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Inspiration

When old favourites met new friends

When old favourites met new friends

If you’ve been with us a for a while, chances are you’ve heard us saying how we always design with timelessness in mind. Well, we also like to put our money where our mouth is, so we’ve taken a look back through our autumn 2020 photography to pin-point the design partnerships that really demonstrate our commitment to timelessness – whether that’s a new piece paired with one we’ve been making for years, one that’ll sit happily alongside antiques, or even a new design with an old soul made ever-so modern with a lick of paint.

The Ardingly cabinet & the Hebden table

The first of our pairings brings together the new Ardingly cabinet and the Hebden table (a classic trestle design, you could easily substitute Hebden for any other trestle in this situation if that’s what you already have at home) to create what, we think, is a perfect home office partnership. These pieces don’t match, but they do share a common ground in their clean lines and pared-back simplicity, which is why they work so well together. In our photo, we’ve chosen to use Hebden’s glass top and a palette of Blakeney Blue, Burnham Red and Olive (on the walls), which all in all, creates a rather smart look. But, with both pieces available in any paint colour, and the option of both an oak top and oak legs on Hebden, the sky’s the limit in terms of the kind of personality you could bring to this pairing.

If you’re not lucky enough to have a dedicated home office though, this is also a partnership that’ll translate easily to the dining room or kitchen. Hebden comes in both six-seater (pictured here) and eight-seater sizes, so it works as both dining table and desk, while Ardingly allows you to squirrel all your work away come supper time and, with its doors shut, will look perfectly at home as a dresser-like piece.

To complete the picture, we’d suggest our Wardley dining chair, either painted or in Darkened Oak to match Ardingly’s legs. Just like the other pieces, it’s a minimal design, but its rounded spindles will bring a little softness to the space.

The Sunbury sideboard & the Caspar armchair

The combination of our new, tall and slim Sunbury sideboard with a compact armchair like Caspar is a match made in small space heaven. Because of Sunbury’s dimensions, it can slip quite happily into somewhere like a hallway, a cottage living room or a kitchen’s corner without taking up too much floorspace and still provide a useful amount of storage. The addition of the armchair completes the picture, creating a cosy corner and giving you somewhere to pull on your boots, to sit and chat to the cook, or to curl up with a book (perch a short lamp on top, like the small Olney – because Sunbury’s quite tall, you want a lamp that’s on the lower side to create a more intimate puddle of light).

These two work particularly well together because, like our last pairing, they share a similarly boxy (in the best way) silhouette. But, Sunbury’s such an understated design that it’ll pair with just about anything, so you could absolutely make use of any well-loved armchair you already have at home.

The Shepton cabinet & an antique table

Our next pairing is one that’s less about bringing together a just-arrived design with one from our own existing collection, and more about how these brand-new pieces can sit harmoniously alongside the much, much older.

Antique designs were very often made using a real level of craftsmanship, with care given to the finishing from head to toe. So, when you’re pairing them with newly-made pieces, the combination will feel much more comfortable if your contemporary addition is just as considered. And it’s this heirloom-worthy approach to thinking that informs all our designs. Take the Shepton cabinet, for instance, which we’ve photographed in this bathroom as a linen closet – its finer details include timber zig-zag shelf supports (a feature borrowed from antique dressers), a stop chamfer on the outside edges of the frame (this is a groove that runs almost from top to bottom on the corners, stopping just short to create subtle shaping below the cornice and above the foot), and elegantly tapered feet, so it more than meets up to the standards of the antique table next to it.

The Wycombe armchair & the Shoreditch sofa

When you’re gathering together a group of seating in your home’s living room, while there’s no need to meticulously match seat heights, it is worth choosing chairs and sofas that won’t place the room’s occupants at vastly different levels. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to be looked down on, or placed up on a pedestal.

It’s also the case that the height can dramatically alter the feeling of a piece. Take our new Wycombe armchair, for instance. Its low stance was inspired by eastern seating traditions – laidback floor cushions and meditation chairs that encourage an easeful, cross-legged position. So, even though you can certainly partner it with a more upright sofa design, when teamed with the equally low and languid Shoreditch, there’s something very pleasing about the way the backrest heights almost line up and the thoroughly relaxed look of the space.

Interestingly, we’ve photographed them together in a very high-ceilinged room, something you perhaps wouldn’t think could work. In fact, it’s this lowering of your eye’s focus that helps make this towering space feel much cosier.

Four more to try

A quick-fire round of new-meets-old pairings…

Olive, Walnut & the Chichester dresser

Chichester has been in our collection since almost the very beginning, and it’s a truly timeless piece. Which is why we felt it would work brilliantly with an equally timeless but new (for us) repainting: a Walnut exterior, which references brown antique furniture, with the heritage-inspired Olive inside.

The Caspar sofa & the Arthur footstool

This teaming of the new Caspar sofa with the Neptune classic Arthur footstool is about contrast as well as harmony – while the legs are dramatically different in style, Arthur’s buttoning complement’s Caspar’s old-world, clubby studs.

The Wardley bed, the Wycombe armchair & the Northwich stool

Another combination that, like the Ardingly/Hebden one, works so well because all the pieces share a similarly stripped-back character. For interest, opt for three different finishes (here, that’s the oak Wycombe with a Silver Birch-painted Northwich and Ink-painted Wardley) – these three can take it.

Pink Peppercorn, Mustard & the Shepton cabinet

Even though Shepton works so well with antique pieces, that doesn’t mean it can’t take on a thoroughly modern frame of mind. Case in point: a sugary Pink Peppercorn exterior and a fiery Mustard yellow interior to lend of-the-moment personality.

For more ideas on combining the new and the old, visit any one of our stores.

Tags: Interiors