I think the terminology people use in the world of wood has become a little confused. Rustic (a word we have banned from our business) is a good example. When we speak to clients who have said they want rustic, it generally means they want real wood rather than veneer, composite or a beaten-up old barn find.
Wood was a huge feature of my life from a very young age, working on important ‘projects’ with my father and grandfather. I believe I was fortunate to find my passion early on.
Through The Wedding Tree, Oak&Ford and now Fordius, my businesses have explored many creative paths and industries – all with wood at the heart. However, I have always made bespoke furniture for clients. Designing and working on our combined ideas is great fun and I really enjoy the response to a finished piece that we have all put our hearts into.
When I think of the word ‘bespoke’ it conjures up an interesting process for me. We are generally working from a picture in my or someone’s head. Once you get this down on paper, you can start to think about materials and finishes and how they will react with one another. There are also the shadows and shapes they create, which are important with furniture design. We collaboratively work all the way up to a final product. To receive a stunning piece of unique furniture in your home when you have been involved in the process of creating it is clearly a thrill.
It was important to me that if we were going to create furniture, we want to offer a level of bespoke finish on high-quality designs but without it requiring a re-mortgage. The idea for Fordius was born. I created a set of unique designs and then went about sourcing the best materials and finishes available.
Each design is very striking and versatile which allows them to sit in really varied environments. Generally, clients are led by colour and if a piece would fit the other décor. Once you choose the design that you like, the fun starts.
With two surface and two-grain finishes, your first choice is to see what fits with everything else you are going to have around it. Once you know how you want the wood to look and feel its colour time.
Our six unique wood colours are a result of hours of tinkering with pre-ageing treatments and a variety of colouring oils. The selection offers a wide-ranging variety, but suited to the steel finishes and style of furniture we produce.
Then there is also the steel to decide on. Again, I feel this is likely to be based on the décor the piece will sit in.
I wanted to offer a range that encompassed everything that is great about designing furniture and introducing a new piece to your setting: the strong design, client involvement and a finished piece that you are in love with prior to it even setting into your space.