Helen Bygraves and Jenny Weiss, founders of luxury interior design consultancy Hill House Interiors, talk about designing their own bespoke furniture collection.
In 2012, spying a gap in the market for ‘well designed, good-quality, timeless pieces of furniture’, Helen Bygraves and Jenny Weiss of Hill House Interiors decided to launch their own collection. It proved popular, and there are now 22 pieces available, with more due this autumn.
‘We launched our first 12 pieces in August 2012, at the opening of our flagship London showroom on Elystan Street [in Chelsea], which is the perfect setting to showcase the collection,’ says Bygraves, who describes the style of the furniture as ‘a modern take on art deco, fusing periods but maintaining the glamour of the early 20th century’. Since then another 10 pieces have been added to the line.
Though designed to be chic and stylish, the furniture in the range is also comfortable, modern and practical. The Pimlico sofa, for example, has a beech wood frame and is upholstered using British techniques. Strikingly stylish with its distinctive scroll motif, the sofa is also comfortable, and designed to work in both modern and classic interior schemes. The Chelsea console table, another popular piece in the collection, has a mirrored back panel designed to conceal cabling, which helps to create a timeless look.
‘Each piece combines timeless elegance with attention to detail, and has been made to the very highest standard to ensure unrivalled comfort and longevity,’ says Weiss.
The collection came about because the designers often struggled to find the perfect furniture pieces to complement a particular scheme.
Says Bygraves: ‘When creating an interior scheme, we always tell our clients that anything is possible. Our philosophy is, “tell us what you would like and we will make your dream home a reality”. When sourcing furniture, we found that there were so many occasions when we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for, so we were specially commissioning the vast majority of furniture for our schemes.’
Most of the pieces in the collection are available in a range of options, so that they suit various sizes, as well as styles, of interior. The Pimlico sofa comes in four sizes, with a choice of upholstery options and leg finishes. The Berkeley dressing table and writing desk comes with suede lined drawers and mother of pearl handles, and there is also the option of a separate vanity unit with inset mirror and additional drawers. The latest item to be added to the collection, the Belgravia chair, is available hand embroidered with Swarovski crystals, making it a serious statement piece for an ultra-glamorous home.
Most of the pieces in the collection are hand crafted in the UK, using responsibly sourced materials, upholstered in some of the world’s most luxurious fabrics, which are sourced internationally.
One such piece, the Mayfair L-shaped corner sofa, has a solid beech wood frame. Slit detailing (a Hill House trademark) can be applied to the side or back of the sofa. The lacquered Aldwych tallboy comes with the option of mirrored or leather inset drawers, and its multifunctional lacquered armoire (a tall cupboard) can be customised as a cocktail cabinet, accommodate a fridge or a TV, or simply be used as ‘statement storage’.
New pieces available soon include a special low version of the Belgravia chair, a mirror, side table and lacquered trays. But Bygraves says there’s even more to come: ‘The reaction to our collection so far, from both our private clients and the design community as a whole, has been fantastic,’ she says. ‘We will be continuing to expand the range, so watch this space.’
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