Interiors Archive

Juliet Fishenden

Ideal Home magazine has run a feature on Artisan Lighting. (March 2015, p16) They claim it as the ‘Next Big Thing’. We hope so and were thrilled to see our Farrier’s Cage Long light, designed by Anthony Dickens, featured alongside 4 other designer pendant lights. Ideal Home state that: ‘The Backlash to a throwaway society has prompted the revival of artisan craftsmanship. The latest luxury items are made using expert skills and traditional materials to create sustainable, memorable and unique pieces’.

“Re-imagining an everyday cage light by using design details unique to the forging process.” Anthony Dickens

Farrier's Cage Light Long

Juliet Fishenden

Things from nature have something about them that are pleasant to the eye. It’s a part of the natural World that most of us humans can appreciate, especially when it is in the form of furniture. Most of us will have a piece of furniture made of wood or metal or a combination of the two in our houses. They work beautifully together. Richard remembers as a boy being in awe seeing the massive iron handles and hinges on his local Church door. “The huge oak panels and the blacksmithed hinges just seemed to merge together to become one”.

Crafts people have used both for centuries; partly because it was all they had. They made items to cherish, decorate and that were practical for their homes. We have always wanted to combine wood and metal together to make something special and so when Made by the Forge got the chance to work with designer Chris Eckersely and master craftsman Dave Green we were were really excited.
Chris at home with some of his chairs
Chris (above) specialises in chairs and furniture made from wood. We invited Chris to our forge to learn some blacksmithing skills and then Chris went away and came up with plans for a wooden chair with forged ironwork integrated within it.
Sketch of Forge Chair
The back slats that are normally made of wood have been replaced by ironwork. We used a piece of round bar and then heated and forged it flat so that it would be softer to the seated persons back. The stay that joins the legs together was also made of iron. Chris decided to keep the whole piece natural and so we finished the iron parts of the chair in beeswax.
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We took the ironwork parts to Dave Green, who owns the renowned British chair makers Sitting Firm. He had the task of making all the wooden parts and then putting the chair together. He carefully chose English Ash and Elm from the shores of Loch Lomond. Every chair is individual as the grain of the wood will never be the same, the hammer marks are never in the same spot so it is therefore a special and a true piece of traditional craftsmanship. The end result was a stunning piece of furniture.
Forge Chair for blog

If you would more information on this chair then please get in touch by calling us on: +44 (0)1473 487118 or to speak with Richard direct on 07787 542 860 or email us at sales@madebytheforge.co.uk.

Every chair is hand made and hand built by Made by the Forge and Sitting Firm. If you would like to sit on the chair and experience how comfortable it is then please call to arrange a sitting!

Juliet Fishenden

We love these beautiful fabrics from Mulberry and Linwood which both use game birds to create a country house style. There are plenty of colourful pheasants around us in the fields in Suffolk so its a perfect match for our home. Our classic wrought iron poles are simply perfect for showcasing luxurious drapes and our choice of finials means that you can choose be discreet or make a statement. Both materials have quite a large pattern which gives an immediate impact to any upholstery or curtains.
Mulberry

We find it’s always worth getting a selection of fabric samples and pinning them to your existing curtain or chair to see how it looks and to see if the scale of the pattern suits the size of your room. It is also useful to see the fabric in different lights throughout the day.
linwood chair
http://www.linwoodfabric.com/sporting-life

If something more contemporary is more your style then sign up to this blog and watch for updates where we will be showcasing more of 2015’s fabulous fabrics.

Juliet Fishenden

One of our customers lives in an old cottage and is used to draughts but the one through the front door into the hall was becoming a problem. Richard made her a new curtain pole and Cannon Ball finial to replace the old wooden one which didn’t support a thick curtain very well as the fixings were not strong enough and were pulling away from the plaster.
MBTF_hot cannonball

“With a recess bracket on the left the curtain can sit tight to the wall now and the strong solid pole with a robust bracket supports a heavier curtain. With a classic Cannonball finial it looks really smart and adds a finishing touch”. Thanks G from Suffolk
Cannon Ball Finial on slate
Made by the Forge’s Style Tip: We in the office felt that, if there was enough room, the curtain and space may benefit from a tie back hook and a separate tie back. In the summer months when we look for drafts the curtain neatly tucked away could be of benefit. There are lots of different options for tie backs. They can be made from the same curtain material or there are many tassels on the market to choose from. A door curtain can have that finishing touch and be really quite decorative.
tie-back-hook-01

Juliet Fishenden

I recently visited the new, much talked of, M Restaurant, on Threadneedle Street in the City of London. It was a wow moment the minute I walked in the door. I could not focus on any one thing as there was so much of interest to look at. Loads of amazing lights, all different sizes, all different shapes, lots of shine and sparkle and lots of cool earthy tones all mixed together in an amazing eclectic combination. The decor works brilliantly and I want to go there again just to sit on the plush velvet seating, eat and drink and look and wonder.

M Restaurant

M Restaurant

This is what they say on their website:

‘The debut of the multifaceted venue M, created by Martin Williams, (former MD of Gaucho), has been hailed as one of the most highly anticipated openings of the year. M houses two restaurants, a destination cocktail bar, a wine tasting room, a secret den and four private dining and events spaces. Featuring interiors by Rene Dekker Design and art by Miles Aldridge (courtesy Grimaldi Gavin, London), M boasts an all-star line-up. Head Chef Jarad McCarroll has moved across from Chiltern Firehouse, overseen by Exec Chef Michael Reid (right hand man to Melbourne’s ‘Rock star Chef’, Shannon Bennett). The restaurant is headed up by Francesco Cappucci, who was previously in charge at Cecconi’s.’

We were delighted when Rene Decker the award winning interior designers who have the most exquisite style, commissioned us to make a collection of lights for one of M’s private dining rooms. They look amazing and they sit perfectly in this very smart, cool space situated down the middle of the long table. I think I need to plan a party!

Farrier's Cages in M Restaurant

 

Juliet Fishenden

The interior designers we work with have said that when dressing a window the whole space should be looked at very carefully to begin with. Accessories such as curtain hold backs and tie backs should not be overlooked because for most of the day your curtains will be pulled back. They control the curtain and give it a little extra glamour. We agree that these  little finishing touches make a room even more special. Our solid wrought iron hold backs have been designed to match our curtain pole finials.

hold back

Fabric or cord curtain tie backs are also very practical and stylish. We offer a very neat and discreet wrought iron tie back hook which works fabulously with a decorative cord.

Tie back on curtain

The right curtain hold backs can make a difference, giving your window treatment just a little more interest and style.

Juliet Fishenden

At Made by the Forge we pride ourselves in offering a proper, old fashioned customer service. We have many products available in a standard size and we also offer a custom made service if you need it.

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For example with our curtain poles we are able to make brackets at any projection to suit your needs. This is particularly helpful in old houses when the walls are not straight!

This is what one of our customers thought of our service:

“Made by the Forge makes a terrific handmade ironwork product and provides impeccable service. Richard is always available to provide advice and is very responsive to particular requirements. We were doing a major refurbishment project in Central London where each window needed poles and fittings adapted to particular tight fits and cornice situations, as so often happens in old converted buildings. Richard responded by making special fittings and finials; always quickly, efficiently, and at very reasonable prices. Plus this ironwork looks great with sophisticated fabrics. It would be a pleasure to use Made by the Forge again.” A.C. Chelsea, London

Hot bracket

We are thrilled that AC is thrilled and look forward to seeing some photos.

 

Juliet Fishenden

It is that time of year when the weather starts changing when it is time to think of cosy nights by the fire. This always gets one thinking about losing the drafts from windows and doors. We have begun pulling our wool curtains that are fully lined to keep in the warmth from our extremely old, somewhat drafty, wattle and daub walls! We are also thinking about changing our finials. As all of our finials are interchangeable it is not a difficult task. Just one that may take many hours to agree!

Recently Ngila Boyd an interior design and decoration expert has featured a Thumper Finial Curtain Pole on her website gallery from a stunning Country house project she masterminded. Ngila has been in this business for over 30 years and has always been proud to support artisans and craftspeople right from the start.

Country House Ngila Boyd

 

Our work is greatly inspired by nature and we plant a tree for every product that we sell. One year Richard was using a tool – he calls it the Thumper – to thump the roots in firmly. As he did so he suddenly realised that it would make a perfectly shaped finial. It was a particularly cold March afternoon, so he was more that happy to light the forge and produce a curtain pole version. Full story here.

Thumper and Thumper

 

The Thumper finial also works fabulously behind a cooking range as shown here.

Thumper pan rack

 

To see all the images for the Thumper finial click here.

 

 

Juliet Fishenden

Here at Made by the Forge we are gearing up for exhibiting our new lighting collection at London design junction which starts on the 18th September. We have had many decisions to make and one of them has been regarding lamp shades. The photos are of shades that Chris Eckersley has designed specifically for his Highview lamps. We are not taking the wrapping paper off until the show!

 

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Chris Eckersely has designed a stunning upright standard lamp and a curved reading light both which have lamp shades over the bulb. It was decided, after much discussion, to keep the lamp shades in a neutral colour so not to detract from the beauty of the solid iron structure he has developed. However, the beauty of covered lamp shades is that the shade can be custom made with any material, of any colour to suit anyones individual, personal style. Joanna Wallis who hand makes bespoke lamp shades offers the most beautiful options which are very dramatic depending upon your own decor.

Juliet Fishenden
Here are a couple of style tips for today – if you have small windows you can make them look larger by having your curtain pole extend generously either side of the window and hang curtains to the floor. The trend is that curtains should  ‘pool’ on the floor depending on the fabric. This makes more of a statement of the window rather than hiding it with small curtains.
Another trick is to pick up the colour from the surrounding wall to give the illusion of continuous space.
One of the interior designers we have worked with, Jane McIntyre (http://www.janemcintyredesign.com/blog/aged-and-natural-linens/) has some wonderful linens which are made by a Scottish company and treated so that they hang beautifully, great inspiration for making a feature of your windows this summer.
Style tips