather than bespoke. Each piece has been created to it can be configured to meet many spaces, from an office studio to an open-plan penthouse.
Created by twin brothers Ian and Richard Abell, Based Upon travels the world to gather narratives, memories, textures, and histories. These works tell stories: of a client’s life, or of Based Upon’s own experiences.
Each Based Upon work carries the intention of its maker; every piece resonating with the personal or physical landscapes from which it was conceived.
Predominantly an interior designer, Nina Campbell’s furniture constitutes all that was missing when sourcing furniture for client projects. As the interior designer herself, she comments ‘I would like to think that I approach it from a practical point of view as well as an aesthetic view as I like to know how I can use every piece that we make’. Though a veteran of luxury British interiors, Nina Campbell seeks to evolve with clients, adopting new looks and modern twists on traditional classics, such as contemporary Ralph chair in Duccio Indigo – a warming colour and fabric, harking back to opulent Britannia while assuming a shape far more in line with the modern living space.
Lee Broom is one of the UK’s leading product & interior designers. Since 2007 he has released over 75 furniture and lighting products, which he designs and manufactures under his own label. A supporter of British manufacturing techniques, Broom designs, manufactures and retails his own collections.
Lee Broom has been described by The Financial Times as “Among the most respected British Talents”.
Ochre designs furniture, lighting and accessories for the interior, placing great importance on harmonious proportions, luxury materials and matchless craftsmanship. Ochre was founded in 1996 by Joanna Bibby and Harriet Maxwell Macdonald, sharing an aesthetic for the beauty of the understated. Solenne de la Fouchariere became the third partner and fellow designer four years later. Along with selling directly to individuals, OCHRE’s clients are leading international interior designers and architects. Their furniture sticks to a clear brief, across the board: ‘discreet glamour’.
Michael Anastassiades launched his studio in 1994 to explore contemporary notions of culture and aesthetics through a combination of product, furniture, and environmental design.
He creates objects that are minimal, utilitarian and almost mundane, yet full of vitality one might not expect.
‘Marrying elegance with practicality for furniture that is built to last.’ Founded in 1968 in Preston, Lancashire, Tetrad is one of the UK’s finest upholstery businesses. It built its reputation on producing fine quality sofas, chairs and stools with hardwood frames built to last, offering a variety of suspension options and high-quality fabrics and hides. Tetrad uses Harris Tweed in a wide range of furniture, typifying that British heritage and tradition. This heritage style has been combined with a more modern thrust within their recent furniture collections, appealing to a more dynamic audience still prioritising this quality craftsmanship and decades of experience.
Francis Sultana was set up his studio in 2009 to create interiors for many of his major art collector clients. Alongside the interiors projects, the atelier also produces annual collections of bespoke and limited edition furniture and textiles under the Francis Sultana brand.
Francis designs across interiors, furniture, lighting, and accessories and has created key pieces for important historical interiors such as Spencer House.
Inspired by nature, made by hand and shaped by steam, the Tom Raffield in Cornwall incorporates innovative steam bending techniques and sustainable design practices to create contemporary wooden furniture and lighting. With an experimental workshop set among six acres of ancient Cornish woodland, Tom Raffield designs are synonymous with nature, created as sculptural pieces of art inspired by the natural environment around them.
Doshi Levien is an internationally acclaimed design studio founded by designers Nipa Doshi and Jonathan Levlen.
Working across disciplines and industries, Doshi Levien’s work celebrates the hybrid and explores the coming together of cultures, technology, industrial design and fine craftsmanship.
Catchpole & Rye
Catchpole & Rye may hail from a small English village – Pluckley in Kent – but this fine bathroom company has tapped into a niche market, to become a major player in the industry worldwide and one of the UK’s most prestigious brands. The desire to preserve the beauty of exquisite antiques inspired the firm to make original copies by staying true to the traditional methods used throughout history. The baths are poured using the same techniques that have been employed for the past 100 years. Moreover, it takes a highly skilled polisher a whole week to hand-polish one of the cast-iron baths to achieve its signature glimmering sheen. Equipped to assist with a complete bathroom overhaul, Catchpole & Rye’s full offering includes beautiful copper baths, cast-iron French roll-top baths, elegant console basins, polished cast metal cisterns and a variety of bathroom taps and showers.
Jimmie Martin an established luxury brand since 2004. Based in London, United Kingdom, the main focus is on hand painted pieces of furniture.
Known for transforming pieces of furniture into unique one-off pieces that become personal to their clients.
Max Rollitt cut his teeth working as an apprentice to Frearson and Hewlett, an antique furniture restoration workshop supporting the top London trade. His extensive experience in the field has developed an inherent sensitivity towards the materials and classical architectural elements that are condensed in the decorative arts. His classical, elegant aesthetic is teamed with an informal edge, a style that has become his trademark.
In the early 19th century, John Harris Heal but an end to straw mattresses in London, introducing French-style, feather-filled mattresses to London homeowners. His widow Fanny, and their son, John Harris Junior continued to reform the British bedding industry, offering French wool stuffing- a revolutionary idea in Victorian times. Ambrose Heal Junior joined the fold in 1893 with the mantra ‘if in doubt, innovate’, pushing British design stands and knighted in 1933 for his contributions to the industry. For over two centuries, Heals has continued to celebrate the art of hand tools and green woodworking techniques, from the traditional Windsor chair to the iconic Arts and Crafts furniture. From the traditional Windsor chair to iconic Arts and Crafts furniture. Their Modern British collection takes these shapes and details, evolving them for a fresh take on a classic look.
Touted the world’s most luxurious sleeping system, Savoir beds are renowned for their high standards and comfort philosophy. Created for The Savoy Hotel in London in 1905, their tailor-made beds have become almost as legendary as the stars who have slept in them. Think ‘bespoke on bespoke’, making any size, shape, stand-alone or headboard beautifully upholstered or even made fit into an existing frame. Savoir uses quality, natural materials from long, curled Latin American horse tail to Mongolian cashmere and British lamb’s wool. With each bed made in London or Wales, tailored to each customer, the craftsmen will label each completed job like an artist on a painting. Their mantra? ‘A Savoir bed is an investment that pays off every morning of your life’.
Beaumont & Fletcher
Beaumont & Fletcher’s handmade furniture sticks tightly to a brief of traditional methods and materials, made in England, naturally. Founder, John Crowell, restored furniture in his youth., spending summer holidays stripping down chaise longues and rebuilding them under the watchful eye of a retired master upholsterer. Naming his company after two successful playwrights, Beaumont & Fletcher’s furniture reflects a dramatic theatrical style.
For the first time in the store’s history, Harrods is bringing its design expertise and renowned eye for style to furniture. Having retailed furniture since the early 1880s, the launch of the Harrods of London furniture collection is the first time the iconic retailer has released its own designs. The range, designed in-house by Harrods Interiors, draws its aesthetic from Art Deco jewellery and tailoring; comprising upholstery, occasional pieces and case goods, the pieces ooze timeless style but with unexpected and unique detailing.
Now you can live the way you drive, with a new range of handmade furniture inspired by the techniques, the materials and the finishes that characterise Bentley’s renowned car interiors. Bentley Home is a partnership between Bentley and Club House Italia, the artisan furniture designer. This exclusive collection of Bentley furniture and homeware combines Bentley craftsmanship and material selection with the exacting design of one of Europe’s leading luxury furniture makers.
The Best Interior Designers in London
The design has become an important part of London a long time ago. We can also find here some of the best, award-winning interior designers in the world, published in the most important magazines in the sector. In here, you can find the top 10 interior designers in London and their astonishing work.
Tim Mutton is the founder and leader of Blacksheep, launching the studio in 2002 with the aim of bringing a new perspective to the industry. In addition to leading Blacksheep’s team of established and emerging talent, Tim regularly teaches, judges, writes, presents and is an active force in driving the design industry’s future.
For Blacksheep, every project has to be different. For Tim, every project, either it is with a new or returning client, has to be a new book that tells a new tale. A design tale, per se. Tim never repeats himself. Like a true novelist, he doesn’t care for similarities, nor ‘’stylistically sad’’, as he perceives. In his mind, similarities are created to chase after success, thus it represents what one wants to become. But, according to Tim, one should embrace uniqueness. ‘’It’s ok to be different.’’ He concluded. Find the whole interview here!
Karen’s own story began with a passion and a dream. Under her leadership as Chief Executive and Founder, the company today has cemented itself as one of Great Britain’s leading design studios, with a thriving creative team of thirty-five, based in the heart of London’s fashionable Knightsbridge. The DNA of Taylor Howes is very much Karen’s own vision: a positive, approachable, and refreshing energy. Having developed a strong team of directors’ Karen acts as the ‘first client’, reviewing, editing and ensuring exacting quality.
25 years have passed since the launch of Taylor Howes, and Karen now feels like a kind of curator and editor of the studio. Whenever she meets with the clients she already has a clear vision in her mind. Above all, Karen sees herself as open to new ideas, new concepts, new designs. She has 30 team members working non-stop in the studio, always seeking the best ideas, but Karen’s always the first client. Before the idea is presented to the client, it has to go through Karen, so that she, with all her experience, can guide the project to the way it was meant to be: a pristine Taylor Howes project. Find the whole interview here!
Kelly Hoppen is a world-renowned British interior designer who has pioneered a simple yet opulent style that has permeated interior design at every level. As well as designing apartments, houses and yachts for an ever-expanding international private client list, Kelly also undertakes commercial design projects including hotels, restaurants, office spaces and aircraft interiors.
Founded by Philippe Starck and international property entrepreneur John Hitchcox, Yoo is a UK based residential and hotel interior design company offering the creative visions of world-renowned designers: Philippe Starck, Marcel Wanders, Jade Jagger, Kelly Hoppen, Anouska Hempel and the Yoo Studio. Yoo is a thoroughly international lifestyle brand.
The Studio at Harrods is a bespoke UK interior desig company specialising in luxury high-end residential design with a portfolio of original projects that ranges from contemporary penthouse apartments in London and the UK to custom-designed luxury villas in the Middle East and other worldwide locations.
The signature design characteristics of this top UK interior design company – impeccable colour, superb qualities and technical expertise – are reflected in the work of their in-house studio headed up by Kathleen Butler, ex-Royal College of Art weave specialist.
David Collins Studio
David Collins was born in March of 1955 and raised in Dublin where his father, Jack, worked as an architect. From an early age, David had a tendency for eye interest and light, a childhood memory of his pale blue bedroom would inform much of his incredible work, most strikingly the Blue Bar at the Berkeley Hotel.
Collins founded his eponymous firm in 1985, and since then his refined, luxurious style has reached well beyond London to restaurants, hotels and private homes from Moscow to New York. Madonna was a great admirer, commissioning him to design a friend’s nightclub in Miami, and he even had a writing credit on her 1998 single Drowned World/Substitute For Love. With mischievous regard for media curiosity, Collins hung a 6ft by the 8ft photograph of the star outside his boardroom.
Fiona Barratt Interiors was established in May 2006 by one of the top interior designer in London Fiona Barratt-Campbell and has grown into a successful interior design studio working on high-end residential and commercial projects in the UK, Europe and America. Their success is born from the dedication and experience of a very talented team who work closely with clients from the concept to completion of projects, delivering an exemplary service on time and within budget.
Candy & Candy
Candy & Candy’s ethos is driven by the pursuit of perfection and extreme attention to detail. Recognised globally to be consistently delivering the finest pieces in the world to their projects, the studio is one of the leading UK interior design practices.
FOUR IV is a leading London based graphics and interior design agency. They are the creative agency behind some of the worlds most exciting and commercially proven retail and leisure luxury brands. The company was founded and is jointly owned by Chris Dewar-Dixon and Andy Bone. It has been established 22 years ago and currently has a team of 30 people.
Other Honorably Mentioned Interior Designers in the UK
The United Kingdom is the hometown of some of the absolute best and famous interior designers in the world, many of them with international careers renowned in the industry, mentors and ultimate tastemakers.
Kelly Hoppen is a world-renowned British designer who has pioneered a simple yet opulent style that has permeated interior design at every level. As well as designing apartments, houses and yachts for an ever-expanding international private client list, Kelly also undertakes commercial design projects including hotels, restaurants, office spaces and aircraft interiors.
Charles Bateson cites nine years spent working for Ashley Hicks as his greatest design inspiration. Certainly, it stood him in good stead when it came to starting his own practice more than two decades ago. Known for his ‘classic contemporary’ tone, Charles’ residential projects range from a turreted house on an estate overlooking Loch Ness in Scotland to a new build in Provence. Convex mirrors are a trademark touch (he has his own collection of mirrors and lamps), as are favourite materials such as Verre Eglomise and other deep-etched decorative glass panels, stone and marble marquetry (lately, he has also started incorporating more wrought-iron). Bespoke, built-in and freestanding furniture are mostly designed in-house. Bateson also goes to a huge effort to ensure that clients enjoy the process – surely one of the reasons why so many returns.
‘Textiles are the lifeblood of a project; the architecture and furniture are the structure,’ says Douglas Mackie whose striking interiors always feature plenty of colour and form. Custom-made fabrics from French textile atelier Toyine Sellers and American weaver Sam Kasten crop up in all projects (‘the glorious colours and extraordinary textures enhance our work every time,’ elaborates Douglas) and he sources furniture from different periods ‘with the purpose of creating a considered balance within each room’. The combination of artwork, sculpture and artefacts is also key, and an instinctive part of what he does is help clients curate their objects in unexpected ways. They also make a good starting point for a decorative scheme: ‘it varies with every situation but having two great items of furniture and artwork that a client loves, is a wonderful way of informing the direction of space.’
London-based Swedish designer Ebba Thott is the co-founder of Sigmar, a multidisciplinary company comprised of a shop that specialises in 20th-century design (run by her business partner, Danish furniture expert Nina Hertig) and a studio. As you’d expect, modern 20th-century design is a staple throughout her interiors but the real objective for Ebba is to always achieve cohesion. ‘I hope that I can help bring harmony to someone’s space, by creating balance for the senses; everything matters from light to touch,’ she says. By which she means making a home feel tied together, often by subtly weaving in echoing patterns in certain places for that hard-to-achieve lived-in feel. She also has her own collection of paints, Damo, based on a broad grey scale, which is often requested by clients (the hues work particularly well with dark woods). The result is schemes that are considered and ultra calming.
Zaha Hadid Architecture
Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid (or Zaha Hadid) was an Iraqi-British architect. In 2004 she became the first woman recipient of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and received the Stirling Prize in 2010 and 2011. Her buildings are distinctively neo-futuristic, characterised by the “powerful, curving forms of her elongated structures”with “multiple perspective points and fragmented geometry to evoke the chaos of modern life”. She was also a professor at the University of Applied Arts Vienna in Austria.
David Chipperfield Architecture
Since its foundation in 1985, David Chipperfield Architects has developed a diverse international body of work including cultural, residential, commercial, leisure and civic projects as well as master planning exercises. Within the portfolio of museums and galleries, projects range from private collections such as the Museo Jumex in Mexico City to public institutions such as the revitalised Neues Museum in Berlin. Practices in London, Berlin, Milan and Shanghai contribute to DCA’s wide range of projects and typologies.
Founded by friends Jenny Weiss and Helen Bygraves 20 years ago, Surrey-based Hill House Interiors was a natural extension of their work in the property sector, styling show houses for small, niche developers. These days, their signature look is elegant with an underlying hint of glamour: think a grey and cream palette with splashes of colour and dramatic finishing touches – anything from a crystal chandelier over a dining table in a Chelsea townhouse to Art Deco mirrored detailing in a home in Poole. ‘We are big advocators of bespoke cabinetry – investing extra into essential feature pieces does make all the difference to the overall aesthetic,’ comment the duo who are just wrapping up on a private residence in the Bahamas. ‘We’re experts at creating really tonal, understated interiors though we recently worked on a scheme where the client’s favourite colour was fuchsia, which we really made pop against shades of electric blue.’
This relatively young design studio is already becoming known for its exceptional, personalised level of attention to detail – whether it’s designing a bronze oak leaf chandelier with a clients’ initials tucked inside or having sofas made to the exact leg and back lengths of its owners. Co-founded three years ago by Katie Glaister, who has a background in the prime central London residential market, and Henry Miller-Robinson, who previously worked in commercial construction, theirs is an unusually broad design consultancy offering. ‘For some clients we start with an empty space, reconfigure it and fill it with everything that is new to them; for others we love to curate, sifting through past treasures, re-framing art, re-grouping accessories and combining old furniture items with new; for others we love to curate, sifting through past treasures, re-framing art, re-grouping accessories and combining old furniture items with new,’ says Katie. The pair work a lot with patinated mirrors to direct light around space and engage specialist artisans, such as straw marquetry experts, where possible. ‘You will notice that we tend to work with a small base palette: it can be tempting to apply a bit of this and bit of that, but usually, less is more. There is so much choice but a designer’s skill is to narrow it down.’
From Dean Street Townhouse to Cecconi’s in West Hollywood, Swedish-born Martin Brudnizki is behind some of the glitziest restaurants, hotels and private members’ clubs, both in the capital and worldwide. He established his studio in 2000 and now oversees a team of more than 70 interior designers, architects, lighting designers, product designers and art consultants across London and New York. In 2015, he also set up And Objects, a separate product design studio through which he has collaborated with the likes of Porto Romana and George Smith. Pivotal career projects over the years have included Soho Beach House Miami (one of his first US commissions), The Academicians’ Room at The Royal Academy of Arts and, most recently, the new-look Annabel’s, which has an Oriental-inspired lounge, a Mexican bar and a Garden of Eden garden room and terrace. ‘The overall look is incredibly rich, vivid and over the top,’ says Martin who counts everything from ‘a sharp bead detailing in a historic house to the painterly clash of colours in a modernist painting’ as inspiration. He also takes on a very small percentage of residences, the latest of which is Madison Square Park Tower, an apartment development in New York’s Flat Iron district that completes this year.
A former Miami-based architect who spent five years as design director at Helen Green Design before setting up her own London atelier in 2016, Natalia Miyar is known for her confident use of colour and texture and creating a balance between practicality and beauty. ‘Materiality is at the heart of my designs and we use a lot of stone and metal in our projects,’ she confirms. Add to that cut-velvets for upholstery, deeply grained woods, vintage mirrors, lustrous gemstones and raffia wallcoverings and the result is effortlessly luxurious interiors. Miyar has an international client base –at the moment she is crisscrossing the globe between London, Manhattan, Ibiza and Kenya –and finds stimulation in travel. ‘The contrasting landscapes of the different places I’ve lived in resonate strongly with me and feed into my work.’
Former aviation finance lawyer Noor Charchafchi made the switch to interior design seven years ago after renovating several properties with her husband. Now she excels in opulent yet understated residences. Subtle inlays of brass, sumptuous fabrics and textured finishes tend to appear throughout her work. ‘We often find that clients prefer to use a neutral base and then play with colour in their accent pieces but I’m also a big lover of using bold hues on larger items of furniture and joinery,’ she explains, naming her mother’s cousin, the late Zaha Hadid as a design hero. When she and her team aren’t busy with private commissions, they work with on developments such as the Berkeley Group’s Chelsea Vista Bridge apartments and real estate investment management company Yara Capital’s student housing in Lewisham. A furniture collection is in the pipeline for next year.
The Best Design and Craftsmanship Galleries in London
The British Museum
The British Museum hosts more than 8 million works and is dedicated to documenting the story of human culture and art from the very beginning until our present. The museum is actually the first national public museum in the world. Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
Victoria and Albert
Recognized as the world’s leading museum of art and design, V&A features a permanent collection of 2.3 million objects. It also houses several national collections and some of the world’s greatest resources when it comes to architecture, fashion, furniture, photography, painting, sculpture, Asian art and design, glass, and countless others. Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
The Serpentine Galleries
The Serpentine Galleries are located in the Kensington Gardens and are mainly dedicated to contemporary art. The two galleries (Serpentine Gallery/Serpentine Sackler Gallery) are just a stone’s throw away from each other. Address: Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA, UK.
Tate Modern holds the title of being Britain’s national gallery of international modern art. The gallery houses the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day as well as international modern and contemporary art. Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK.
The New Craftsmen
Champions of craft and its makers, since 2012 they have injected energy and dynamism into the contemporary craft scene in the UK through their unique vision and approach to the commissioning, curation and sale of British craft. Their values of humanity, integrity and imagination have underpinned their mission to showcase exceptional work, support the growth and success of the makers, and forge distinctive partnerships that can help build a new appreciation of craft in the 21st century.
Craftsmanship in the UK – The society of Designer Craftsmen
The national membership is made up of professional designer makers across various craft disciplines, including Ceramics, Wood, Metal, Glass & Textiles. They are the largest multi-craft society in the UK and support their members through major exhibitions, professional and creative networks, workshops, mentoring and many other events and initiatives.
The Society’s centre in London’s Shoreditch is a vibrant creative space, meeting place and gallery for members to use. The makers host regular exhibitions in the gallery and we hold various workshops, seminars and mentoring sessions to further their members’ professional development.
Being a member of the Society gives the members professional recognition at all stages of their careers and provides a valuable network amongst its 475 members and through its many links with other creative organisations. The Society has three levels of membership that recognise the different stages the members have reached in their design practice, these are Licentiate (LSDC), Member (MSDC), Fellow (FSDC).
All of the makers are designers and craftsmen and are selected for their strong and innovative design sense with the skills, craftsmanship and sensitivity to materials to make the objects they design.
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