Founder Tim Oulton explains the inspiration behind five of Timothy Oulton’s most iconic signature designs…
My dad opened his own antiques shop when he retired from the Army, and that’s where I fell in love with the classic British craftsmanship ethos that pervaded the late 19th and early 20th century; things were built to last generations. There was a golden age when British artisans had access to any beautiful material from anywhere in the world, and the stuff the British made had this unique sense of permanence and purpose, built to last generations.
Vintage has always been, and will continue to be, a big influence for us – whether it’s in the design or the materials - but we put our own twist on it, we have our own point of view. What I’m really fascinated by is the coalescence of old and new – colliding those two worlds together to make something fresh and exciting. Vintage never dies, it has a story, and that’s what draws people to it.
I’ve always been obsessed with Chesterfield sofas, they’re just such an enduring icon. We have our own version called the Westminster, it has all the hallmarks of a classic handcrafted Chesterfield but we use our own unique hand-finishes to give it a modern feel. One of my favourite finishes is Buck’dN Brok’n, the leather has a beautifully rich patina replete with scratches, scars and marks, all carefully created by hand. It takes 12 craftsmen about 32 hours to hand-finish one sofa, it’s just epic.
Aviator Tomcat Chair
The Tomcat’s inspired by the ejector seat of the F14 Tomcat fighter jet, wrapped in our Spitfire metal finish. It's got so much personality even though it’s just a small chair.
Regiment Drum Collection
The drums are a personal favourite of mine. They don’t appeal to everyone but that’s not the point. Our drums are made with the same time-honoured handcraftsmanship and detail as the original drums that would have been used 200 years ago.
Aviator Blackhawk Valkyrie Desk
Our proprietary Spitfire finish is a nod to the British Supermarine Spitfire. I was lucky enough to acquire a genuine Spitfire wing from the iconic fighter plane, and that was the starting point for the Aviator Blackhawk Valkyrie desk.
I’ve been collecting vintage trunks for many, many years, and I think trunks are a great example of antiques being relevant in modern interiors. There’s just something perennially enduring about them. The Globetrekker collection is inspired by a trunk which, according to the brass plate mounted above the latch, had been presented to a Mr Tom Richards on 26 November, 1914 as he set off on his journey from the U.K. to South Africa. I’ve often wondered about the adventures Tom would have had with his trunk. We’ve swapped the canvas finish of the original trunk for hand-distressed aluminium to give it a contemporary feel, but used traditional construction techniques and detailing such as the leather and wood banding and hand-sprung locks.