Bourdon HouseBourdon HouseBourdon House

Interior designer Mary Barber Fray approached NEJ Stevenson Ltd in September 2010 on behalf of a private client based in Birmingham. The project brief required us to design and make a sensational four poster bed, for their guests, that not only complemented the Georgian character of the house but also became its talking point. The client was insistent that the bed and the matching dressing table and wardrobe were all made to traditional cabinetmaking standards with hand dovetailed drawers, panelled backs and a French polish finish.

The initial designs were produced in May 2011 and refined over several months until was they met perfectly the client’s aspirations. The process was enhanced by the production of photorealistic computer renders which allow the pieces to be shown in precise detail.

One of the challenging design features was to include a flat screen television within the bed frame without it being obvious. A remote control rise and fall system with manual override was incorporated and enabled the screen to ‘magically’ appear on demand.

We used 70 cubic feet of English walnut and 5 cubic feet of English oak to make the three pieces of furniture, together with Burr walnut veneer for the wardrobe and dressing table. It took eleven skilled machinists, cabinetmakers and polishers a total of 1480 hours to manufacture the furniture and a further 64 hours to dismantle, pack, deliver and reassemble in the house.

The client was intimately involved in the whole process and was keen to have a record of the process, so over the period of the build a photographic record was made and then created into a small book for the client to enjoy and share with their guests who would use the furniture.