Furniture and furnishings at throwaway prices with mass-produced origins have continued to lose their appeal. The eco-conscious generation of today desire products which combine quality and craftsmanship with inspiring design to create beautiful, timeless interiors.
The decision to source bespoke, handcrafted furniture is becoming a way of life and there are endless reasons to do so:
• There is just no comparison when it comes to mass produced products vs. hand-crafted goods in terms of innovation, quality and attention to detail.
• The raw materials used and the workmanship are superior as makers are intrinsically connected to their craft. The passion behind their creations results in distinctive furniture that can be enjoyed and treasured for years to come.
• Handmade products can also better meet your needs. Craftsmen relish the opportunity to utilise their skills and explore their creativity to craft pieces that are unique and tailored to suit your space.
• Buying handmade from a small business also helps our local communities and contributes to our economy as a whole.
House of Home interviewed a collective of local creatives to find out about their journeys, products and what inspires them. It is a pleasure to share with you some of the most original and beautiful hand-made creations from Melbourne and the artisan’s behind them.
Chatsworth Fine Furniture
Bringing romance back to furniture, Chatsworth Fine Furniture is a leader in high end Antique Reproduction Furniture.
Their philosophy is simple: “Fine furniture constructed using traditional methods, finished to closely resemble antiques.”
Owner Paul Blake has many years’ experience perfecting this art of replicating furniture and takes the utmost care and attention to detail to produce a quality item at all times.
“There’s great joy in creating the initial hand-sketched concept, which is then painstakingly hand-made and exquisitely hand-finished to complete one of our masterpieces. It's the look on our client’s faces when they see what we have created - especially for them.’’ | Paul Blake, Chatsworth Fine Furniture
Chatsworth are constantly developing new designs and finishing techniques and endeavour to supply antiques of the future that can be customised to suit each customer’s needs and be used as everyday pieces.
Christian Cole Furniture
Christian Cole Furniture designs and hand makes solid timber furniture and architectural joinery using 100% recycled timber or timber sourced from sustainable commercial plantations. Everything is made in their Melbourne factory.
Each piece is hand crafted using age-old techniques such as Mortice, Tenon Joints and Dovetail Joints contributing to its longevity and creating a valuable piece to be passed on to generations to come.
“I absolutely love what I do so when a customer acknowledges the work I have put into their piece I feel great! I have a great relationship with many of my customers and I’ve made them a number of pieces over the years’’ | Christian Cole
At 19 years of age, Christian established his own business working from his parent’s garage. Christian Cole Furniture was then established in 1999 and has grown steadily for the last 16 years and has a loyal following around Australia and abroad.
Grain Timber Furniture
When Jonathan Bird became a Furniture Maker, it was the realisation of a life-long dream. The huts and half-pipes built in his youth soon gave way, and a more opulent and luxurious era would begin.
“I was faced with a decision, either go and work in a big furniture factory, or start my own business”. The rest, as they say, is history. | Jonathan Bird, Timber Grain Furniture
Fast forward a few years, and Grain Timber Furniture, the brainchild of Jonathan’s ambition, is now a flourishing business which has grown into a respected player on the bespoke furniture scene. That same ambition and desire which led to this career in Furniture, is still apparent in his work today with a love for the jobs which many would deem too difficult.
“When a client asked for a pedestal dining table I was excited to be given a chance to explore a range of furniture making techniques that are rarely used today”. | Jonathan Bird, Timber Grain Furniture
It’s that very ingenuity and drive which casts Grain Timber Furniture as masters of their craft, and among the best bespoke makers on the scene.
Ingrain Designs make functional timber furniture that is built to last and accessible to everyone, in all homes, without compromising on the environment.
Director and owner, Ben Purchase comes from three generations of carpenters. He spent his upbringing alongside Jack, his Grandpa, in the workshop and Brett, his Father, on worksites across Melbourne. Now they work together.
Their diverse range of skills bring a little something different to each and every piece of furniture they make. And they love seeing their work make a house a home.
Ben Purchase of Ingrain Designs believes that by choosing custom made you’re reducing the amount of furniture going to landfill and supporting smaller makers in the process.
‘’Everyone deserves to live amongst good design without trashing the planet’’. | Ben Purchase, Ingrain Designs.
Image Furniture are a playful lot with a great passion for furniture. As a second generation family run furniture store, their passion comes from their father who has been in the industry for over 40 years. Their focus is on Australian Made pieces supporting Melbourne Craftsmen and using Australian timbers. They are also an exclusive La-Z-Boy Gallery Store and supplier of Moran furniture.
As a second generation family run furniture store, Image Furniture pride themselves on providing the best quality, comfortable, stylish, custom made furniture. As more and more furniture outlets are selling cheap imported furniture, this company insist on staying true to their roots, while offering the most reasonable prices.
Their expert staff can help you with all your decor and home furnishing ideas to help you get the most out your home living lifestyle. If its quality furniture you desire, Image furniture can fulfill all your needs and help you furnish your dream home.
Living Elements is the perfect supplier for those looking for a wise buy on beautiful timber furniture. There’s no need to spend top dollar on retail when you can have the best of both worlds with Living Element’s online pricing with viewings available at their Melbourne warehouse showroom.
With a stunning range of matching timber furniture collections, Living Elements can help you theme your space and create your ultimate dream home. They love simplicity, style, timber and longevity all of which a decent piece of furniture provides. If you’re looking for a company who care about furniture, and not just a quick sale, Living Elements will spend the time with you to ensure that the piece you purchase fits the spot perfectly and will serve you well in the years ahead.
Living Elements know online well and have spent the last 8 years operating in this space. As such they provide honest photos, accurate product descriptions, carefully selected products, plus prices and customer service to match. They will provide you with detailed advice on all of their products, as well as the before- and after-sales service that you deserve.
Michael Hayes Furniture
Michael Hayes Furniture is a Melbourne based custom design furniture maker. Founded in 2001, Michael Hayes has been a finalist in the Cabinet Maker of the Year Awards two consecutive years, 2004 and 2005.
Utilising timbers of the highest quality, all of Michael’s custom-designed furniture is ethically handmade and built to suit any interior setting. This company doesn’t just build furniture, they create works of art using new and reclaimed timber, stone, glass and painted surfaces.
Michael believes in making a durable pieces of furniture that aren’t mass-produced, but are sustainable and far less likely to end up as land fill. With an aim to protect the environment wherever possible, Michael uses eco-timbers which minimise land degradation. Specialising in dining tables, coffee tables, wall units, and T.V consoles, these pieces are also produced to reduce the amount toxins going into people’s home.
Furniture should be a source of beauty and inspiration for a lifetime. If it is ethically and sustainably produced as well, it can contribute to preserving the environment across many life times. | Michael Hayes
Michael Woodberry is a former welder and metal worker who moved into furniture making in 2010. After starting out in Collingwood, (the furniture hub of Melbourne), he moved his workshop and family up to Central Victorian town of Trentham, but still travels to Melbourne every week to take orders and make deliveries.
Michael searches far and wide for recycled and industrial materials and has found his niche combing recycled timber with salvaged metal work and custom made steel. His portfolio includes tables (both indoor and outdoor), benches, coffee tables, shelving, bar stools and entertainment units.
Michael's applied techniques include;
Aging metal for a rustic look,
Powder-coating in various colours to create beautiful rustic timber table tops,
Old signage inlays,
Upcycled vintage finds,
Framework for bar stools, bench seating, coffee tables and entertainment units.
Not all furniture makers have skills in both metal and wood. If you love industrial pieces or have a design great idea in mind, contact Michael's studio to talk about creating something unique.
PFS Furniture Sales
PFS Furniture Sales specialise in eco-friendly recycled timber furniture produced locally as well as some selected imported items. Their distinctive range includes exclusive Australian pieces from Dereel Designs Reclaimed Australian Timber (‘RAT’) range.
After a life devoted to teaching physical education and being involved in competitive athletics at an Olympic level, owner Mark Lancman began a career as a second hand furniture dealer in Prahran, selling eclectic and interesting pieces.
His business then evolved predominantly into new furniture specialising in the use of reclaimed Australian timber (RAT) to produce affordable, timeless pieces. This happened at a time well before terms such as 'sustainable living' and 'renewable resources' became clichés.
Their showroom showcases a range of unique designs in outdoor and indoor furniture. With proven experience and a reputation within the industry, PSF have been servicing both professionals and private clients for more than two decades as a supplier and designer.
Special Things is a small volume producer of high quality furniture and homewares, suited to small or large spaces and lifestyle of modern home and apartment living. Their pieces are finely crafted from quality materials into designs that are refined and functional, yet offer a unique personal style.
Colin Whitehead is the creative force behind Special Things. He has qualifications in furniture design and interior design. His exceptional ability saw him win the silver medal (the highest award) for the most outstanding in his trade of chair and couch making. He also took out the bronze medal category for craftsmanship.
After 17 years in business, they have accumulated a range of commercial and private clients seeking a unique style in furnishings and accessories, like Mercedes Benz Australia, the Education Department of Victoria and the ACT Private Hospital, of just a few.
A philosophy of quality with a balance of innovative design, technology and function sees them producing a variety of beautiful items that can enhance your everyday living. buy bed heads, modern mirrors, entertainment units, home office and study shelving, media units and much more.
Special Things’ mission is to elevate their client’s awareness of design innovation for their living environment, thereby enhancing their lifestyle and are committed to creating furniture which you will cherish for a lifetime from their workshop in Brunswick.
We hope the work of these very talented designer / furniture makers have have filled you with inspiration to find that perfect piece for your home.
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