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Jhe UK is incredibly fortunate to have such a rich and well-preserved design heritage. Our ancestors still stand in bricks and mortar along the Thames, pockmarked and gleaming; they still dominate the cities, perched on high rivers and nest in the old undulations of the hillsides. Within their walls are the treasures of the nation; the preserved and restored relics of past generations from the floors on which its inhabitants have always walked to the seats on which they have always sat. In rare cases, the companies that furnished these same buildings still lend their services to the current owners. In others, today’s suppliers take great pains to produce furniture and fabrics in the spirit of tradition.

One such example is the work of Luke Hughes, an English furniture designer who specialized in creating furniture for public buildings, including five royal palaces, 54 Oxbridge colleges and 200 churches. Hughes first set up his studio, Luke Hughes and Company Limited, in the early 1980s, after working as a carpenter around London on projects such as making a series of bookcases for Inns of Court barristers. In the late 1990s the company pioneered the concept of stackable benches in the church world and in 2011 designed the furniture used for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s royal wedding ceremony at Cambridge Abbey. Westminster.

The LH42 chair is the company’s most iconic piece, renowned for its stackability and elegant European oak frame. Each chair is built to last over 30 years and its utilitarian, sturdy design is ideal for public and commercial use and in busy family homes. All customers, from old institutions to suburban semi-urbans, should inquire through the website for pricing and specifications.

Brintons, a carpet manufacturer founded in 1783, was one of the first companies during Queen Elizabeth II’s reign to receive a Royal Warrant and has carried out a number of projects for the Royal Household since the 1950s, when it was granted. Its work with royal palaces, historic homes and many contemporary hotels and restaurants has made it the carpet manufacturer of choice for many of the country’s most desirable properties, including Admiralty Arch and the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.

The LH42 chair is Luke Hughes’ most iconic piece

(Luc Hughes)

In 2019, the firm was commissioned by Kensington Palace to recreate the original early 19th century flooring as part of a design project to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth. The aim of this flagship project was to give visitors to the Palace an accurate sense of the decorative flourishes popular at the time.

Those looking for rugs for their own home also have access to Brintons’ extensive historical archive, the remnants of which can be seen spilling over into the company’s new designs.

Along the same lines, a 150-year-old tile manufacturer, Craven Dunnil Jackfield, supplies tiles to many prestigious institutions. Its recent project at Westminster Central Lobby involved the restoration and reproduction of nearly 60,000 tiles originally laid in 1847. The decision was made by the company to retain or replace each one to ensure the preservation of the iconic hall in its original form. Other projects include long-standing work with TfL, Kew Gardens and numerous churches across the country.

Flame Room from Craven Dunnill Jackfield’s new floral collaboration with Burleigh

(Burleigh x Craven Dunnill Jackfield)

Located in Ironbridge, a World Heritage Site, Craven Dunnill Jackfield’s commitment to its craft and its history is clear. The staff at Jackfield Factory, which is the oldest purpose-built tile factory in the world, pride themselves on creating period-style tiles with original machinery wherever possible and the same glaze recipes and techniques of handmade decoration that they have always used.

From encaustic tile restoration to glaze color matching, Craven Dunnill Jackfield offers a menu of services that home renovators can access. It also offers a series of ready-to-use classic-inspired tile collections, including a new floral collaboration with Burleighpioneering English pottery in the use of fabric transfer decoration.

Shopping from companies that furnish the country with high-quality, handcrafted design will bring a sense of history to your home, conversational details and, most movingly, a sense of connection to the institutions for which the UK is renowned. Preserving the fabric of the nation has never been so appealing.

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