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Country Creatures Design Series : George Smith

At Country Creatures we are proud of the British producers and designers that we use in the refurbishment of our properties. The Double Red Duke opening just as soon as we are able in 2021 has undergone a major renovation programme utilising the very best of British manufacturing. We work with people we know and trust. Our Country Creatures Design Series showcases the skill and incredible workmanship of these brilliant companies. For part six in our series we are shining a spotlight on George Smith: British makers of luxury handcrafted upholstered furniture. We have a long admired their attention to detail and superior craftsmanship in all their work, and are more than happy with the sofas they have made for us at The Double Red Duke. Do look at George Smith’s post here on our collaboration.

We were able to catch up with Romilly and asked her a few questions about the story of George Smith Furniture.

Can you tell us about the history of the company?

Our company was founded in 1985 by a Kings Road antiques dealer who could not source enough antique upholstered furniture and so began to create antique quality pieces using materials and techniques that produce pieces that are as durable as they are comfortable.  George Smith has grown to become one of the leading British luxury upholstered furniture manufacturers. We have curated our own George Smith range of indoor and outdoor upholstered furniture and upholstery fabrics which includes over 200 designs of sofas, chairs, chaises and stools, in a variety of classic designs to suit both contemporary and traditional interiors. All our pieces are customisable in fabric selection, wood finish, sizing and trimmings, and we also offer our clients the opportunity to commission unique, bespoke designs.

Over the years we have had the privilege of partnering with some extremely talented designers to create capsule collections, bringing to life their design aesthetic and ethos in a truly George Smith way. These varied and beautiful collections have added something extra special to our furniture catalogue.

Our furniture can be found in iconic locations such as Annabel’s in Mayfair, Ian Schrager’s Public Hotel in New York and across the Soho House members’ clubs, as well as in private residences and family homes around the world.

Located on the famous Kings Road in London, our flagship showroom and team within are able to assist you in creating the perfect piece of customised furniture for your residential or hospitality project.  In recent years we have spread our wings and opened further showrooms in the trendy furniture districts of New York, Los Angeles & Chicago, all connected by our workshop in the North of England where the magic happens.

Country Creatures is proud to support British industry and Designers with a strong focus on traditional craftmanship. What does this focus mean to you?

Each piece of George Smith furniture is meticulously handmade by our team of master joiners and upholsterers in the north of England, using traditional techniques handed down through the generations and sustainable, natural materials. By creating all of our furniture in one location provides an unrivalled level of customer-service as we can comfortably handle any special requests, create entirely unique designs, and deliver pieces very quickly – we can create and deliver any of our standard pieces from scratch in two to three weeks.

Right now more than ever it is important to support British brands to support the economy, jobs and skillsets. Our craftsmen are masters in their craft and make pieces with love and great attention to detail. Our upholsterers sign their name on the bottom of pieces they’ve created, adding a personal touch and forming a connection with our customers.

Traditional craftsmanship is reliable and has had centuries to solidify what works. We are always learning and innovating to ensure our pieces are the best they can be, and having the foundation of traditional craftsmanship places us in the best position to do so. Ultimately we create pieces that last a lifetime, intended to be passed down through the generations.

Could you guide us through the design to finished product for one of your most popular sofas, for example, and the myriad people involved along the way?

We begin simply, using responsibly sourced kiln-dried hardwood to build the custom-made frames. Heavy steel coiled springs are then tied into wide bands of interwoven jute webbing, providing balanced weight distribution for maximum comfort. We use horsehair as the primary stuffing material, enveloping and cushioning the coil springs, followed by a layer of cotton felt to provide thick padding and comfort. Seat cushions are stuffed with a mixture of duck down and duck feathers. The last detail is a final fabric cover, expertly cut to the correct pattern and hand-stitched into position.

What is your favourite piece of furniture?

My favourite piece is our Full Scroll Arm Signature Chair. When I was growing up we had a similar couple of arm chairs in our living room – the ultimate place to curl up in with a book by the fire. To have a couple of my own George Smith Signature Chairs in our Mohair would be sublime.

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