New furniture to launch at Decorex – September 18-21 September 2016

  • Wedmore & Holworth
  • Holworth
  • Lear Sideboard
  • Wedmore
  • Lear Sideboard
  • Holworth Chairs
  • Firefly
Benchmark, English furniture maker and powerhouse of craft, will launch several new pieces at Decorex 2016 during London Design Festival.  Working with two new designers, Nathalie de Leval and Daniel Schofield, we will introduce the Holworth Dining Chair, Tailor Storage and Lear Cabinet, alongside the Wedmore Extending Table designed by Steven Owens, and a new collection by Terence Conran.  All are handmade by our skilled craftsmen in our Dorset and Berkshire workshops.
“We are delighted to welcome Daniel and Nathalie into the fold. They both share our respect for materials and clean, honest aesthetics. Their beautifully proportioned and timeless designs made with our traditional craft techniques and finishes results in furniture with soul and integrity.”
Sean Sutcliffe, Co-founder Benchmark

Holworth Chair by Nathalie de Leval
With a bow back and refined tapered shape, the Holworth Chair, available with or without arms, is designed to look good from every angle. The slenderness of the frame belies its robustness and it has a generosity of seat which is emphasized by the low back.  It is offered in walnut and oak with a natural oiled finish, as well as ebonized oak, a traditional process using a solution of vinegar mixed with steel wool to turn the oak a gorgeous deep blue/inky black colour.

Tailor Chest of Drawers & Tallboy by Nathalie de Leval
With classic and elegant proportions, the Tailor chest of drawers and tallboy has a distinctive and unusual diagonal frame which, as well as creating an interesting dynamic, creates a shadow gap between the drawers and the frame that is reminiscent of Japanese joinery. The drawers, made with traditional cabinetry rather than a mechanical device, are intended for two handed opening, bringing you closer to the piece as they smoothly glide out to reveal dovetail joints. A brass lock & key to the top drawer adds to the sense of discovery.

 Lear Sideboard by Daniel Schofield
Architectural in form with all unnecessary detailing removed, the Lear Sideboard is made from oak with a solid patinated brass frame. To avoid distraction from the grain, which runs horizontally along the full width of the piece, the lines of the brass legs continue upwards to form handles for both the drawers and cupboards.

Wedmore Extending Table by Steven Owens
The Wedmore Table is distinctive in that it extends from 2.2m, seating 8, right up to 3.55m, seating 14. It is also remarkable in that, unlike most other extending tables, it is made from solid timber with an oak top and walnut underframe.  As it extends, the tapered sides enable diners to stay in visual contact with each other for greater conviviality and sociability.
Firefly collection by Terence Conran
Designed with a lightness of touch in every sense, from the materials used to the incorporation of lighting, the Firefly sideboard and cabinet are inspired by Japanese Shoji Screens with a natural oak frame and panelled doors. Rather than the traditional paper used in Japan, we have selected handmade English porcelain for the panels which not only provides durability but also has a beautiful translucency. When lit from within by the latest LED technology, the porcelain diffuses the light to bring a gentle, calming candle-like glow.
For Decorex we have collaborated with Clayworks who share our passion for natural sustainable materials. Combining good looks with purpose, their clay plasters, which are available in an almost infinite range of naturally pigmented colours and textures, create beautiful and healthy spaces with minimal impact on the environment.  Clayworks have created a bespoke tinted plaster for our stand.

Note to Editors
For further information  contact Fiona Coyne 01488 658184.  HIgh res images can be downloaded here >
About Benchmark: One of Great Britain’s most technologically advanced workshops, Benchmark are widely regarded as the UK’s powerhouse of craft, with an unrivalled depth of knowledge of wood.  The company has a 50 strong team in over 40,000 sq ft of workshops for timber milling, carpentry, veneering, spray shops, metalworking, and in-house upholstery, as well as design studio. Based on converted farm buildings in West Berkshire, and just an hour from London, visitors to the showroom are encouraged to tour the workshops and see the processes from tree to finished piece. Past collaborations include Planks collection with Max Lamb, and The Chestnut and Ash collection with Sebastian Cox.| @MadebyBenchmark
About Nathalie de Leval: This marks the third collaboration between Benchmark and Nathalie de Leval – first for The Wish List where Paul Smith’s shed became a celebrity in its own right, and secondly, The Terrace restaurant at The Rosewood London.  Nathalie de Leval is a furniture designer and maker, whose work ranges from bespoke commissions and products, to design for furniture production. Originally a sculptor, she studied cabinet making to improve her making skills, and discovered a passion for furniture, which led to an MA in furniture design at the Royal College of Art. Her designs are driven by the importance of having a clear understanding of the needs and demands of her clients. De Leval employs extensive model making to refine and develop ideas.
About Daniel Schofield: Elle Decoration British Design Award Winner 2015 and shortlisted for Homes & Gardens Awards 2015, Daniel is a young designer to look out for. With a belief that no detail should be without reason, he takes a reductive approach to materials, function and form, solving problems in the simplest way, removing and distilling anything that is unnecessary leading to a clean, honest, and poetic aesthetic. After leaving school Daniel studied Art and Graphics, from there it was onto a Carpentry apprenticeship building houses, offices, and restoring historic buildings. This combination then evolved naturally into design, culminating in a degree in furniture and product design. This fusion of graphics, construction and design allows him to draw on these experiences to inform his visual language and creative direction.
About Steven Owens:  Steven originally trained in aerospace engineering and qualified as a design engineer before seeking a wider design education at university.  His real passion for furniture started when he was introduced to the Rietveld “Red/Blue” chair. He likens it to being ‘introduced to a whole new world” and he was “instantly hooked”. Steven joined Benchmark in 2001 and is now one of the Directors of Benchmark Furniture.  Starting with a strong understanding of everyday needs and an in-depth knowledge of materials and process, Steven makes a virtue out of structural necessity, emphasising the craftsmanship and natural beauty of the materials to create designs that are truly useful, strong and honest.
About Terence Conran: Terence Conran co-founded Benchmark with Sean Sutcliffe over 30 years ago, in the grounds of Terence’s country house in Kintbury, West Berkshire. He often describes Benchmark as the business that is closest to his home and his heart.  One of the world's best-known designers, retailers and restaurateurs, with a fundamental belief that intelligent design improves the quality of people's lives, he founded the Conran Design Studio in 1956 and in 1964 revolutionised design on the British High Street when he opened the first of the Habitat chain of stores. Later he established The Conran Shop and founded the Design Museum in London, the world's first museum dedicated to design. He also established the Conran Restaurants group that opened iconic restaurants, hotels and bars in London, Paris, New York, Japan and Scandinavia.  He has written over 50 informative books that broadly reflect his design philosophy. He is an honorary professor of the University of the Creative Arts, and was knighted for his services to design in 1983.
About Clayworks:  Clayworks is a British, multi award winning manufacturer of natural, unfired clay plasters for interior walls and ceilings. With an almost infinite range of naturally pigmented colours and textures available, Clayworks have created breath-taking finishes for designers and brand owners around the world. These include Nandos, Paul Smith, Alexander McQueen, The Lakes by Yoo and Jason Atherton.  Thanks to the impact of modern scientific knowledge, innovation and testing facilities, Clayworks have re-examined clay and developed a ready-made clay plaster that has proven to be high performance, 100% natural and toxin free, easy to use, robust, long lasting and with unique aesthetic possibilities.