Here at Timothy Oulton, we’ve been passionate about promoting the idea of buying little but investing in quality pieces since the very beginning. Just like how William Morris advocated for handmade production at the height of the industrial revolution in Victorian England, we too have made the conscious decision to reject today’s mindless consumption and fast throwaway style trends.
In fact, the 19th-century designer said it best when he declared, “Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” It is with this ethos in mind that we approach all our designs at Timothy Oulton, and create products that endure and last a lifetime in terms of both style and function – and perhaps even become future heirlooms passed down generations.
With the likes of Marie Kondo urging us to be more mindful about how we buy clothes, we believe the same logic applies to our furniture purchases too. Big ticket items like sofas, dining tables and chairs can remain fully functional and spark joy for years if they’re well looked after; plus, spending big once can save not only money in the long run, but also the environment. Essentially, quality over quantity is at the centre of our “humble luxury” ethos.
Take our Westminster Feather Sofa. This is our version of the classic Chesterfield-style sofa, but modified with plump foam and feather-filled cushions for extra comfort. All the distinctive features of this quintessentially British style icon have been kept, such as the deep-buttoned tufted leather and low seat, but the dimensions have been adjusted for optimal contemporary living – a timeless design that means this piece will look just as great in fifty years as it does today.
The provenance of the materials we use for our designs has always been of paramount importance: our dedicated team seek out only the finest for our range of contemporary furniture. Wherever possible, we choose pure materials like timber, marble, stone and natural textiles and leather, and avoid man-made alternatives. For example, the sofas from our recently launched brand, Noble Souls by Timothy Oulton, are made using natural vegetable dyes that don’t cost the earth.
Similarly if you’re looking for a guaranteed timeless dining table, look no further than Junction. Marble has been around for thousands of years, and Pinterest is still full of the stone today, so we’d say that’s a pretty strong indication that it’ll never go out of style. A marble dining table is also a great way to add a sense of grown-up luxury, while Junction’s weathered oak legs keep the whole look contemporary.
This doesn’t mean that we only ever use new raw materials though. In fact, some of our more rustic furniture styles feature timber that’s already experienced a lifetime of use, which has then been reshaped and given a new lease of life. As the effects of climate change are increasingly reported, it is ever more important to embrace the circular economy, and find solutions for recycling and upcycling materials, keeping them in use for as long as possible.
That’s what we’ve done with Axel MK2, one of our best examples of a reclaimed wood dining table. The timber here is drawn from decommissioned Chinese fishing junks, with each wooden plank showing a different texture and colouration after decades of exposure to the high seas. A hand-treated iron frame rounds up the look to give the table a rustic and industrial feel.
Likewise, our Core Pendant is another piece that’s gone from something old to something new. This pendant lighting started life as recycled quartz pieces before it was transformed into translucent carbonstone, which gives it a vintage but natural feel.
At the end of the day, whether it’s new or upcycled, quality furniture begins with investing in tip-top materials and craftsmanship – and living authentically is exactly what Timothy Oulton is all about.