Polly Williams – Camberyard Collective « Tom Faulkner

Polly Williams – Camberyard Collective

Guest post

There is a definite trend towards investing in quality pieces that have longevity – pieces that will become treasured heirlooms, classics of the future. Ahead of the Camberyard Brunch on the 7th September at the Tom Faulkner showroom, I asked four members of my Camberyard Collective – Lisa Bradburn, Henrietta Holroyd, Emma Kewley and Lisa Mitchell – why investing in quality craftsmanship is important. What follows is a round up of their collective responses. Also, as Tom’s collection is renowned for its quality, I found out what each of their favourite TF pieces are and why they love working with the TF team.

Why is it worth investing in quality craftsmanship?

The definition of craftsmanship is the skill of making. The creative thought, detail and skilled execution using specifically sourced materials makes the end product a piece of value, reflecting the craftsman’s talent. It is important to support these skills and expertise. In the midst of a ‘throwaway’ culture, a quick-fix need for the ‘insta image’, we are experiencing a shift towards investing in more personal, individual and ‘forever’ pieces. Great craft has history, a story, a one-of-a-kind nature you can pass on to future generations as an investment. It’s worth it. If you can’t invest now, wait and save for the future. These items will never date. Furthermore, by investing in beautifully crafted, quality items there is less need to buy and replace furniture, supporting a more sustainable approach. As interior designers, we need to champion craftsmanship more and create interior spaces – including incorporating furniture – that reflect our era, but equally, will stand the test of time.

TF pieces are certainly destined to be future classics. They exude quality craftsmanship using diverse natural materials rich in texture and warmth. When you touch and feel Tom Faulkner’s furniture you immediately recognise the passion and skill that has gone into making it, a story and sense of heritage transferring from one person to another. The pieces are classic, modern and artistic, a blend guaranteed to outlive passing trends.

Why would you choose TF over another designer? What are the qualities you look for? What is it like working with them?

Great customer service is key. The team at TF are charming, professional and passionate about the collections. Their studio has such a welcoming atmosphere – they greet you with big smiles (and nice cups of tea!) – and is a fantastic space to take clients. When you meet Tom and his team you immediately feel comfortable and recognise you are in the safe hands of passionate makers who share an ethos of high quality, understated luxury. You know you are working with a group of friendly yet highly skilled designers who love and believe in their work. It’s not like choosing a piece out of a catalogue. TF provide excellent service and a sense of ownership right from the initial sale through to delivery. They are extremely responsive, easy to deal with and reliable. When you are working on a large and stressful project this makes all the difference. Although most of the team can pick up on any queries, there is generally one main point of contact throughout. This is incredibly important as you develop your idea, because the smallest details can get lost in translation. The attentive sales representatives you meet at the start have an in-depth knowledge of the creative process, product and craft. At the end of the line, for example, the team are one of the smartest and most professional installation teams you will come across. Above all, as a designer, you can feel happy to be investing in British materials and workmanship, keeping these skills alive.

What goes into the process of creating a bespoke piece and how does TF accomplish this?

TF have a great understanding of interior designers’ needs – when creating a bespoke item, they ask all the right questions. When proposing furniture in a scheme you don’t necessarily start off looking for a bespoke piece. It is something that can evolve when the right size or finish can’t quite be found. There are some items – bedside tables for instance! – where bespoke is needed more often. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to collaborate on something new? TF is also great at project management. As designers, we are often running multiple projects simultaneously and have to be economical with our time. Once initial design ideas, size and finishes have been discussed, there is a lot of back and forth as the project evolves. The TF team are accommodating and efficient in the way they handle detail, changes and time constraints. Plus, on a more practical level, for us those of us based in West London, their showroom is nearby, which helps a lot in this crazy traffic world!

The work itself has a purity of design and meticulous handmade quality. TF uses the most sublime natural materials (particularly his metalwork) and textural finishes, but it’s perhaps the artistry that makes you return. You can enjoy looking at TF’s work as a piece of art as much as you can enjoy using it – it’s that beauty which makes it a piece you want to keep forever.

Do you have a favourite piece of TF furniture? Why?

We recently used the Lily cocktail table for a project. While sourcing, we visited the TF showroom and I had an instant reaction to the piece. As a company, we believe it is important to take the time to source in person, to get a feel of the furniture’s quality, texture & presence.  Sometimes there are pieces you see and know instantly ‘this is what I have been looking for’. This was one of them! It was great to buy straight from the shop floor into the client’s home within 2 hours! Henrietta Holroyd

Henrietta’s recent projects featuring the Lily side table and Siena console table

Recently I commissioned the Siena desk and chair covered in soft blue leather. My client loved the tactile, stylish result – it is now the centre piece in his penthouse. I think my personal favourite is the dramatic Avalon dining table with its twisted pedestal bases and clear glass top. I would choose the bases in bronze metal finished with the bottle green patination, because it’s so rich in hue and hand worked texture. This makes it a beautiful table that it is also unusual and magical. Emma Kewley

Siena desk and Vienna chair with blue leather

I love everything in the Madison range. They work beautifully in both classic and contemporary interiors and are timeless. I have used them in two projects for clients and they admired the quality workmanship and the choice of metal finishes. I like them so much I have a table in my studio! Lisa Bradburn

Madison side table in Lisa’s studio

I have quite a few favourite TF pieces! Having installed a bespoke sized Siena Console table (1700m x 400mm, white gold with calacatta oro stone inlayed top) in a recent project this is certainly a contender. That said, a personal favourite are the Lily mirrors and cocktail tables. They are pure simplicity and elegance, capturing the essence of understated luxury. The pieces also work within both contemporary and classic settings. In a recent project we have used the Madison coffee table (white gold and smoked glass) and Lily side table (Carrara Marble and brushed brass base), which are stunning. Lisa Mitchell

Photo: Interior Style Studio, as shot by Nick Smith

Contributor bios

Henrietta Holroyd

Founder of Henrietta Holroyd Interiors, a boutique London-based interior design and style consultancy specialising in residential projects for individual clients and property developers, Henrietta trained at the Inchbald School of Design. She has over 20 years of experience in the industry both London and abroad, in NYC, Provence and more.A small but highly creative team, they are able to work closely and flexibly with clients and contractors. They take on projects of all sizes, room-by-room to complete refurbishments, working to tight briefs and schedules. Offering unparalleled industry contacts and design intuition – from ultra-modern to classical – the team makes it a priority to interpret clients’ personalities and briefs to create luxurious, unique yet comfortable interiors that bring out a property’s full potential. www.henriettaholroyd.com

Emma Kewley

Emma spent 10 years working with Fox Linton Associates on 5* hotels such as The Grove Hotel and Coworth Park Hotel before deciding to move out of London to the South Downs. Five years ago, she started her own design studio, Interior folk, and now works with private clients as well as boutique hotels across London and beyond.  www.interiorfolk.com

Lisa Bradburn

Lisa is a Sussex-based interior designer who offers a fresh approach to country style. She works closely with her clients to understand their vision and create relaxed interiors they feel at home in. After training at the KLC School of Design, Lisa worked as senior interior designer for Justin Van Breda, a prominent bespoke furniture and interior designer. During her time at his studio in London, she honed an easy elegant approach, leading large projects in both the city and the country. With a particular interest in country interiors, she set up Lisa Bradburn Interior Design in Sussex to focus her expertise on country living, bringing luxury and comfort together. www.lisabradburn.co.uk

Lisa Mitchell

Creative Director Lisa Mitchell has over 16 years of experience in the design industry. She established Interior Style Studio in 2009. A small studio, they work mainly on projects with private clients who are building their houses from the ground up. Interior Style Studio provides a full design service uniquely tailored to their clients, incorporating interior architectural design, interior design and interior styling. Lisa originally trained in Interior Spatial Design at Chelsea College of Art after which she worked with well-known interior architectural practices, building a diverse portfolio of both high-end residential and commercial projects in London, Athens, Beijing, Shanghai and Seoul. www.interiorstylestudio.co.uk