Started by Nature - Finished by Hand
You will find Christian Cole Furniture in a modest street, amongst various factories and manufacturing businesses, at 5 Dairy Drive in Coburg. Owned by husband and wife team Christian and Fiona Cole, who have built their business based on their life values "you should love what you are doing every day and make life enjoyable and rewarding for the people around you. Christian Cole Furniture is by the far the most warm and inviting factory and showroom we've ever come across it feels more like a family home then a showroom.
The factory is open and airy and comes complete with a chicken coup and vegetable garden, including its very own scarecrow, the chickens roam free in the garden which is filled with fruit, vegies in handmade tubs and olive trees, there are also bundles of timber off cuts stacked up in the front garden, for passers-by to use for firewood. The area is happily maintained by the team, who get to reap the fruits of their labour by freely taking home eggs and produce that is grown in the garden.
Next to a giant Apricot tree (Fiona’s favorite), are custom built tin sheds which house beautiful pieces of reclaimed timber.The timber is being dried and reserved and used for projects in years to come. Each piece timber has an engaging story to tell, whether salvaged from an old bridge, reclaimed from a flooded forest or purchased from a farmhouse way out in Gippsland, every piece is absorbed in character and rustic charm.
Stepping into the factory you are welcomed by the smiling faces of the Christian Cole team as they hand craft each piece of timber furniture with immaculate precision. The workroom is filled with laughter and a sense of community, as every team member plays a significant part in the business. The showroom is defined as a large space on the ground floor that features all the magnificent custom timber furniture pieces that are awaiting delivery to their new homes as well as their existing pieces, ready for purchase. Realistically, the showroom extends all the way up to the next floor as the entire kitchen, large office space and bathrooms are fitted out in custom made Christian Cole joinery and furniture. A large communal table, crafted from reclaimed timber of course, runs adjacent to the timber cabinetry that defines the communal kitchen space. The kitchen opens out to a large balcony where you’re immediately greeted by the batman bandanna wearing Christian Cole member, Barry the bulldog.
Christian and Fiona's two sons playing with the chickens out front of the Coburg factory/showroom
Furniture for Life
The manufacturing of Christian Cole Furniture and Joinery is just as detailed and thought out, as their work space. The timber is sourced from either sustainable commercial plantations, bought from farmers who reclaimed the timber years ago, saved from flood waters or is salvaged from existing structures like bridges and old houses, which would have otherwise been destroyed. Each piece has its own story and Fiona and Christian take the time to learn about the individual heritage of each tree. Fiona often photographs the timber when it is found so you can be sure that it has been sourced in a sustainable way. Once the timber makes it to their factory, it is laid out in storage to be kept and dried for many years, this ensures that the timber is not used until it is ready and then the furniture or joinery being crafted will last a lifetime. The pieces of timber will be raised either higher or lower to the ceiling, depending on what moisture it has retained, this process will protect the timber from drying unevenly or prematurely. This level of expert knowledge comes from Christian’s years in the industry and his genuine love for preserving quality timber and desiging beautiful furniture pieces. By salvaging old timber and re-crafting it into useful furniture and joinery, the lifetime of the timber is extended and enjoyed for generations to come.
A tree that was salvaged from the Oven's river floods in 2012. Hauled out of the river just outside Myrtleford in North East Victoria, 4 slabs of this timber were bought by Christian Cole Furniture and are now drying out in their factory. When the timber’s moisture content measures approximately 11%, it will be made into a tabletop or used for architectural joinery.
Every team member in the manufacturing team is an expert in timber and joinery. They use traditional craftsmanship and are artisans in their field of time honoured joinery techniques such as Mortice and Tenon or more popular Dovetail joints. This ensures the longevity of their designs and upholds the standard that Christian Cole Furniture has established.
Christian Cole furniture can be bought directly from their existing furniture range or you can sit down one-on-one in their beautiful office and design a custom piece to suit your space and personality. Christian and Fiona both believe that furniture should not only be beautiful but it must serve a purpose and function exceptionally well. All their designs are thoroughly planned with day to day use in mind and they work with their clients to achieve a design that will operate perfectly, last a lifetime and fit beautifully into their interior. This care and precision from day one of the design process is what makes Christian Cole Furniture stand out from the crowd. So much so, that in 2012 they took out the award for “The Best of the Best” in the Australian Furniture of the Year awards, they also had pieces featured in the 2013 series of The Block!
Christian Cole's attention to detail and superb craftsmanship ensures every unique piece is finished beautifully
Custom built joinery at Wynns Winery, Coonawarra. The exceptional standard and beautiful mix of timbers creates a rustic yet refined winery space
The love story that started it all
What’s even more beautiful than their lively hood and business is the love story behind Christian and Fiona. Like two peas in a pod, they both grew up with a passion for timber. Fiona was a farm girl who would restore and repair old furniture with her father while Christian found his appreciation for timber through carpentry classes at school. After spending their entire first date laughing and non-stop talking, they both sat back and said “lets just get married!”.
18 months later they tied the knot and they now have two beautiful boys to share their incredible energy and zest for life with. Christian and Fiona have an intoxicating enthusiasm for what they do and this is felt through every aspect of their business. Just like the timber they source, they truly are a rare find.