Can a piece of furniture tell a story? It can if it’s a modern classic – and it particularly can if it comes from the creative font of designer Timothy Oulton.
The brand named after this British furnishing superstar is now known around the world for its hand-made pieces crafted by artisans from materials with a history.
Oulton’s passion for extraordinary attention to detail means every stitch, bolt and detail counts – and it guarantees that a Timothy Oulton piece in your home will certainly be a talking point.
Born in Manchester, Oulton grew up in the antiques business and attended Ampleforth College, both of which have provided rich inspiration for his stunning creations.
That love of the classic shows in Oulton objects that seem steeped in the past, such as the quirky Artline Race Car 4 Wall Art, which shows a racing Jaguar taking the curves at Le Mans in 1956. Evocative in black and white, it’s a stylish window onto a lost world of speed and style.
But many of Oulton’s daring creations have rather more of a modern twist on them than that. Take the Oxford Small Student Trunk. Based on the study luggage that eager pupils brought across the world for their studies for centuries, it doubles as storage, a table or even a seat.
Here’s the modern twist, though – it’s gloriously turned out in deep blue leather of the highest quality.
Oulton is not surprisingly famed for his leather goods, but the range is comfortable when diversifying into other materials. The Cloud three-seater armless sofa is oversized luxury in a completely uncluttered style. It’s upholstered in a super-soft linen fabric, and you can manipulate the cushions to your perfect comfort – dreamy.
Elsewhere, the eclectic Oulton range takes recycling as its theme, but shows the same eternally-witty turn of mind.
The Airfoil Rectangular desk is crafted to look like a plane wing, and seems to hover over the ground on space-age legs – it’s fun, practical and a real show-stopper, all at the same time. Whoever said a busy day at work was like being in a wind tunnel?
Oulton pieces, thanks to their authenticity, work spectacularly well in an industrial-style setting, with exposed brickwork, wooden floors and deep, sumptuous rugs. Against that kind of backdrop, his recycled woods, gleaming surfaces and darkly textured materials can be displayed like the (very practical) pieces of art they are.
One of my favourites is the Double Gyro Chandelier, part of a lighting range inspired by 19th century experimental physicist Leon Foucault’s gyroscope – he invented the device to measure orientation.
By extracting key elements from the historical instrument – such as its multiple axes – the gyroscope has been reinterpreted into a framework of aged metal spheres fixed around candle-lights.
Clever, indeed – and super-stylish too. Having your feet in the past and your eyes on the future is obviously the way to go for any furnishing range looking to create modern classics to last and last. Choose an Oulton and you’re actually buying into a legacy.
All of the products are from Barker and Stonehouse unless otherwise stated. Follow us on social media by clicking through on the links below, for daily updates and trend alerts: