I create furniture that I hope will be treasured for several lifetimes. Thoughtful pieces that mature gracefully with age, gathering character and unique patina with use and the passage of time.
My designs are inspired by the lives and stories of the people for whom they’re created and every piece is carefully hand-built to last. Each piece lives its own life and, like us, it changes and matures with age. Dents and scratches are left by little fingers, edges are polished smooth by thousands of touches, leather and wood develops a sheen and warmth that only hands create. These marks, left by people whose lives we share and cherish, become embedded reminders of our days. The stories they tell and the memories they hold become richer and deeper as one generation after another adds their chapter.
The majority of my work is custom-designed furniture for private homes. This can be a single piece, a room setting or occasionally an entire interior. I also design bespoke pieces for commercial and other larger projects including yachts, lodges, hotels, restaurants and retail spaces.
Whatever the nature and scale of a project I always aim to create enduring designs, expertly built to stand the tests of time.
My core values as a furniture designer were shaped early in my adult life whilst living in England, where a love of fine cabinet-making led to a degree in industrial design, followed by a decade working alongside Viscount Linley and some of the world’s most talented craftspeople. The rigorous Bauhaus-style design degree I'd completed stood in sharp contrast to the luxurious Classical ethos that is at the heart of Linley’s work. However, I soon realised that this creative environment was the perfect place to deepen my knowledge and sharpen my skills.
I learnt a great deal about good design, enduring artefacts and, most importantly, the attributes that constitute them. I had the opportunity to create new furniture to sit beside Chippendales and beneath Canalettos, contemporary pieces for thousand year old cathedrals and famous stately homes, as well as classically-inspired modern works in collaboration with Europe’s avant-garde architects and interior designers. Beautiful doors opened to the most awe-inspiring secret worlds. This fusion of historic and contemporary style seeped into me and, even now - fifteen years later living on the opposite side of the globe in Queenstown, New Zealand, with my own established practice - it continues to shape my creative character and eye.
I strive to create objects that have a timeless quality using carefully proportioned forms, crisp lines and clearly-expressed structures and junctions. Meticulously crafted from top-quality, tactile and hard-wearing materials, my work fuses both traditional techniques and modern technology. Simplicity, proportion, clarity, symmetry, harmony, understatement, materiality, detail and craftsmanship are the hallmarks of every piece. While fashions change, these qualities remain eternal. They have become part of me and are the reasons my furniture sits comfortably in many architectural environments with a wide range of interior styles, both in New Zealand and across the world.
My collection of enduring signature pieces encapsulate the values dear to me and remain some of the best examples of my work.
As the majority of my work is custom-designed furniture for a wide range of uses, I endeavour to make the experience of interacting with my furniture a pleasure to the senses as well as the soul, whatever the scale of the project. I spend as much time as possible getting to know my customers. Gaining an insight into their personal story enables me to design appropriate and meaningful pieces. We talk about how we came to be where we are, about our homes, families, places we love, our pets, art, cars, music, wine, food, pastimes and passions.
With my bespoke furniture I always begin by sketching ideas by hand. Once a direction emerges I develop the ideas into three dimensional form to explore and describe the design. I then draw it at full scale to fine-tune the details. Following approval of every last dimension, material and feature, each item is hand-made to order by expert craftspeople. The majority of my pieces are constructed here in New Zealand, although I also draw on my international networks using specialists from around the world when their skills or knowledge are needed.
Whilst I retain a relaxed and flexible approach with my clients, I take my work and my commitment to deliver excellent results very seriously. Honesty and integrity are fundamental to everything I do. Excellent product quality and professional service go without saying, I value above all else the relationships with my customers and everyone involved in the process of creating and delivering the furniture. I am proud to say that most of my customers come back again and again and often become enduring friends through the process.
Please call me directly or drop me an email if you'd like to arrange a time to come and meet me at my studio to discuss your ideas. In the meantime, if you would like to get a copy of my book on furniture design, please contact me. A sample of the book can be downloaded below (please view in "two page spread" mode in your pdf viewer).