New workshop and showroom in South Shropshire

After years and years of working in cold, often dark and gloomy workshops, we have finally moved and opened our new one in Craven Arms. It has a large showroom so after much deliberation, we decided to go for it. It has plenty of space for Mark to work which has always been an issue. Mind you I expect he will manage to fill the space!. It has lots of natural light which makes life easier for Mark when working on close detail when upholstering. Above all it is warm and a very pleasant place to work, a good environment for both health and mental well being. 

The opening has been delayed as Mark hasn't been well. He may not be there everyday at the moment, so please do call ahead if you are making a special journey. If the lights are on but the door is locked, please knock. He may be in the back room making a sofa and cannot see the front door. We have furniture restored and re-upholstered for sale in the showroom, and in the storeroom, furniture to be re-upholstered so you can choose the fabric. 

Our new premises are in the old Robert Machin shop on Corvedale Road. This was a furniture shop until the pandemic, so I'd like to think Mr Machin would be happy to see us continuing as a furniture shop, although a different type of furniture to what he sold. He sadly passed away earlier in the year, so not able to see his old premises. Mark first met Mr Machin over 30 years ago when he started working for himself. Mr Machin offered Mark a workroom in the back to upholster furniture as Mark lived not too far away. He didn't take Mr Machin up on the offer but it feels like this has come full circle.

We hope you will visit if you live locally or are in the area. There is free parking right in front of the shop, and a large free car park opposite so very easy for loading. 6 Corvedale Road, Craven Arms. SY7 9NE We look forward to seeing you.

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Ole Wanscher chairs

We sometimes find chairs which we fall in love with. The design, shape and style just shouts at us. When we first saw this pair of Ole Wanscher chairs, we knew nothing about them but had to buy them. We are always thirsty for knowledge about any furniture we buy. Its lovely to know who the designer or maker is and its fascinating researching these designers and craftsmen.

Ole Wanscher was a designer we knew nothing about but the more we read about him, the more we wanted to know. 

Ole Wanscher was a Danish furniture designer born in 1903. He was known to be one of the greatest Scandinavian designers from the 20th Century. He was one of the leading figures in the Scandinavian Design movement, at a time when Scandinavian Design achieved worldwide popularity. He studied at the Danish School of Art & design and was influenced by Professor Kaare Klint. After completing his studies, the two worked together, setting up an office specializing in furniture design.

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Restored Danish Mid Century Sofa

I'm not always very good at showing before and after photos as I often forget to take after photos, but this small Danish mid century sofa really shows what can be done if you have the imagination.

Much of our unrestored Danish furniture doesn't get into the shop. Customers can see our stock on the website, then visit our workshop, and if they have the imagination they can choose the fabric and finish. This means you have a truly unique piece of furniture in your home. Now I know its not always easy to see past the often grubby old fabric, but if you look at a Danish sofa or chair, you can see the shape. This is what we love about much of the Danish chairs and Danish sofas we have, their shapes. They are often not huge pieces of furniture either which is what we specialise in. Small sofas and chairs are not always easy to find. If you have a small space, or indeed you are not six foot tall and want something comfortable and supportive to sit it, Danish chairs and Danish sofas are well worth considering.

The Danish sofa or Danish chair is stripped back to the frame, which means every piece of upholstery is removed. The frame is re-glued and repaired if required, legs sanded, stained and polished to the customers requirements. The frame is then upholstered so it complies with the UK fire regulations, and the final cover of the customers choice to finish. Hand stitched piping is often done to finish a piece off with studs or braid as requested or required. A completed Danish sofa or Danish chair ready for another lifetime of use. When you have quality frames, and use quality fillings and fabrics, this is what you have, a Danish sofa or Danish chair which will last.

The photographs below show what is possible if you have the imagination. If you'd like to see our currently availability then please take a look, or get in touch if you would like us to source something for you.

Danish chairs 

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Hardwood Timber

Our 13 year old son has been talking to his Dad today about rainforests. He loves geography. At school they had been discussing the destruction of the rainforests and to plant trees for the use of palm oil. He was telling his Dad they were talking about mahogany and teak which have been cut down and how its having a huge effect on the world and global warming. He asked Dad if he used mahogany or other hardwoods. Mark sat and explained. Yes he uses mahogany, teak and rosewood, but these are hardwoods that were cut down many many years ago before anyone had even heard of global warming. Some of the hardwoods were cut down well over a hundred years ago. Mark was not ashamed of using these woods and explained that we have been reusing hardwood timber for many years. One of the reasons why it has lasted it because its hardwood, slowing growing and had been around for probably hundreds of years before it was cut down. Mark also explained that he does not feel guilty when making new sofas and chairs. The reason for this is we use hardwood beech, a timber which is specifically grown in Europe for the use in making furniture. This beech will last for probably a hundred years so rather than have cheap disposable furniture, this type of furniture is actually better for the environment. Mark also went on to explain that the UK was once covered in oak trees before we cut them all down to make ships and other things needed to expand our Empire. We are now asking some of the poorest countries not to chop down their forests when they are doing this to provide for their citizens. As we are now much more aware of what we have done to the planet over the last two hundred years, we need to help other countries, educate them and give them an alternative to clearing the rainforest. 

As our son said, we all need to do our part and he now wants me to check that our light bulbs are energy saving. I think he's on the right track but as a country and world, we all need to do our part for the sake of our children and grand children.

If you'd like to see more of our beech handmade furniture the click here

If you'd like to see more of our furniture for restoration click here 

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Lock down 3, month one

One month of lock down 3 already gone. January did feel like an eternity if I'm honest but we are into February now, snowdrops in the garden, daffs poking their heads through so it feels like Spring is fighting its way to get through, and our shop will hopefully be open soon.

I've been in the workshop almost everyday with Mark. I can tell you its not easy. There is only so much tidying up to do! We've made and sold some footstools in January, re-upholstered chairs for customers, finished off a chair which is heading to Sheffield, and currently Mark is in the process of making two 1920's style sofas for a customer in Chester.

We've restored a few pieces for the shop which are on the website, taken some orders for new pieces to be made, so keeping busy. It does feel different from the first lock down. There are more vehicles on the road than before, but its feels scarier than the first lock down as so many more have been ill with the virus. Thankfully, we've been lucky but taking care to make sure when we deliver we are masked and sanitized before and after delivery. Customers have been brilliant, staying at a safe distance but it doesn't feel good having to leave quickly when we have delivered. I do like a chat with customers but now is not the time to do so.

It's also our 20th birthday in May. Yes 20 years since we opened our shop in Shrewsbury. I still believe that there is a future for the high street but you need to come and support the high street retailers before its too late. Shrewsbury has many independent retailers who are here to offer great service which you won't get from Amazon. We all will be welcoming you back as soon as we are allowed to.

In the meantime, I will continue to be the apprentice in the workshop until the shop can be opened. Please do get in touch if you wish to discuss any pieces for sale.

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Danish Chairs

Danish Chairs, such a huge choice of styles, and designers. What we love about Danish furniture is their core principles. Their designs focus on functionality and simplicity. Inspired by nature, you can see from the grains in the timber that it has been carefully chosen to ensure only the best grain is used. Expert craftsman have spent hours shaping the curves, making the joints which are designed and made to last a lifetime and more. Comfort is also at the core of design. Danish chairs are ergonomically designed so you can sit in comfort for hours. Many of our customers have told us they are the most comfortable chairs they have ever sat on.

What we do find it that many of our customers don’t necessarily buy a Danish chair because it Danish. They buy it because they love it. This should always be the case. Buy something you love and want to keep forever. Whether you want a statement chair or something more subtle, buying a quality Danish chair will hold its value and will be able to be recovered at a future date. When you buy Danish furniture, you buy for life. Now this has to be good for the environment.

Danish vintage chairs for restoration where you can choose the fabric https://www.littlefurnitureshop.co.uk/danish/arm-chairs

Danish vintage chairs ready for delivery https://www.littlefurnitureshop.co.uk/ready-to-buy

 

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Danish Chairs by Kai Kristiansen

Kai Kristiansen has designed and produced furniture since the early 1950’s. Born in Denmark in 1929, he first started his apprenticeship as a cabinet maker, before enrolling at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1948. working with teak, oak and rosewood.

His designs are well know for  curves but also for comfort.  Kai Kristiansen collaborated with some well know makers including Fritz Hansen, and Magnus Olesen. Because his designs were so difficult to produce, they eventually went out of production. In 2014, Kai Kristiansen  collaborated with Miyazaki Chair Company in Japan to re-imagine some of his classics designs, which resulted in the Handy Chair, 4110 Chair, and Paper Knife seating collection.

Today, his vintage designs are highly collectable, and he is recognised as one of the most talented Scandinavian designers of the 20th century.

Kai Kristiansen continues to live and work in Copenhagen, working with designers and manufacturers.

We often have Kai Kristiansen chairs either re-upholstered or to be restored so please do get in touch to see what is available or browse through our website.

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