OUR COMPANY HISTORY THROUGHOUT THE YEARS
In 1980 I was building custom fitted furniture for clients on site in my clients’ garages. Whilst transporting my woodworking tools and equipment from one place to another I realised that it would be a lot easier if I set up a small workshop and invested in a small woodworking machine. After meeting a local farmer from my village I struck a deal to rent one of his derelict barns for five pounds sterling a week. Once I had cleared out the building, I set up my first machine and finally I was in business as a one-man band.
Established in 1982 and still going strong
I started Claude Clémaron Bespoke Wood Interiors in 1982 after I realised that there was nowhere for people to purchase hand made bespoke fitted furniture. The few clients that I had were frustrated by having to compromise their expectations by dealing with the high street furniture companies which produced only mass-produced, poorly made products. I concluded that it was time for me to set up a bigger workshop and start making bespoke tailor-made fitted cabinetry. After investigating the possible market place, London was identified as a pivotal centre for potential clients.
I placed an advert in the long-established House and Garden magazine on a monthly basis at a cost of nine hundred pounds sterling per month which was a huge investment for me at that time. The next essential requirement was a London based landline as there was no chance getting any work in London if you didn’t have a Central London telephone number. I managed to rent a space on someone’s desk in Nottingham Street in Central London where I could play back the tape on my answer machine to retrieve any new client enquiries as mobile ‘phones and the internet didn’t exist in those days.
I have never looked back from this moment and the rest is history.
Designer & cabinet maker
Michael was my first colleague and member of staff. He was extremely creative with his design and cabinet making skills and between us we started to create several projects with great care and attention to detail.
A picture of me circa. 1994 delivering a pair of rather elaborate alcove cabinets to a local interior design company who is one of our regular clients. Alcove cabinets both fitted and freestanding and mostly painted have always proved to be very popular and most of them were classic designs at this time.
Unique wood textures
Timber can be manipulated to expose different characteristics. Treating the timber with a natural oil impregnates the timber and preserves and protects the solid wood. This can be applied in many tones and colours from antique dark finish to a limed oak wood effect or even a smoked wood appearance. The picture shows the results of sand blasting which is used to produce a very rustic finish. Sand is blasted onto the timber to open the wood grain. Following this process the wood can be hand sanded to achieve a driftwood finish which can be left natural or stained and polished as required.
Ian Harris was our workshop foreman in our Midhurst workshop and is pictured hand finishing a traditional solid oak cabinet. Although we have invested in modern woodworking machinery over the years we still rely hugely on our highly skilled cabinet makers. Our team of furniture makers still use all the traditional cabinet making methods backed up with modern day tools and equipment. We make all our solid wood cabinet doors in-house and made to measure. All doors are traditional mortise and tenon jointed which are then skilfully fitted and finished by hand.
Hand painted finishes are available in a variety of textures including dragged and crackle glaze finishes. Handles and knobs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes and can be custom designed and built in a assortment of materials. We offer an extensive range of optional finishes at Claude Clémaron Bespoke Wood Interiors.
A hand painted finish on timber or man-made materials is a popular option for bedrooms and various items of fitted cabinetry. Spray painted hard durable solid colour finishes are best for areas of high use and wear and tear. Stained and waxed finishes are great for that used, rustic, distressed look and provide a sleek satin semi-sheen finish.
Where we are now
During the building and expanding of my bespoke cabinet making business I have had great pleasure in training and working with many young, talented and creative cabinet makers, many of whom have gone on to set up their own businesses. I have also enjoyed the challenge and the opportunity to meet all kinds of clients. Every customer has their own specific furniture requirements and we take delight in bringing their ideas to life.
My furniture business has evolved and expanded over time and I still endeavour to offer an outstanding professional and personal service to all our clients as this is the backbone of my success. Other companies will offer to make your dream pieces of furniture but not many will provide the personal and creative service as we do. I have and will continue to design and create all aspects of custom fitted furniture for bedrooms & bathrooms, living & dining rooms, hallways, kitchens, libraries, studies, attics, lofts, basements and closets. Whatever the size or shape of your room, we can design and build whatever you need for your home, commercial property or retail premises.
We are now comfortable in what will hopefully be our final workshop in Horsham, West Sussex although we are always dependent on our landlords and their decisions on site redevelopment, etc. We always offer our clients the opportunity to visit us to see their project taking shape.
Protecting the environment with sustainable timber
We are very aware of reducing our environmental impact in any way that we can. We use only timber from strictly controlled and managed forests and we will use other man-made sheet materials where it is not entirely necessary to use solid wood. By doing so this helps sustain the management of the forests and keep tree felling under an acceptable level. We use selected reclaimed timbers if feasible and all our waste wood materials are recycled. Our wood shavings provide bedding for local stables and the larger off cuts are used to provide heating for our modern workshops. This makes a huge saving on our electricity consumption. To conclude, we design and create sustainable furniture as much as we can whenever possible.