We design and produce custom furniture and household items. We undertake the entire process from felling a tree through milling it, drying the wood, designing the piece and then making it. This allows us to use the unique nature of the tree to produce unique pieces of furniture.
The majority of our furniture is made to order and can therefore be tailored to your precise needs. We also specialise in the production of unique pieces made from our stock of incredible timber that comes from sustainable non-commercial sources.
You are unique, why have off the shelf furniture?
One of the first problems any furniture maker needs to solve is, ‘where do I get my wood from?’. We solved this by sourcing timber from non-farmed sources. These are trees that have been brought down often by storms, to allow development or to make space for other trees and which would otherwise often be used only for firewood. This meant we needed to learn how to mill and season the wood.
We can also mill your trees to produce timber for your own projects.
This batch of Sweet Chestnut has become a bit of an old friend having produced a number of pieces from bed headboards to benches and chairs. So it only seemed appropriate to keep the last piece for myself. We have been putting up with an old experimental coffee table (that didn’t really work) for too long.
This is just how I wanted it, natural edged, showing all of its 340 year history and most importantly the perfect height for warming your feet in front of the fireplace (Some reclaimed Oak Sleepers, with chunky stainless steel fittings).
Commissioned by some very dear friends, these two tables were to complete the remodelling of their living room. The tops and shelves are made from consecutive slabs of live edge Walnut milled from a tree that was brought down to make way for a property extension. The slabs are supported on a minimalist oak frame secured with brass fittings.
This is one of a pair of shelves built as part of a ‘Furniture From Your Tree’ commission that also included a dining table and eight chairs. By the time we got to the shelves we were getting a little short of timber. Combined with the fact that Lime is only really strong in one direction and we had a bit of a challenge. Our solution was to use the Lime for the uprights and use some oak we had also milled, for the shelves (along with a little sycamore for the butterfly joints).
The result was incredibly effective. The shelves are set into dado joints in the sides and rear supports to prevent racking left to right or front to back and make for a really solid structure that also shows off all of the beauty and history in these pieces of Lime, that most makers would have discarded.
Colwill and Co. started when I made a bed-frame for my then teenage son. We have perfected a vast number of design combinations using scaffold tube and reclaimed scaffold boards, reclaimed wood, virgin hardwood and waney edge timber. We can also add end shelves, cantilevered side tables, under bed storage; you name it we have probably already done it.
Let us know what you are thinking of and we can get a quote back to you and probably photo’s of, either something similar or elements we can combine to achieve what you are after.
The slab that forms the top of this table would have been rejected by most furniture makers. It is not square, has some signs of old insect damage, some irregular ripple figure and unusual spalting. To me, that is why it needs to be saved and become a piece of furniture.
To celebrate its irregularity it has been teamed up with a tripod set of Ash legs. It is quirky but it is absolutely unique.
This piece was made because I loved the wood rather than as a commission and is available now in our shop…
When is a pair not a pair? When it is made from natural materials. These two are more like siblings than the identical twins you would buy from a regular manufacturer. They are made to the same design but from adjacent boards from the same tree. some of the characteristics are the same but others are very different.
Each cabinet is made from a single board that forms the cabinet and another that forms the drawer fronts. The drawers themselves are made from dovetail jointed sycamore and run in rebates in the main cabinet. The top compartment is intended to be a safe place for gadgets on charge (thus there is no back so cables can reach them).
This was a particularly lovely project to work on. Our client was remodelling his son and new daughter-in-law’s garden whilst they were on honeymoon. Their house was in London and garden space was at a premium so he wanted to make sure that the bench fitted exactly and no space was wasted.
We managed to secure some fabulous sweet chestnut planted during the 1660’s and some larger oak for the legs so as to ensure that the bench was incredibly durable. We went for a traditional design but accentuated it by highlighting the natural edge of the Sweet Chestnut. Using full width boards also allowed us to grain match across the slats. Traditional joinery was used throughout along with draw-bored joints so that the glue is not critical to the benches strength.
The dog is ours but she knows a comfy seat when she sees one.
We do not just produce big, centre-piece furniture. We are very happy to produce the work horses of the home that just need to do a very specific job well and look good while they do it.
These days we all have that annoying load of cables, odd boxes, sockets, etc. where our phone and broadband enter the house. This was one of our customers’ solution. All the messy gubbins fit inside by the incoming phone socket. The phone sits on top and the whole thing is out of the way.
It is made of reclaimed scaffold planks and with painted plywood doors that run in grooves cut into the cabinet. The only posh bit of wood is the oak handles on the doors (from the off-cut bin). Everything is neatly tucked away and it even matches the media unit that he had purchased from us earlier in the year.
This beautiful piece of London Plane was felled and milled in a monastery in London. We were commissioned to produce a desk and pedestal for our clients home office. The desk features a waney edge top, resin filled where necessary and a secret draw set into the front, large enough to store a laptop with facility for the charger to be invisibly plugged in. The pedestal is mobile and features three dovetail jointed sycamore draws with London Plane fronts and bar handles running on heavy duty ball bearing runners.
The stunning wood combines with what appears, externally, to be a simple design to great effect. Our clients only complaint has been that he has got distracted during more boring conference calls due to staring at the incredible character of the wood.
We have a great wood recycling project locally and as they are near one of our tool suppliers, the temptation to pop in is sometimes a bit overwhelming. On this occasion it was very worthwhile. Most of their stock is softwood but sometimes something a little more interesting comes to light. The plank that forms the top of this table had been stained a dark indigo so it was impossible to identify that it was oak until it had been thoroughly sanded. Similarly the lovely bits of Ash that form the legs had been painted with a thick grey paint.
I retained some of the indigo on the top so that the piece still has a story to tell and it is beautifully set off by the crisp simple Ash leg design. It makes for an ideal hallway along with a couple of hand carved bowls for change and keys. In fact it worked so well, my wife insisted we keep it.
Our client came to me with a rather hard worn piece Iroko that used to be part of the desk at which he had revised for his A-Levels, it is fair to say that was some time ago and the wood had seen better days but he wanted to keep the memories in a ‘new’ piece of furniture.
Our client has a penchant for mid century furniture so we worked through some designs based upon that aesthetic. He sourced some original dansette legs that we refurbished and fitted on the refinished and reshaped table top. In case you are wondering the curve on the long side has a radius of 2.85m, You weren’t? OK!
It would be almost impossible to discern the finished piece from a 1950’s original. The design is incredibly authentic and the wood has a wonderful patina that looks just like a well cared for older piece. Only our customer knows the real history behind it. Though, I suspect he may have told quite a few people by now.
A local boutique hotel commissioned us to make a headboard as part of their refurbishment of one of their rooms (Along with the bed and some rather clever luggage storage). We used this spectacular piece of Sweet Chestnut, stabilised with Iroko butterfly joints. We also incorporated some simple bedside tables and lights. This solution was ideal for a hotel as a full bedside cabinet is not required and it facilitates cleaning. It also saves on purchasing two more pieces of furniture. We are always keen to use good design to ensure that we meet our clients need, in this case we were able to provide something spectacular and unique but by avoiding the need for other pieces of furniture, save money and reduce operational costs.
We think the look is stunning and they must have too as they commissioned another when they refurbished their next room.
This is a great example of how custom furniture can save you money. Our client lives in a Victorian mid-terrace. Space it is at a premium and off the peg solutions would end up with disused space either side of the unit and behind it.
Our custom solution is tapered so that the TV can face into the room whilst sitting naturally on the unit, which perfectly fits the space available. The vertical board at the rear even hides all the cables that run up and down between the various boxes that feed the TV.
With house prices as high as they are, why throw away money by not using space when custom furniture can help you use every last inch?
At Colwill and Co we can handle the entire process of making furniture from trees; from felling, milling and seasoning the timber through to designing and making your furniture.
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