Commissioning truly unique furniture and specifying joinery in a high-end development, not only provides a bespoke, luxury finish but is also a great investment for the end user. Our best relationships with developers and interior designers are always the ones where they involve us in the design process at the earliest stage so we can work together to achieve an outstanding result.
First, we work with the specifier to establish where, who for and why this project is required. This ensures the brief and budget is clear and understood. It is our role to interrogate the client’s brief and to extract as much information as possible. We are fortunate that the developers and interior designers we have long standing relationships with, respect that we are highly skilled craftspeople and collaborate closely with us, listening to our recommendations.
The next stage is to present our designs, either by simple cad drawings and sketches or 3D computer renderings and/or models – there is a wealth of options to showcase our designs to their best effect. This is potentially the most important stage of the entire process as we guide the client through our designs and work with them to ensure we meet their brief and reach approval stage.
Traditionally safe yet luxurious options such as Oak and Walnut remain enduringly popular due to the warmth and beauty of these timbers. For commissions in luxury developments we tend to recommend exotic timbers or fruit woods with a close grain. These woods include:
- Rosewood is a richly hued timber, often brownish in colour with darker veining which looks wonderful when polished.
- Satinwood is a durable and exquisite wood. The best growth is in Sri Lanka; this particular wood features the characteristic striped surface grain, while the colour is a clear golden yellow initially then takes on a more orange hue with age. The light tones of satinwood work beautifully as a ground for marquetry.
- French walnut is a wonderful hardwood often used in fine veneer. It ranges in colour from medium brown to tan to orange and often contains black streaks or vein noir.
- English cherry is a light pinkish brown when freshly cut, darkening to a deeper golden brown with time and upon exposure to light. It has a fine to medium texture with a close grain.
- Macassar ebony is often known as ‘striped ebony’ due to its dramatic striped appearance. The grain is usually straight and with a fine uniform texture and good natural lustre.
In recent years there has been a big demand for dark stained wood and ‘shades of grey’ reflecting the trend for sophisticated, muted interior colour schemes. It reflects a subtly luxurious, international look which is popular with high-end clients.
There continues to be a definite focus on the colour, texture and grain pattern of the finished piece – rather than specifying the timber itself – so many of our projects have stunning finishes created by the staining of natural timbers.
Other popular techniques include a sand blasted finish which takes out the soft grain and gives an undulating, uneven surface. We also use a wire brushed finish which creates wonderful texture and gives depth to the natural grain of the wood. Raking achieves a similar effect using a slightly more aggressive wire brushing technique.
Wood has an enduring appeal due to its warmth and versatility and will always remain popular in prime residential developments. The demand for bespoke furniture and architectural joinery is buoyant at the super-prime end of the market, offering a luxurious and truly unique result for the most discerning of client.