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Welcome to our handmade furniture blog page

Here is a collection of some of the blogs we have done in the past….
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Every piece is a work of art – an antique of the future By David Head

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The products we use part 2 – gluing, sealing and finishing. One for the DIY enthusiasts!

And so we are on to part 2, part 1 took me just under an hour so working it out i should definitely have enough time for at least a few more this afternoon, as long as i am left alone and don’t get asked to do anything silly, you know like actual woodwork or anything to do with handmade furniture.

And so here we go again!!

This unit was so big we couldn’t get it all in one photo! I think the final measurements were about 7.2 meters long and 2.8m high. The whole thing was made from walnut veneer and designed to fit around the window that looked out into a small seating area.

I love the design of this kitchen. It featured solid oak framework. The doors were made using oak veneer panels and solid walnut outsides. The biggest challenge was the wall unit doors with glass in. We had to make the door like a regular door with the walnut edging fitted before neatly machining out the middle to be able to fit the glass neatly from the back of the doors.

A view of an inframe kitchen in Ampthill. This was taken from this angle to highlight the overmantle section that we built around the oven. This makes a great feature of the oven and brings it forward, giving you more room to work. I also like the fact that you see the granite going in and out to match the units. This breaks up a large run of units really well and makes the whole look of the kitchen so much more interesting.

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An oak veneered entertainment unit, a great example of handmade furniture. The TV in this photo was huge! The doors were cut so that the veneers all matched nicely and i particularly like the open shelving each side of the TV to show off some of the DVD collection!

A very uniquely coloured kitchen! amazingly i think the match of high gloss white and lime green works amazingly well. We had green glass splashbacks made to match and the customer was very clever with their choice of furnishings!!

Some very modern and industrial looking shelves. The brackets were made by our friends at Project Metalcraft in Barton-le-clay. the shelves were a spray painted white on MDF. The brackets were neatly fitted to the wall using hidden fixings.

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The shelving system in the other room, exactly the same brackets but this time featuring solid walnut shelves.

A clever unit we made for a flat in Kensington. Making the absolute most of the space available we managed to combine a kitchen table, bookcases, a small media unit (RH side on the floor) and a large space for a wall mounted TV, another great example of handmade furniture.

An angled bookcase in Flitwick. You can see the inframe and panelled doors at the bottom. All the shelves were made to be adjustable if the customer ever want to change the configuration. Having a bookcase built in an angled room like this means that there is absolutely no wasted space, this bookcase was nearly 3 meters tall!!

A large shaker style kitchen in Ampthill. I really like the way that the island fits around the large oak upright. You can see the use of different colours to make a feature of the island as well as the difference in worktops. The main kitchen has granite and the island has solid oak.

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A modern media unit in Langleybury, Hertfordshire. I have highlighted this one to show that the outside panels are doors and the inside ones are draws. We carefully routered a thin groove across the middle of the doors to give them the effect of being draw fronts and not breaking the line that this created across the unit, another great example of handmade furniture.

Some wardrobes and a solid oak bench in a gym/ sauna area. the doors here featured multiple panels, unlike your standard shaker and were spray finished.

Vanity unit in oak veneer. You can see here the way that the grain matched across both of the doors. The unit was made by slabbing 19mm thick boards together in pairs to give the whole thing a much chunkier look.

A handpainted dresser for a house in Ampthill. This unit nicely highlights our matching up service as it was made to match some John Lewis furniture. The customer wanted a sideboard to match but couldn’t find anything in the shop. This is where we came in!!

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Kitchen in Silsoe. We used BA component doors and panels for this and then as ever used our own made kitchen units. I particularly like the plinth lighting and the angled corner wall unit here.

A very neat and functional downstairs toilet. Talk about making the most of the space. This was all made using oak veneer and then lacquered to make it completely water resistant. It also gave some valuable storage space behind the doors and access to all of the facilities.

I love this desk made from Sapelle. Its a very close match to mahogany and comes up in a beautiful reddish/ brown colour when lacquered like this.

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This is a high gloss black entertainment unit in Bedford. It neatly included a mix of black and glass doors, metal legs and walnut panelled insides. The top and base were both individually cut from single boards of MDF to ensure there were no join marks and no filler required anywhere.

Another entertainment unit in Flitwick, this was fixed to the wall so is in effect ‘floating. A mix of walnut veneer and high gloss black the bookcase to the left very snugly fit into the alcove.

This again is one of my favourites. A very stunning cinema room. Mixing walnut and painted white with a lot of clever lighting this spanned an entire wall. Behind the television is a large false wall, clad in walnut but still giving access to all the relevant cabling and sockets.

So there we are!! The second one down. Remember that if you see something you like to contact David on david@davidhead.co.uk or on 01525753737

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The products we use part 1- gluing, sealing and finishing. One for the DIY enthusiasts!

At David Head Furniture we obviously use a lot of specially designed and specially ordered products that are made specifically for the job that we do.

These will come from companies who deal mainly with trade customers which means that a lot of their products may not be available to you.

What i thought i would do is highlight a few products that we use that are available to the public and are things you should be able to pick up in any good hardware shop.

The aim of this blog is to show you a few things and a few ideas that may make your life as a DIY enthusiast a little bit easier!

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I will start with Mitre Fast as it is probably one of my favorite things ever (I don’t get out much). Basically it is made up of two components, a super glue and a hardener spray.

It works on wood and plastics extremely well. You put some of the superglue on one piece and spray the other piece and then simply push the two together and hold. Within 10-15 seconds they will be completely stuck.

You need to be careful to make sure you glue correctly first time as you don’t get much time to get it right but for making quick repairs it is absolutely fantastic.

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You can also use this in conjunction with a harder wearing but longer drying glue, the mitre mate gets it together quickly and then the longer drying glue will go off in its own time, completely solidifying the joint.

Be careful not to get both on your hands at the same time. I have lost count of how may times I’ve simultaneously glued both thumbs and forefingers together and had to ask someone for help in pulling them apart. This product may or may not have led to an embarrassing few hours spent in A&E but i’ll leave that one there!!

Next up is double sided tape, commonly called mirror tape as it is used heavily in hanging mirrors to the backs of cupboard doors etc. This is an extremely durable and heavy duty tape.

It comes in a roll with one side of the tape covered in a pull off paper protection. Simply unroll as much as you need and stick to your surface using the unprotected sticky side. Then simply pull the protection off the other side and stick.

This product is absolutely fantastic if you are trying to fit something tricky to the wall and feel like you haven’t got enough hands to hold the piece in place whilst trying to drill and screw.

Using this you can mark up exactly where your piece is going on the wall, stick it in place using the mirror tape and then with two free hands, accurately fix to the wall for added solidity. We use this product a lot for fitting infills on the sides of units and funnily enough, hanging mirrors!!

This is a fantastic expandable glue that use and is made by a company called Berner. It is applied using a decorators caulk gun and goes off in roughly an hour.

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It is perfect for gluing together expanses of timber (it is to be used in conjunction with the relative wood clamps) as it expands as it dries, seeping into the side grain of the wood and also filling any holes and effectively closing the gap between the edges of two pieces of timber.

It is extremely hard wearing and because it foams instead of drying straight like PVA it has a little flex in it, meaning that the joint is less likely to snap as it can when using PVA.

This is great for when you are painting MDF. MDF has an extremely pourus edge when cut which means that paint will soak in a lot more and would normally require a lot more coats than the face sides to get the same painted finish.

This solution basically closes the edges off and gives them the same finish as the faces. This is particularly helpful when painting shelves or doors, we use this a lot when we are spray painting MDF but it can be just as useful when hand-painting, Its quick drying and only requires a very light sand when dry to get off any excess on the faces and to smooth the sealed edge ready for painting.

Wood dye is a very quick and effective way of coloring timber up. It is very easy to apply using either a brush or a rag and will give a lovely even colour after a coat or two. All wood dyes come in a variety of colours which means you can basically make your timber look however you want.

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We usually don’t use this as the finish on a piece of furniture but more to get it to the colour we want before finishing. You can lacquer straight over wood dye or use either of the next two products to protect the dyed colour. I would suggest using latex gloves as I’ve had brown hands for days before as it’s a bugger to get off!!

Liberon finishing oil is a really great product. Its cheap and tends to go a long way and is brilliant for adding a clear and hard wearing finish to a wide variety of products. It tends to finish generally less shiny than our spray finished lacquer although you can achieve a very good shine by adding as many coats as you like.

It works over wood dye extremely well. We use it a lot for our furniture if a customer wants a different kind of finish from lacquer.

We also use it a lot on wooden kitchen worktops. The beauty of it is that you can easily add as many coats as you like over the years. Just clean the area off, give it a light sand, clean and then re-oil.

Be careful with it though as it will mark paintwork. It can be painted straight back over but we tend to mask up any painted areas we are oiling up to to reduce the chance of this.

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Bri-wax has been a staple for several years. Its easy to apply and buff to a lovely shine. It tends to give a warmer finish. The downsides are that it isn’t particularly waterproof and the finish will diminish over times.

It is great for furniture restoration as it gives a great traditional finish if you a careful and willing to put the effort in with re-coating over the years.

So there we are, a few good ideas i hope. I’ll be honest in the fact that if i had never learned this trade i probably wouldn’t know where to start with so many things.

There are some great products out there that can make your life so much easier when working in your home. I will in the future try and collect a few more together to tell you about.

If you would like to ask any more about any of these products or just ask any advice on your home project you can reach me at Tom@davidhead.co.uk, David at david@davidhead.co.uk or phone us on 01525753737

Thank you for reading

Tom

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20 Things to do with a wooden pallet and none of them will get you arrested

It may come as a massive surprise to you all but I’m going to put it out there and make a startling admission…….

my friends……

my family…….

internet……

please do not judge me when i admit to being…..

A huge timber nerd.

It’s true, i can’t hide it any longer. I get way too excited by wooden things turned into handmade furniture (teehee!)

I suppose the warning signs have been there for some time, i mean i happily took on this handmade furniture blog just so that i could write about timber, that doesn’t really speak much to my mental state.

I will admit that i find it incredibly interesting the things that can be achieved with wood. So far i have shown you several handmade furniture examples of what can be achieved with more conventional and expensive materials but what can be achieved when using materials sourced from the opposite end of the spectrum?

I decided to focus in on the humble wooden pallet. Mostly you will come across these when the posh and much more exciting item which you have purchased is delivered on one. We see lorries driving down the motorway piled high with them. But where do they end up??!

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handmade furniture bedford lineThe other evening i was inspired, i was flicking around on Pinterest (my username is tomfullbrook and so far i have pinned over 1400 things, mainly timber based if I’m honest). My wife and I have been doing up the garden, the timber decking is already down as is the timber shed right next to the newly treated timber fences and the timber planters.

I found myself looking around and thinking ‘you know what, i don’t think there is enough timber here’. So i was looking around, we wanted to find a colorful idea, some interesting handmade furniture that people would notice.

This is what we made the other night from recycled pallet wood.

Oh yeah, we’re massive nerds when it comes to our reading and TV watching habits as well!!

With a bit of acrylic paint we managed to make something very colorful and hopefully a little different. Massive kudos should go to Andrea, my wife, for finding all the right fonts online, printing them off the right size and then painstakingly cutting them out with a craft knife to provide the stencils.

Our own small amount of up-cycling made me think that there must be so many other people who have done much bigger and better things than we had with timber that would otherwise be used as packing material or thrown away.

So here we are, more great handmade furniture ideas, some are simpler than others but all of them start with exactly the same base material and sense of adventure.

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There are some fantastic ideas here. a lot of which i definitely want to try. If nothing else these pictures should prove that sometimes if you think a little outside of the box it is amazing what you can achieve.

Maybe next time you have a big delivery, don’t think of the wooden pallet as something annoying that you’ll now have to get rid of. Maybe it can become a planter for your garden or a series of crafty little signs that you can give out as presents for Christmas.

We live in a throw away society these days, but there are people out there (more and more to be fair) who are finding ways to recycle things and turn them into more than it should be possible for them to be. If nothing else it means that with a little work you can have more beautiful things for your home than your bank balance would normally allow.

If you are even remotely as much of a nerd as me then it is also a very pleasant way to spend a few hours at home. Honestly the winter evenings in my home fly by!!

Thank you for reading

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MDF – Ahhhhh the horror…..hold on………why don’t people use this for handmade furniture??!!

You may have noticed that I am slowly becoming much more comfortable writing blogs about handmade furniture. The titles are getting sillier, the jokes about the boss more frequent and the layout getting very slowly more professional looking (well I think so at least!!)

Today I thought I would write about a subject that tends to divide both other tradesmen and customers alike. That subject is……MDF.

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It happens a lot, a customer will come in and speak to myself or David about having some furniture made. Lets assume that in this instance they are looking for some wardrobes. The conversation proceeds thus.

‘So, I would like a painted finish on the doors’
‘Would you like to be able to see a grain pattern through the paint?’
‘No, I would like it smooth and modern. What material would you use for painted doors?’
‘We would use a moisture resistant MDF’
‘Oh really? I was hoping for something solid’

It is at this point that I normally scream at them and instruct the lads to deposit the customer outside. Ok, only kidding, but sometimes I would like to.

The reason for this is very simple. We believe at David Head Furniture that if you are looking for a neat, modern looking painted finish you are much better off using MDF than you are solid timber.

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First things first, let me show you a few pictures of furniture that were made using moisture resistant MDF and then painted

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Here are three very different pieces, finished in a very different ways. The top bookcase was hand-painted, the kitchen was sprayed using a PU based paint at a 10% sheen and the bottom unit is finished in a high gloss black and then polished to a high shine.

Would you honestly have much of a clue what was behind the painted finish??

There are several reasons why we favor the MDF, and these are reasons that will make a big difference to the quality and longevity of your piece of furniture.

It is much more stable. Solid timber moves, we all know it. As it dries and as it ages it will move and shake and expand and contract. When you have painted over it this can cause paint to crack slightly, meaning it may need to be touched up a lot more regularly. MDF is a very stable material. Because of the way it is made there is no moisture and therefore it won’t move around. It won’t bow and it won’t shrink, it will stay exactly the same size and shape as it was when you cut it.

Most peoples view of MDF is derived from watching Handy Andy on ‘Changing rooms’ marching around with a hard hat on, surrounded by horrible brown boards and saying stuff like ‘pukka’ and ‘yeah mate will knock that up right good guv’. The MDF we use is a little bit more advanced than that! For a start the MDF we use is actually green. This is because it has been specially made to be moisture resistant. You can get red MDF which is heat resistant also.

This means that we can use it in areas that we would be more hesitant in using a lot of solid timber. We use it to make bathroom vanity units, certainly the wettest room in the house and most often we use it for our kitchens. The lack of movement and moisture resistance to absolutely perfect for the environment.

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The finish. MDF finishes extremely smoothly on the front faces. This allows for much easier and more even coats of paint and a much smoother overall finish. If you aren’t looking to see the grain through the paint (and in all honesty most people aren’t) then it will give you the best finish possible. On the edges we first coat it with a sealer that basically closes it up and stops the paint from being too heavily absorbed by the end grain. This means that the edges match the finish on the front faces.

Cost. Put simply it is a much cheaper option. The material itself is ridiculous amounts cheaper and then it so much easier and quicker to work that it tends to be less expensive in labor as well. You don’t have to plane it all and sand it all to size before you can do anything with it. This alone can take a day or twos labor off of a large set of wardrobes.

Here are some more pictures of painted MDF!!

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So there you have it. Hopefully you will agree that MDF has come a long way and that it isn’t quite the horrible material a lot of people think it is. For us it is extremely easy to work, flexible and helps us to get a very professional finish. It makes a big difference to the price you may pay as a customer and will mean less time and work in the future keeping the finish of your furniture looking fresh.

All that I ask is that people are a little more open minded about the material. Don’t immediately dismiss it because of what you saw a cockney handyman do with it on the BBC 20 years ago!!

Thank you for reading

If you would like to inquire about having a beautiful piece of painted MDF furniture (!) then you can reach David on 01525753737 or at david@davidhead.co.uk

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HANDMADE FURNITURE BLOG – Index

PROFILE SERIES – TOM DIXON
PROFILE SERIES – TERENCE CONRAN
PROFILE SERIES – RABIH HAGE
HANDMADE FURNITURE – AN INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE

PROFILE SERIES – TOM DIXON

Tom Dixon OBE (born 21 May 1959, Sfax, Tunisia) is a self-taught award wining British designer.

The Creative Class #2 – Tom Dixon from The Creative Class on Vimeo.

He first began his career appearing on top of the pops playing the bass for his band Funkapolitan, but unfortunately his music career didn’t take off, so he went in to managing several nightclubs in London.

He first ventured into handmade furniture design in the 1980’s, using his experience in welding, he would salvage odd bits and pieces from skips or reclamation yards, items like parts of scaffolding and old grates. Dixon put together a creative think-tank which also acted as a shop front for himself and other designers. During the late 1980s, Dixon went on to work for the Italian furniture giant Cappellini, here he designed the iconic ‘S’ chair.

Dixon sold the ‘S’ chair, his first fully finished handmade furniture piece to the Victoria and Albert Museum, they bought his S-Chair for their permanent collection…. His name soon made the rounds with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, purchasing more of Dixon’s work.

handmade furniture tom dixon

Tom Dixon – Furnishings At Anima Domus – Handmade Furniture

Tom Dixon used to be the creative director of Habitat, and he is still a partner at the Dock Kitchen restaurant in west London.

Tom Dixon, OBE (born 21 May 1959, Sfax, Tunisia) is a self-taught British designer. He is currently the Creative Director of the brand ‘Tom Dixon’ specialising in Lighting, Furniture and Accessories.

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Milan Design Agenda – Handmade Furniture

Tom Dixon is currently the Creative Director of his company “Tom Dixon” which specialises in Furniture and Lighting. Dixon has sold many of his designs to museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Pompidou in Paris.

Handmade Furniture

The world of Tom Dixon – Handmade Furniture

OTHER LINKS

Client feedback – handmade furniture
Gallery – handmade furniture
Portfolio – handmade furniture
Our latest news – handmade furniture

MENU – HANDMADE FURNITURE

PROFILE SERIES – TERENCE CONRAN

The name Terrence Conran is so ubiquitous and familiar, that it is very easy to forget how he has shaped the way we live today, and how indebted we are to Terence Conran.

terence conran handmade furniture

Terence Conran

Terence Conran the designer started to make an impression in a post-war Britain. He studied textile design at the Central School of Art, London, and then went on to set up a furniture, ceramics and fabric workshop in the East End of London. Several years later, still in the early 1950s, he worked on the Festival of Britain on the South Bank London.

He was inspired whilst travelling around in France experiencing its simple food and kitchenware, he decided to fuse this appealing Gallic lifestyle into his work.

Not satisfied with designing he ventured into the restaurant business, opening his first restaurant in 1953, it was named The Soup Kitchen, situated just off the Strand.

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The Soup Kitchen was quite exotic at the time, selling French breads and cheeses, continental coffees and Mediterranean inspired soups, all to a public still on rations.

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The restaurant was also a design statement, with the soups served in mugs, cane chairs and quarry tiled floor.

Terence Conran handmade furniture

After a year Terence Conran opened The Orrery restaurant situated in Chelsea, still keeping with the French theme and developing on the Soup Kitchens concept, this was a Parisian style brasserie.

Following The Orrery restaurant Terence Conran launched his design practise in 1956 the ‘Conran Design Group’. The new business gave service to many of the new, trendy boutiques springing up all across the capital.

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It was into this exciting new world that Terence Conran began his new venture into the retail industry, starting a new shop in 1964 called Habitat, situated on Fulham Road, London, it was a working class area of west London.

The first Habitat store was opened by Conran, his then wife Caroline, model Pagan Taylor, and Philip Pollock. The store became a template for future Habitats, with its tiled floor, white brick walls, cut flowers, wooden-slatted ceilings and spotlights, it created a simple uncluttered space, focusing the attention on the product.

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Terence Conran has said that one of the main reasons the shop was so successful was because it was one of the few places that sold cheap pasta storage jars, at a time the market for dried pasta took off.

The first Habitat really appealed to the young and hip, selling among other things, bean bags, duvets, paper lanterns and woks to a young, hip British public. Attention to detail was also key with Mary Quant designing the uniforms, and Vidal Sassoon cutting their hair. The shops unique and fresh design, its products, and the style paved the way for the likes of Ikea.

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Habitat expanded quickly in the UK throughout the 60s, and then expanding overseas with a store opening in Paris in 1973.

The company’s shares were floated in 1981 on the London Stock Exchange and in 1982 the company merged with the Mothercare Group to form Habitat Mothercare Group PLC. In 1986, the company merged with British Home Stores to form Storehouse plc. Then in 1992 Habitat was purchased by IKANO.

The success continued when Conran opened the Conran shop, this was a level up from Habitat, selling more sleek and better quality modern furniture, but still keeping it quirky.

At the end of the 80’s in which modern design really came into its own, Terence Conran opened the Design Museum. In 2014 it relocated from its Thames position to the former site of the Commonwealth Institute in Kensington.

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Like many of his generation, Terence Conran hates any kind of waste. He has a hard working ethic, for example he has just realised a new design for Marks & Spencer, he is famously tight fisted, and loathes mobile phones and “time wasters” (notably Tony Blair and George Bush). He has a trusted circle of friends.

At a recent birthday celebration, Conran had a go at the government for lack of investment into new homes, he said he would work as hard as ever to make improvements.

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PROFILE SERIES – RABIH HAGE

Rabih Hage is one of the best UK interior designers who founded his London company in 2001.

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Designer profile – Rabih Hage – Handmade Furniture

His interiors have been described as beautiful and visionary with a cutting edge and ever-evolving creative approach. Rabih Hage takes a creative and confident approach to interior design. “I respect the heritage, stripping back and extending the life of a building”.

His work ranges from beautiful designs for his private clients, to commercial design concepts for his corporate clients. His work has been won numerous awards from the design industry, like the Andrew Martin International Interior Designer of the Year Award 2011, Homes & Gardens Award for Interior Design 2012, and consistent nominee as one of the Top 100 leading designers since 2002.

PORTFOLIO

Rabih Hage graduated from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, working in various architectural companies before moving to London (W1) to start his own business studio with a team of 12 in 2001.

Previuosly Rabih has worked with companies such as Arcora Group, and Viguier et Jodry, winning many, such as the Textile Museum of Lyon in 1988. Hage has also worked on technical and commercial projects including the TGV Train stations of Paris Montparnasse and Nantes.

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ARCHITECTURE TO A HUMAN SCALE

Since starting his design studio in London in 2001, his work moved on to interiors, renovation and architecture projects. His work brings architecture to a human scale, pioneering handmade furniture “that is art” and incorporating other works by up and coming designers and artists, this is what he calls “melding function and aesthetics.”

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TRIGGERED A WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT IN DESIGN

One of his most renowned works was created in In 2008, when he designed the Rough Luxe Hotel. This concept and brand, triggered a worldwide movement in design. This has earned him the go to reference when designing new hotel, restaurant and bar concepts, and he frequently works on projects with international hoteliers and developers.

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FOCUSSING ON DIVERSITY

He describes his approach as “focusing on diversity; creating beautiful volumes and structures empowered by carefully designed objects and selected art. It is a continuous creative dialogue for a functional refined and living result”. Rabih Hage

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COMMISSIONING A UNIQUE PIECE

At David Head Furniture Makers every piece of handmade furniture is uniquely designed, made for individual customers who want something special. For more information or to request a commission, please contact us.

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HANDMADE FURNITURE AN INVESTMENT FOR THE FUTURE

In 1997 an Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair was sold at Christie’s for £122,500, this elevated modern furniture collecting, making it a prime investment.

With the trend for interiors swinging away from ornate towards more simple and clean lined modern handmade furniture, will buying contemporary pieces both improve your home now and also act as an investment for the future?

Looking through local auction houses you will see that most of the pieces from the late 19th and early 20th century are worth nearly the same as a piece of furniture from Argos.

So how do you spot an antique of the future and what is a design classic?

As with all forms of collecting, the best way is to look for a name. Modern handmade furniture doesn’t always have the prestige of its antique counterparts, but there are talented modern UK designers with form, like Terence Conran, Matthew Hilton, Ron Arad and Tom Dixon.

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Mary Carroll also recommend looking in to the huge range of rugs, which she considers works of art, she considers them to be the real collectables of tomorrow. Another top tip is to look at the named designer collections, especially companies along the lines of Wedgwood, Waterford and Stuart Crystal.

LOCAL DESIGNERS FOR A BETTER INVESTMENT

Investing in contemporary UK luminaries can set you back a bit, you could pay thousands for some handmade furniture which can eat away at your profit margin. Another alternative is looking for up and coming designers, they can still offer original and great designed furniture but with a more cost effective price tag.

BUY WHAT YOU CAN’T RESIST

“In terms of investment it’s what you love that is going to give you a better quality of life and what more can you ask? A classic sofa might be good for your back but it’s not really going to lift your spirits. When you see the item that’ll lift the spirits, you’ll know.” Janice Blackburn (freelance curator).

“Imagine you’re moving, it’s all the things you want to take with you. It’s the items you can’t live without and that will look good in any environment. There are wonderful pieces in the shops now.” Polly Dickens (creative director of the Terrance Conran Shop).

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Furniture that is hand made and aesthetically pleasing, will last a long time and have desirability. For example the simple lines of the Barcelona chair and Le Corbusier Sofa Daybed, they still look good and work in a modern interior, as when they were designed back in the 1920’s.

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HOW TO LOOK FOR A FUTURE ANTIQUE

According to interior designer Rabih el Hage, you can find future antiques by basing your search on three areas, originality, functionality and materials.

“The materials used will allow me to guess the way the piece will age. If it is a traditional material, say solid oak, one can imagine how the piece will look in 20 or 100 years. The way a piece ages influences its value and desirability. I’m tempted to choose new designs using old materials.” Rabih el Hage.

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR

So what should you look out for, what will stand the test of time. We can’t predict what will be desirable in the future, although looking over the last 100 years, handmade furniture that has been the best investment is simple with clean lines and made from good materials. As long as you like it and it holds up against the three search criteria’s recommended by Rabih el Hage, originality, functionality and materials, then you should have a good chance of having something that stands out from a sea of refined good taste 100 years or so down the line.

UNLIKELY ITEMS

“It will be the most unlikely items that will become collectable as everyone will keep the special editions and collectors editions of things. With a Philippe Starck piece, everyone will keep it, whereas there might be some plastic thing in Ikea – albeit well designed – that is the one that everyone wants in 100 years time – mostly because it is so rare. It’s the stuff everyone chucks out that becomes valuable. That’s why all the horrible handmade furniture of the Seventies is so valuable. In the Eighties, everyone chucked it out.” Martin Waller, chairman of Andrew Martin.

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INVESTING IN HANDMADE FURNITURE

Bespoke handmade furniture offers an exciting investment with truly tailored and unique design that will endure for years to come. Commissioning high quality handmade furniture tailored to your taste and specifications allows you to give your home a personal, elegant touch, for interiors that are truly unique. Commissioning luxury handmade furniture is also a great investment for the future.

COMMISSIONING A UNIQUE PIECE OF HANDMADE FURNITURE

At David Head Furniture Makers every piece and every design is unique, made for individual customers who want something special. For more information or to request a commission, please contact us.

SPOTTING TOMORROW’S ANTIQUES

Spotting tomorrow’s antiques is now harder than ever before, simply because there is so much good material out there, which is very encouraging for quality of life, but not easy to spot the next family heirloom.

George Khachfe, the managing director of Poliform, an Italian furniture company – doubts that any furniture designed for full scale production will ever be a great investment because the market is flooded with too many of them.

Mr Khachfe says “What you need to find, for it to be worth any money, is a piece from a designer before it went into production.”

He recommends the Italian designer Carlo Columbo, who is producing stunning work, unfortunatley a lot of it is commercially produced, ironically the best pieces to invest in could possibly be the proto-types that were not commercial enough to make the step into production.

DESIRABLE IN THE FUTURE

Or is it possible to get future investment from handmade furniture that is commercially produced, the editor Mary Carroll, from BBC’s Homes & Antiques magazine, believes it is possible, but the value depends on its condition, for example something like the Forum sofa designed by Robin Day, it is currently one of Habitat’s biggest sellers, retailing between £1,200 and £1,500. Mary Carroll says a piece like the Forum sofa could well be a future antique. A well looked after design classic like the Forum Sofa will be as desirable in the future as it is now, but the better it is kept the more chance of it becoming an investment, and it is still nice to sit on.

INVESTING IN HANDMADE FURNITURE

Bespoke handmade furniture offers an exciting investment with truly tailored and unique design that will endure for years to come. Commissioning high quality handmade furniture tailored to your taste and specifications allows you to give your home a personal, elegant touch, for interiors that are truly unique. Commissioning luxury handmade furniture is also a great investment for the future.

COMMISSIONING A UNIQUE PIECE OF HANDMADE FURNITURE

At David Head Furniture Makers every piece and every design is unique, made for individual customers who want something special. For more information or to request a commission, please contact us.

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