Interiors Archive

There are few things more satisfying in our business than finding talented interior designers who understand what we do and how and why we do it. Knowing that our products are gracing interior spaces all over the world gives us a warm glow of satisfaction. Professional respect in a mutually beneficial relationship makes everyone feel good. Both Nicolas of Boxx Creative (Nicola Keenan and Nicola Lindsell) understood Made by the Forge’s spirit immediately. Our work and commitment to both excellence and the environment complemented their own design philosophy to a tee. One look at Boxx Creative’s project page (https://www.boxx.design/projects-index) tells you all you need to know about the company’s skill, creative flair and fine taste. We are thrilled to be in collaboration with them.

We were delighted to provide café rods, bespoke brackets and a crescent door pole for a most dramatic tartan curtain that greets you as you enter The Hunter’s Moon pub and restaurant in South Kensington. Its interiors look really stylish and inviting.


Photography: Annabel Moeller. Design: Boxx Creative.

Café rods or café poles are now becoming quite the ‘in-thing’ in restaurants, pubs and homes across the land. They attach halfway down either side of a window allowing light in but maintaining privacy from the drawn half-curtains. The poles are very slim with a diameter of 12mm and look very sleek once installed. We offer two different styles of brackets; the first is on a flat wall plate which can be discreetly attached to the recess of your window. The pole then sits inside the cup. The second is a small round bracket which is attached to the outside of the window frame (we call it face fix) and the pole fits neatly through it. To keep it simple, there is the option of no finials or one very small button end. We now have a new dedicated page offering these café poles so it is easy to order them from our website. Take a look: https://www.madebytheforge.co.uk/curtains/cafe-rod.html

Nicola Lindsell commented on our collaboration. In her own words…

‘At Boxx Creative, we’re driven to find suppliers who align with our ethos of ‘consciously creating’ and who’s products complement our interior design schemes. Having been referred to Made by the Forge by another interior designer, and after further investigation into their set up and background, we knew we wanted to collaborate with them on our project.  Their passion for their craft, personal service, and friendly team delivered a high quality product, on time and to budget. 

Our design for The Hunter’s Moon, the British country pub in the heart of South Kensington, champions comfort and cosy get togethers. As part of the scheme we installed a large double sided woollen  entrance curtain that hangs from a semi-circular wrought iron curtain pole.  Made by the Forge crafted the fixing to look elegant whilst sturdy enough to withstand the job in hand – no mean feat.  Cafe curtains in the front window added to the intimate setting and created a soft barrier between the busy Fulham Road and cosy pub within.  Again, a subtle fixing method that was both practical and refined in design was lovingly created and installed.

Made by the Forge are trustworthy and reliable suppliers who create sustainable and artisanal products.  We’re proud to install and commission their products in our projects and look forward to the next time we will work together.’’

There is a pertinent phrase attributed to no less a figure than Leonardo da Vinci that most creatives apply to their own endeavours. It is that “Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Deadlines focus the mind and often this is helpful to actually get things done. Being a small business taking care of marketing on a very modest level, we have no deadlines. And so we come to the creation of the second Made by the Forge poster, a work that spanned too many moons to count as we finalised the images, the text and the arrangement of both to create a pleasing whole. You could say that it’s one work of art that was less abandoned than most.

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Summing up our business and our product line in an eye-catching and modern way is a great pleasure because we know exactly what we stand for. Richard’s own blacksmith grandfather allows us to evoke the timeless aspects of the craft while superb photography shows you how our products fit effortlessly into twenty-first century lifestyles. We are blessed to work on a raw material with such an authentic history and designs that have proved to be evergreen.

On one side of the poster, we illustrate this history together with photos of our products in a variety of environments. On the other side, we state our ethos which includes our commitment to sustainability by planting a tree for each order received and we promote our  work with designers to broaden our range. And for those detail oriented sticklers out there, there is a small error on the poster which managed to get through our stringent checks. See if you can spot it. You get a poster with every order and please get in touch if you’d like one sent out to you.

enquiries@madebytheforge.co.uk

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If measuring up your standard window for a curtain pole was easy, measuring up a bay window involves a few more steps and measurements to take. Bays can be curved or have a number of bends based on the number of windows contained in the bay. The more bends, the more measurements are needed. To take a typical example, let’s go through measuring up a four-bend bay.

First of all, rustle up someone to help with the measuring, as bays are usually too large for one pair of outstretched arms to manage. The most important thing to bear in mind when measuring is that true symmetry rarely exists in the real world. Never assume one measurement is the same as another because they look symmetrical. Measure each line to the nearest millimetre. And if you have to bend the tape to get a measurement, start the tape at that end. If the tape has to be bent, the reading cannot be trusted. Use a pencil to mark where you are measuring to and from for accuracy.

As the diagram shows, a four-bend bay has six points, A to F. Measurements are needed for the following:

A to F, the width of the window.

A to B (including finials), B to C, C to D, D to E and E to F (including finials).

In order for Made by the Forge to produce a single accurate bay window curtain pole, we also need the diagonals measured:

A to D, A to E. C to E, C to F. B to D, B to E, B to F.

Have a look at the top left and right of the diagram. The ends of the pole that wrap around to re-join the wall line are called returns. If you want returns, we need two more measurements:

1 to A and F to 2.

If you visit our bay page here, you will see many types of bay. Click on the one that you have and the measurement boxes are all ready for your figures and the online calculator will show you the price.

As ever, any questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118 or contact us via email.

 

There are subtle differences between these two finishes as illustrated in the images which show both colours alongside each other. The beeswax finish on the right is a natural wax that is applied to the metal as soon as it is forged, while the iron is still hot. Once cool, it gives the metal a protective coating yet has no colour. The result is a piece of ironwork with a very dark, luxurious ‘sheen’. It allows the natural colour and grain of the metal to stand out.

Our matt black finish on the left above, is is an all over paint. It has a consistent finish that will wear well and not change in colour over time. It can be wiped clean with a damp sponge and is more suitable in a damp area than beeswax. The paint covers the iron completely giving it a uniform, slick appearance and looks incredibly smart framing a window or on any piece of ironwork. The beeswax or matt black paint will enhance the beauty of the metalwork.

It is well known that black never goes out of style but which shade is always the most pressing question? That’s your choice and we hope these pictures have helped you decide.

If you have any other questions regarding the finishes please do send us an email to sales@madebytheforge.co.uk or call 01473 487118 for more information.

“So why hire a designer? The myth that designers swan into the house, bully the client into submission to have the latest trends – whether or not it suits person or house, charge a fortune and run a mile when things start to get tough is one that is hard to break. The reality is that a good designer listens to the client and tries first and foremost to truly understand their needs and aspirations. Not everyone wants a state of the art show house. Most want something that suits their lifestyle but they don’t necessarily have the time, the skills or the confidence to organise their ideas into a coherent space.

“I have always enjoyed meeting the client, seeing their home, their current furnishings, meeting the kids and the dogs and really trying to get into their lifestyle. Usually I go home afterwards, write copious notes, head through my vast library of fabrics, wall and floor coverings and paint samples and come up with the basics, ready for our next discussion. This new way of working through Zoom meetings has rather put paid to that and although I can chat forever on line with them it’s not the same as face to face and seeing their reaction when they handle fabrics, which are generally my starting point of any scheme. But one needs to move forward and it has it’s advantages once we get past the embarrassing moments of delay on Zoom, less time spent in travel means more time allowed for research, so it is beginning to become the norm. I have successfully finished a few projects without even stepping inside the homes or meeting the clients face to face, so here’s to a new way of doing things, at least for the foreseeable future.”

We asked Jane a few questions about her work.

How do you manage a client whose taste in interior design doesn’t quite line up with your own?

“I don’t “manage” my clients, it’s more the other way round, they “manage” me as I am working for them and trying to fulfil their dreams. I may gently guide them through the mire of indecision but I certainly never “manage” them.”

How much of your own instincts inform your work as opposed to those aspects in which you have been educated?

“Instinct and intuition are a designer’s best tools. I can’t really remember my education, it was so long ago and I always rebelled, went against the grain, so it was really just a stepping stone.”

In the next blog, Jane answers a few more questions on the practical working life of an interior designer.

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com

Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

In the second part of our blog on Interior designer Jane McIntyre, Jane tells us how she works with Made by the Forge’s curtain poles.

“Often a whole room is schemed around a curtain fabric so what you hang then on them is very important. There was a time when large, grand windows demanded huge wooden poles or ornate pelmets, but I have hung three metre high curtains on Made by the Forge’s poles in a Manor house and the effect was stunning. Equally, I am about to order some for a teeny cottage with even teenier windows and I will be putting the self same poles up there and know they will be perfect. I’ve also used the French poles once and am contemplating those for another project that requires an absolutely simple treatment.

“One of my most challenging jobs for the poles was in a 16th Century timber framed house in Winchester where the downstairs windows went to within an inch of the very crooked ceilings, leaving no room at all for poles. Persuading the client – who favoured fat wooden poles or pelmets – that the forged poles would work perfectly was a work in itself, then the builder fired off his own directive about the insubstantial lath and plaster walls being unable to hold the weight of curtains, let alone solid metal poles. As the curtains were heavy textured velvet with thick interlining – those houses are draughty however much heating goes in – this was a challenge!

“Not to be beaten, we put a baton all the way along the top of the window and 30cms either side, taking the line from the lowest point of the ceiling – this we fixed with many screws and a lot of Gripfill*. We put the top of the bracket as high as we could on this baton and packed out the base of the bracket to level it. The idea of this exercise was to spread the load across the wall rather than just in the places were the brackets would – or wouldn’t – fix to the wall. Applying my trademark “boofy” headings, or in rather more technical terms a 10cm heading above the tape, which flops away from the pole in a random fashion and in this case crushed in parts against the ceiling, all in all disguising the crooked space. Given enough width in a curtain can create a very dramatic and opulent feel. Four years later the curtains still stand and with the success of that window we went on to do the whole house with Richard’s poles.”

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

*Other adhesives are available.

Jane’s professional life is as colourful as the fabrics she loves so much. She’s been an entertainment promoter working with the UK’s top comic talent, as well as organising Torvill and Dean’s ice shows. She spent time in the fashion industry and is now running her own interior design company. We’ve had a decade long relationship with Jane so we first asked her how she found us…

“I found Made by The Forge quite by chance, long before the joys of social media were constantly sending us new links and feeds. I think it must have been a mention in a magazine where our paths crossed. I had been using forged poles for years, but when my current blacksmith (happily, also my partner) retired and moved to carpentry I couldn’t find anyone local who could come up with anywhere near his standard. Forging is one skill, but adding the design element is quite another and I was immediately impressed with the way Richard had interpreted this gap in the market. There was an abundance of metal poles around, but none capable of hanging the heavy velvet curtains which I was favouring at the time while still remaining sleek and simple.

“Another very important aspect of my choice to now only use Made by the Forge is that even if I could find a local artisan blacksmith with a great eye for design, of which I am sure there are many, I would be surprised if they had the overall ability to interpret my needs and meet my deadlines. Tying in all the finishing touches of a refurbishment can be tricky at the best of times. Knowing that Richard and his team will have the order on site exactly when it was promised, will jump to instantly and pop extra rings in the post if I have miscalculated and if I suddenly need another last minute pole, will do everything in their power to whizz that order through, is very reassuring. The prices are excellent, there are no hidden costs and I have no idea how they can offer such good shipping rates for such heavy items! And so the relationship was born, why would I look elsewhere when this works so well!”

Call Jane: 02380 812239
Email: jane@janemcintyredesign.com Website: https://janemcintyredesign.com

Over the past few months, many of us have enjoyed taking the time to browse online or flick through magazines for interiors inspiration. Whether you scroll on platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest or pick up the latest issue of the major home décor magazines, elegant cottage kitchens are everywhere. It’s no surprise that fresh takes on the French-inspired, rustic kitchens are a mainstay of stylish interiors magazines, given their warm, inviting style and ease of maintenance.

On Instagram and Pinterest, homeowners and renters alike are making some simple changes to transform their kitchens, and it doesn’t have to cost the earth. Many interior gurus have taken to painting their existing kitchen furniture to give it that cottage kitchen feel. Classic navy tones, soft greys, duck-egg blues, cream hues or light sage greens can all be perfect colours to create a classic, rustic look, which gives dated kitchens a new lease of life.

Finishing touches

If you’re thinking of revamping your kitchen, don’t forget the importance of finishing touches. From freshly-painted cupboard fronts to bespoke hardware, a few simple tweaks can make a huge difference to the overall look of your kitchen space. Changing dated wooden hooks and handles for iron pull handles can really transform your kitchen.

Stylish storage

To help create the illusion of space some opt for open-fronted storage; taking the doors off cupboards or putting up shelving units for crockery and glassware is a nice way to create a relaxed, lived-in feel. Open-fronted cupboards, shelves and dressers make it easy to access crockery and cookware, as well as reducing the time it takes to put things away. Just make sure that you use strong, iron brackets to support your shelves, this is particularly important in the kitchen, where pots, pans and crockery place a heavy load on cupboards and shelving. Iron kitchen racks can be sturdier and more hard-wearing than wooden or MDF cupboards, and are just as suitable for offering a rustic take on suburban style as they are for showing off the countryside charm of cottages and rural homes.

Hang pots and pans

If cupboard and shelf space are at a premium in your kitchen, wrought iron hooks are a fantastic way to store your pots and pans, keeping them off surfaces, whilst contributing to that cosy cottage ambience. ‘S’ hooks on metal brackets are a lovely feature, often used in traditional country cottage kitchens; made from handcrafted wrought iron, brackets and hooks can help to create a handmade personalised feel in a kitchen, whether you’re renovating or simply sprucing up a tired, old kitchen.

Rustic-style textiles

Varied textures and fabrics are a quintessential feature of a chic cottage kitchen. If you’re choosing curtains in your kitchen area, then you might like to consider a handmade curtain pole. Linen curtains in muted tones are a great choice, combining the rustic style of natural fibres with the understated elegance of wrought iron French-style curtain poles offers a modern, stylish take on farmhouse style. Natural linens, understated colours and bespoke metal hardware look fantastic with natural stone or wooden flooring, creating a rich array of textures.

To set your interior apart from the flat-pack catalogues, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or even install a new kitchen from scratch. Whether you’re looking to lend a new lease of life to your old kitchen, transform this important space in your home, or offer a personal touch to a mass-produced kitchen, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. So, choose a muted, elegant tone for walls and cupboards, and accessorise with handmade fittings to create a chic, bespoke look in your cottage kitchen.

Measuring A Window For A Curtain Pole

It’s extraordinary how much gets done around the house when you are actively discouraged to leave it. What about that window you’ve been meaning to spruce up for ages? How difficult can measuring up for a Made by the Forge curtain pole be? Answer? Not at all… Just three simple steps… W. W. W. – Where, Width, Work out…

  1. Where is the pole going to go? Stand back, look at the window and check there are no beams, light switches or fittings in the way of a straight mount above the window. Ideally the pole should be mounted 15cm above the top of the window. If you have a low ceiling, it should be mounted halfway between the ceiling and the top of the window.
  2. Width of the window to be measured.
  3. Work Out 10% of the width of the window for each side’s drawback (the area the curtain hangs in when not drawn). Remember to allow for the thickness of your curtains and add one of two centimetres if necessary.

Also remember to take into consideration the length of the decorative finial at both ends, the size of your choice can be found on the finial’s product page online. We suggest adding one curtain ring for every 10cm of pole. Be sure to order an even number for symmetry.

For a video of Richard showing you these points, please click here. As ever, any questions, give us a call on +44 (0)1473 487118.

There is no other room in the home that benefits more from space saving ideas and practical answers to questions – that take in both efficiency and style – than the humble kitchen. And in these days of lockdown, these food spaces can be turned into stylish kitchen sanctuaries with a little clever planning. Made by the Forge offers a range of handmade ironwork accessories and space maximising products, guaranteed to last a lifetime and that’s just as well as style never goes out of fashion…

So, where to store all those specialised utensils… Yes, you can put them in a drawer but then they are out of sight, mind and accessibility. Hang them on the wall with your pots and pans on a kitchen rack and everything is ready to go but out of the way at the same time. A bespoke sized Kitchen Rail with as many hooks as you need is the perfect way to turn a wall into a storage area. Based on what you chose to store on the rail, you can christen it what you like… a Saucepan Hanger, a Saucepan Rack or even the more emotive name of a Frying Pan Wall Rack!

“..the depth of the brackets was just right for holding the pan lids. Cheers!” Daniel

Not normally associated with kitchens are wall shelves but these shelf brackets can take the heavy loads. On the wall displays are a great space for all your cookbooks and kitchen items that either don’t hang well on rails or insist by their nature to sit proudly on their own like plates, plants and storage jars. Give your kitchen a space gift facelift with our stylish racks and rails.