Inspired by mid-century English furniture
We’ve been designing furniture for homes all over the UK for 30 years and it’s easy to see a persistent and healthy desire for timeless design. We want our homes and the furniture in them to have a real sense of history and authenticity. We have always encouraged our customers to ask questions like: ‘where is it made?’, ‘who made it and how?’, ‘what are the materials and where did they come from?’ and then check for themselves. Now more than ever, provenance is so important to responsible design and consumption. Our kitchens are all made by hand in our Leicestershire workshops and we have a small and very talented product development team comprised of carpenters, metalsmiths, ceramicists and fine artists all working at our Cotes Mill headquarters.
When we started thinking about some of our favourite timeless interiors, for our director, Paul O’Leary, it was traditional English haberdasheries, nostalgic memories of opening glass doors and sliding drawers, of row upon row of lift-up oak cubbyholes full of ribbons and buttons, patterns and fabrics and soft balls of wool. The setting sounds quite niche but the individual pieces of furniture, the mid-century styling and the materials they are made from are so familiar to us and our customers; warm oak cupboards, tall glazed display units, beautiful aged brass fittings. In February 2018, Paul began to wonder what these features would look like in the context of a home kitchen and we unveiled the first small Haberdasher’s Kitchen display at Clerkenwell Design Week that May. Since then, we’ve refined the design and the way that it's made. The Haberdasher’s Kitchen is now a stand-alone range of modular cupboards and there are so many details that elevate it from a mere collection of cupboards to an immaculately designed and handmade product.
The kitchen features rows of tall glazed counter-top cupboards with narrow oak-framed doors and dark painted tongue and groove backboards; oak base cupboards with glazed doors and drawer fronts for showing off your favourite linens and crockery; tambour-style slatted panels for concealing essential appliances and our unique prep table with laminated oak curves and turned legs. The glazed doors are reinforced by handcrafted aged brass frames with integrated pivot hinges, modelled after those seen on classic steel casement windows. This allows the door to open by 180° and sit proud of the oak-lipped birch ply carcass without the use of modern articulated hinges. When developing the closed fronts, we anticipated that large panels of unpainted oak could be prone to issues with uneven colouring/grain and so we settled on a tambour-style slatted look to break up the faces. The finish on the oak is a one-coat tinted oil which is ideal for kitchen furniture as any knocks or scrapes can be seamlessly repaired with great ease.