We're celebrating our 75th anniversary by showcasing some of the designs, brands and values that are close to our hearts at Barker and Stonehouse. While we’ve lost count of the array of brilliant makers, designers and innovators we’ve worked with over the years, the five we’re showcasing here are each representative of principles that are central to Barker and Stonehouse. We're calling them our anniversary heroes!
We are privileged to have worked with some of the world’s great furniture designers, makers, craftspeople and creatives. They bring excitement via their ideas and work, helping us to see the world through different eyes and from a range of perspectives.
Their work results in beautiful furniture, accessories, fabrics and a way of putting things together that brings surprise and delight, and also sometimes challenges us. Working with these people acts as inspiration for our team and translates into amazing products that go on to inspire our customers.
French furniture designers, Ligne Roset, are one such company of creatives.
Ligne Roset began in 1860, when a young, former waiter, Antoine Roset, opened a woodworking workshop in a small village in the Ain region of eastern France. Today Ligne Roset works with the world's most progressive designers and makers to produce timelessly beautiful furniture. Synonymous with high-design, they have commissioned work from a pantheon of the best known names in contemporary design.
The Togo sofa designed by Michel Ducaroy ranks amongst Ligne Roset's most iconic and bestselling designs. It quickly became a cult classic after its launch in the 1970s but is just as much in demand 50 years later. There is just something endlessly appealing and ultimately cosseting in its ergonomic shape and its slouchy style. We love its unique style and the fact that it remains forever young and playful in tone.
For many years, we’ve worked in collaboration with makers and designers to innovate ways of producing furniture that brings a range of new benefits. The results of this work are to make our products more practical to produce, more comfortable to use, and during the last decade, focusing on how we can be more sustainably conscious through the furniture we sell.
One of our most recent product innovations was to create a stylish and environmentally friendly sofa. After nearly two years of research and development with one of our British upholstery manufacturers, we were very proud to be able to launch the highly innovative Big Blue range.
Made entirely from sustainably sourced and recycled fabrics, it is the first of its kind in the world. One of the main components is plastic cleaned from the ocean and turned into a luxuriously soft fabric and cushion filling.
We had long wanted to find a way of making a sofa range that was as sustainably produced as it was comfortable to sit on. The Big Blue sofa has met both of those goals supremely well and the sofa has become one of our bestselling new upholstery ranges.
Never before have we all been so aware of the value of our planet's natural resources and how we should use them more thoughtfully.
We are also looking consciously at the sustainable practices of our supply chain, including those companies from which we buy our furniture and accessories. Many high quality furniture designers and makers have become a lot more conscious of impact on the planet and are now working with sustainability as a guiding principle. We want to provide sustainable furniture ranges from suppliers that respect the environment in the same way that we do.
One such furniture range is our Modi dining collection. Using 100% reclaimed wood it produces some of our most popular dining room pieces. Modi takes discarded cargo pallets and turns them into beautiful furniture that you'd be hard pushed to know had started life as something so humble. But this is what is terrific about the company and its vision, taking what is overlooked and bringing it to life in new and valuable ways.
Britain really does have an outstanding furniture industry and there are still many British furniture makers and designers operating very successfully on our shores. Importantly, these companies connect us to longstanding traditions and create quality furniture, often with several generations of the same family working together in their communities. When you buy from these fine independent British brands you are assured that you’re investing in a piece of furniture that has been crafted by expert and experienced hands.
We are delighted to work with many well-known British brands who represent the very best of British craftsmanship and are behind some of our bestselling products.
One such brand, amongst the many we work with, is Tetrad.
We have partnered with Lancashire based family run company, Tetrad for over forty five years. Their designs have become firm favourites with our customers due to the blend of craftsmanship and fine materials that result in sofas and chairs that look great and age well. Their strong reputation has been built on classic designs but just like us, they like their classics with a twist sometimes.
It was a thrilling partnership when Tetrad teamed with Scottish heritage brand, Harris Tweed, to develop a range using distinctive tweed fabrics. The Dalmore Sofa is a firm favourite with our customers and exemplifies a great marriage of two classic, high quality brands that continue the age-old traditions of their craft.
Even the humblest object, if thoughtfully designed and crafted, is likely to be a thing of beauty and value. Our homes should be full of things made with integrity, that will last well, and that will add something special to the way we live. That’s why we are a very discerning bunch of people about what we buy and what we sell. We care very much about craft and the people who make our furniture.
True craftspeople are behind our furniture and accessory ranges, including the finest furniture designers from around the world who make their furniture using a mix of cutting edge and time-honoured techniques. From world-leading English upholsterers and the finest Italian tanneries to the hand-crafted furniture makers of India and Indonesia, the result of all their talents brings pure magic to our interiors.
Furniture makers, Justin Wheatcroft and Edward Stoddart of Square Roots, exemplify this approach. They are simply in love with wood and treat it with the same respect and care as that of a precious commodity, which of course, it is.
Passionate about handmade sustainable solid wood furniture, Square Roots makes its furniture drawing on age-old joinery techniques and artisan craftsmanship. The Square Roots craftsmen have a well worn phrase: "we don't see defects and mask them, we spot differences and embrace them."
The materials used by Square Roots are full of character and are fabulously varied. Their approach to design and the skills of its craftspeople bring out the beauty in reclaimed materials, as you can see in the stylish Vega range.
The Vega chair seats are made in Italian tanneries whilst the Vega's distinctive table and bench legs are forged in reclaimed cast iron bringing beautifully hardwearing and handsome design elements to the furniture.