Monday 5 September 2016

Timbermill's 'Design Your Own' Furniture - Bespoke Sustainability At It's Best!

Have you ever sat down at a café and run your hands over the beautiful timber table and the gorgeous hand carved café stools and wondered where they got their furniture from? Well, probably from Timbermill!

Timbermill is a bespoke furniture design agency founded by the creative duo Tom Coles and Sally Taylor in early 2013, that apart from regular sale and hire of furniture, allows their clients to get creative and design their own perfectly tailored pieces! Their brand new 'design your own' furniture range is filling a large gap in the current furniture market and gaining huge momentum in the world of interior design.

Tom, a civil engineer by trade is the hands-on creative genius whose talent in making furniture as a hobby turned into a profitable entrepreneurial venture. While his partner Sally, with a background in Interior and Spatial Design is responsible for marketing & design and makes up the other half of the creative business.

I caught up with Tom and Sally recently to find out how it all began.

Can you share with us your creative journey to where you are now?

What started as a backyard hobby for Tom building furniture using fence palings has now developed into a company which offers both hire and sale of custom furniture items. Over the past few years we have taken on all kinds of jobs from custom furniture to fit outs and set building to figure out what we like and don’t like; and now we’re starting to refine that and focus on how to do the things we do like (such as dining tables) even better. The ultimate goal is to make the overall process of a job better for the client.

How would you define your style and how has it evolved over the past 3 years? 

Our style has become a lot more refined, we started mainly with a ‘rustic’ style furniture but over the past few years we’ve kept the recycled timber element but found a way to make it look more modern, whilst still keeping the main focus on the natural character of the materials.
What has been the inspiration behind Timbermill & your designs?

Everything, but mainly the idea of working with what we have available as opposed to always sourcing per job. We like it when timber comes to us and we have the chance to create something unique from it.

What has been your favourite project to date?

Too many to choose from but we built some huge 6m x 1m dining tables in blackbutt last year for a commercial food area requiring steel framing and electrical wiring throughout; it was one of the best projects to see come together as required a lot of skill and effort from multiple people and suppliers.

What is a typical workday like for both of you? 

Most days of the working week we’re in the warehouse by about 7am, as we generally find the hours before 9am to be the most productive where you can get your work done with no distractions. Between 9am-4pm, it is a blur. I handle the ‘running’ of the business so mainly sales and marketing, accounts and development; whilst Tom makes sure everything runs smoothly once the order has been confirmed including the ordering, scheduling and also building a few days a week. It is fast paced and definitely an environment where everyone wears a lot of hats but we’ve got an amazing team that help it all come together.

Can you describe the design process?

For the ‘design your own’ table offering, we went through every table we had built over the past few years and developed a range of tops and bases that we knew all worked together. Now our clients become the designers, going through and selecting their options so by the time we meet with them they have a firm idea of what they are after. It has helped both our client and our team immensely with the custom process.
What are you working on at the moment?

We’ve got 15 dining tables to be built in the next month which is amazing, and some other custom projects on the go like some bathroom vanities and benches. It is definitely a busy month ahead but we’ve got some incredible clients and jobs so it is all worth it.
What according to you is the next big thing in bespoke furniture design?

Definitely a more refined furniture look but still a huge focus on natural timbers, and incorporating them with steel and upholstery elements.
What advice can you give those seeking a career in furniture design?

That marketing and business processes make up half of it. It is a tough industry and you really need find your own unique style and way of promotion to really get ahead. We’re in such a great time where you can start something for basically nothing by harnessing the power of social media to get your work out there, so find your thing and just do it.

What 3 words describe your brand?

Quality, innovative and solution driven.

What are your 3 favourite materials to work with?

Hardwood, steel and zinc at the moment.

What is your favourite room in your home and why?

Our living room, we’ve just finished renovating and have tried to create an open and communal space. We love it!

What's your favourite inspirational quote?

“Don't wish it were easier. Wish you were better.” 
― Jim Rohn

Where do you see Timbermill in five years time?

The ultimate question… hopefully we’re still making great furniture for great people.

Timbermill's custom-made furniture and fit-outs are handcrafted from recycled Australian hardwood timbers and a range of specialised hardwoods including Blackbutt and Spotted Gum. Their furniture design style is clean and minimal and is fast gathering a cult following. The rental furniture like the beautiful rustic ‘dining’ trestle and ‘long johnny’ benches is perfect for weddings and creative workshops. 

Timbermill's sustainable furniture reflects a distinctive personality and creates truly bespoke interiors. Visit their website here to view their prop rental section, 'design your own' custom furniture range and past projects. 

Shop online here.

Till next time...
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