November 30 2018 / Project Profile
Here, our associate designer, Gemma Holsgrove shares a behind-the-scenes glimpse at our Teddington Riverside project in our exclusive Q&A.
August 03 2018
Bespoke upholstery is how one is able to design and produce something that is tailored to precise requirements. At Sims Hilditch, we are fortunate to have the ability to quite literally design anything our client wishes.
The benefits of designing bespoke upholstered furniture is that there is no compromise whatsoever. I always begin by discussing dimensions. Not simply because this is needed for us to create the frame, but because it is a subject often skipped. And yet the results of bespoke sizing are bountiful. You are able to achieve what you consider to be the perfect depth, height and width to suit the rest of your room. I will also talk to clients about the importance of frame construction.
Our frame maker uses only solid hardwood and traditional joinery to construct our upholstered furniture. It is absolutely the best way to do it. In designing the frame, we are able to create the size, shape, silhouette and any flourishes that you wish. Many clients will bring a photo of something they have seen in a magazine or a hotel they have stayed in. Together, we can use this as a base idea to build upon.
I also adore discovering what the ideal filling combination is for each person’s home. It is a case of deciphering how the client wants to use the piece – is it everyday use or occasional for example? Do they read in bed and need something soft to lean against? (If yes, I also love to factor in designing bespoke reading lights into the frame). Do they hope to use their ottoman as a coffee table or a place to rest their feet? In addition to purpose, we uncover what filling combination they find most comfortable, and how that suits the overall room’s design. This is something that shop-bought upholstery simply cannot compete with, and it is why there is a real luxury to bespoke.
Onto the subject of fabric choice and flourishes, I work closely with our clients to gain a very precise brief. It is so necessary to do this, otherwise there is a vast ocean of choice which is too much. This is one of the real joys of working with an interior designer. We are here to curate for you. I will then look over every option with the client to make the decisions together on what they like most, and again, what will work best with the rest of the room. The up-holstery is a major part of that room’s decoration and it is crucial for every element to work together as a whole. Bespoke upholstery often means you can have some fun too. I like to use contrasting fabric where it feels right, such as on a dining chair where I might use pattern on the exterior and plain on the interior. Or contrast piping to introduce colour to the room on a sofa or armchair.
Once we have every aspect of the design agreed, I pass on our drawings to our Wiltshire-based upholstery workshop to start the making process. There is something quite special about being made in the British countryside.
With bespoke upholstery, we truly can do anything you wish, and create the sorts of furniture that will last a lifetime.