The Specialist Buyers Guide for the Interior Design Contract Market

Trade / People

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  • Dan Burrough (Dan Burrough)

    On wanting to see daylight again, Dan moved from a successful career in Theatre and Television, to follow his true ambition; a desire to design and make furniture.

    He retrained at Rycotewood College, and in 2000 moved back to Wiltshire.

    Working with sustainable temperate hardwoods and a variety of contemporary materials, Dan designs and makes beautiful, striking and exclusive furniture. Creating clean lined originals, he produces pieces that are personal and sensitive to his clients and their environment.

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  • The history of two successful family-run companies (Iain James Furniture )

    Iain James Furniture is the younger of two established family owned furniture businesses run by the Mitchell family.

    In the mid 1930s, Jim Mitchell, an accomplished designer from the Scottish furniture town of Beith, Ayrshire moved south to the Midlands where he found work within the thriving furniture town of Long Eaton.

    Jim had been born and trained in Beith and had been nurtured under the watchful eye of his father, who himself was a respected designer and cabinet maker, at the prestigious Matthew Pollock and Son cabinet makers, who had commissioned work for both RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth II.

    1952 saw Jim’s vision and ambition lead him to form Artistic Upholstery and in 1959 he was joined by present day Managing Director Andrew Mitchell who has continued to build on the solid foundations laid by his father. To this day, Artistic enjoys an enviable long standing reputation for excellence in design and quality.

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    During the 1980s and following close associations with renowned cabinet makers Shaw of London and latterly Shard Stebbing, Artistic always enjoyed the presence of quality reproduction furniture to help display their collections within the showroom.

    In 1989, Shard's parent company withdrew their display products as they were gearing up to close a significant branch of production, leaving Artistic without any furniture to compliment the Upholstery and some highly skilled labour looking for work.

    Two polishing restoration specialists, who were already familiar to the company, were quickly recruited to polish samples of furniture for the showroom and these models soon attracted interest prompting the concept to start selling the collection under the name ‘Artistic’ Cabinets

    As the project became more serious, Andrew thought the business may benefit from its own identity and in March 1991 formed ‘Iain James Furniture’ with the name being derived from the Christian names of his two sons.

    A tough economic recession during this time meant Andrew had to focus on his principal business and eldest son Iain (pictured) assumed the responsibility of the company. The following five years saw steady progress within the market place, before significant export business to Paris and Brussels coinciding with a surge in home market sales, firmly established Iain James in the market place.

    1998 saw Iain’s younger brother James join the family business and he is now the factory manager within the Upholstery workshop.

    Regular growth into the Millennium saw the company develop its own identity, despite stiff competition from established competitors, through the combination of sympathetic elegant designs complimenting an antique finish with great depth of colour.

    2003 saw the introduction of our Art Deco Collection an innovative range which has added an additional dimension to our range, featuring exotic timbers that were prevalently used with in this period and taking inspiration from designers such as Jacque Emile Ruhlman.

    At the time of print (April 2013) and now firmly into its third decade, Iain James still works alongside sister company Artistic Upholstery and is proud to uphold the heritage of the Mitchell family.

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  • James Verner (James Verner)

    James Verner has always been passionate about furniture. Having left school he worked as voluntary warden at Hooke Park, the innovative woodland educational facility established by John Makepeace in the 1980’s (now owned and operated by the Architectural Association)  which features buildings designed by collaborations between ABK, Frei Otto, Buro Happold and Edward Cullinan. After gaining an Honours degree at St Andrews University and a subsequent  spell as an itinerant craftsman in Eire he returned to West Dorset in 1992 to learn more about furniture design and manufacture; eventually establishing James Verner Furniture in 1996.

     An encyclopaedic knowledge of traditional techniques and a deep understanding of, and passion for, English hardwoods are combined in a sustainable practice with cutting edge processes and materials to create visually rich pieces that straddle the boundary between Design and Art.

    James Verner and his studio produce pieces for discerning individuals and design professionals as well as creating extraordinary ‘one-offs’ that are free of the constraints limiting conventional furniture.

     James Verner has broad interests, spanning visual art (he was Vice Chairman of the Dorset Visual Arts Trust 2004 – 2011), silviculture (he owns and manages 55 acres of native broadleaf and plantation woodland as well as being an active member of the Wessesx Silvicultural Group), green woodworking (offering green woodworking tuition locally) and sustainable building (he has built a 120m² extension/showroom entirely from English timber).

     Though passionate about his business, art, design and silviculture, James Verner has always striven to create a sensible work life balance; when not enjoying time with his family he can be found hill walking in the Highlands of Scotland or cycling the lanes of Dorset.

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  • Joseph McCarthy, Craftesman Built Frames (reflectv Bespoke Mirror Televisions)

    The Joseph McCarthy workshops and showrooms are situated in the historic Pantiles in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.  It's here that the company hand-crafts every unique frame using antique moulds and traditional techniques. Every Joseph McCarthy frame now carries a Mark of Quality as a guarantee of craftsmanship and authenticity.

    Joseph himself has 30 years experience designing and making traditional and contemporary frames, with a client list that includes private collectors, public institutions and Royalty.  Joseph's expertise is highly respected in the field of handmade frames and he has appeared on the BBC's Restoration Roadshow.

    His company has been making and restoring frames since 1837.  He is currently in partnership with the Tate to research and catalogue his unique collection of reverse-carved, boxwood moulds used for frame decoration known as the 'Bloomsbury Collection'.

    Joseph is seen here on the panel of experts of the BBC Restoration Roadshow, presented by Eric Knowles, where he was invited to appear on the basis of his expertise.  It was filmed at Blenheim Palace during the summer of 2009 and aired on BBC the following year.


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