Charlotte Crosland, Bespoke Joinery With Elegance And Heart

by Becky Hoh in Bespoke stories

Commission a piece of bespoke joinery from one of London’s top interior designers, Charlotte Crosland.

Interior designer Charlotte Crosland has always created bespoke joinery pieces in her own impressive projects but has now made that service available to all on a commission basis, rather than just for her own schemes. Her well respected portfolio of accomplished and interesting residential projects, have won her awards and include the transformation of a neglected former embassy into a show-stopping mansion billed as ‘South London’s most expensive residence’.

The interior designer set up the London-based business in 1990 and has become well known for a bold, hearty style that pops with unusual colours and patterns but has a timeless feel that stands above and beyond slavishness to trends – while remaining striking and brave, it’s made to last and made for comfort. These unique, confident schemes are often underpinned by sturdy and arresting bespoke joinery and now you too have the chance to commission a custom made piece for your own project.

Increasingly, Crosland’s work has featured her hand made furniture, which recently led to the interior designer appointing a specific joinery division that offers bespoke fitted and free standing furniture for every room in the house. But something that was initially set up to extend the remit of services for her own schemes, has now opened up as a service to private client commissions.

‘I will always let the client be as involved as he or she wants so that we can make sure the end result is exactly what they wanted.’

‘We started by designing all our own kitchens and fitted wardrobes within each project, but that lead to us designing some of our own freestanding furniture, along with all sorts of other things like TV cabinets, four poster beds, daybeds, window seats and porches,’ explains Crosland. ‘So something that began as a couple of cabinets devised to resolve awkward spatial concerns has steadily grown into a parallel business in its own right. It is great to create pieces that slip seamlessly into a scheme which often mean solutions that don’t compromise the exact vision’.

In her own projects, the clever joinery accompanies and complements hallways covered in boldly patterned wallpapers, luxuriously marbled bathrooms and opulent lighting, sitting rooms with textured cushions and graphic rugs, jet-black kitchens with checkered linoleum floors fabrics and highly patterned wallpapers. Two custom-made joinery objects which stand out to Crosland, are firstly a daybed for a conductor, based on the detail of fret work on the deck of Tchaikovsky’s house in Moscow.

And secondly a complete kitchen which featured the team’s first ever kitchen table.

‘We have called it the surfboard table,’ says Crosland, ‘because the top is exactly that shape as it had to fit neatly in a bay window and cater for the family but not stick out too far in to the room, it has been a huge success!’

The designer has three children, which has very likely influenced her practical, comfort-meets-style aesthetic and also made her a specialist in interiors for families.

‘For the surfboard table house project we also crafted a walk in dressing room, which was a stretch of wardrobes in the daughter’s bedroom with hanging space and drawers,’ she describes, ‘plus a secret cupboard behind a door that looked like a panel. There was also a special bed for the son which incorporated cupboards each end, drawers below and curtains that pulled across the length of the bed making it like a secret den, as well as a drawing room cupboards and a bookcase.’

Commissioning work from Crosland’s four strong team of joiners, which includes a specialist in stains, polishes and other finishes, begins by talking through the brief so the designer can gain as much information as possible, in order to carry out the first design process. This is then shown to the client and it is on acceptance of this that the drawing package gets quoted for. 

‘I will always let the client be as involved as he or she wants so that we can make sure the end result is exactly what they wanted,’ adds Crosland.

From that point on the final piece can be ready for installation typically from 12-16 weeks, depending on the brief, size and quantity, with smaller single commissions taking around 4-8 weeks.

The bespoke approach is definitely something that fits naturally with Crosland’s design ethos, which she believes must reflect and indeed springs directly from the client.

‘The neutral, safe, soulless interiors that have become such a widespread trend are not for me. In the same way as people are different, I like my designs to be different, and different from each other. It’s important to love being in one’s home.’

Charlotte Crosland –

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