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From Tree to Table

We make a lot of one off-pieces for people at Titchmarsh & Goodwin but this challenge was just a little different. Our clients had to have two much-loved trees – one oak and one chestnut cut down in their garden as they were bordering on dangerous. Rather than using the wood for fuel, they took it to a local sawmill where it was cut, dried and seasoned for about two years.

Chestnut from our clients' garden seasoning at their local sawmill

They then saw an advert for T&G in Oxford Today magazine and got in touch to see whether we would be able to make a whole collection of furniture for them.  Mark from our drawing office and John from the cabinet shop were despatched  to look at the wood and the house and see what we could do. The house was built during the Arts & Crafts era, so furniture was designed with some Arts & Crafts flourishes which would fit the interior well.

Final drawing for a hexagonal coffee table designed to incorporate a marble top
Final drawing for a hexagonal coffee table designed to incorporate a marble top
A drawing of a corner TV cabinet, with an arts & crafts arch detail

Mark took up his pencil and drew up a selection of furniture including a bed, a dining table, a hexagonal coffee table which was going to accommodate a distinctive piece of marble that the clients had.

The set also included a circular kitchen table, a coffee table with a natural edge to the top, a fireside coffer, two nests of three tables, a hi-fi cabinet, an elegant side-table and sideboard, plus two bedside cabinets and a set of dining chairs. Many of the pieces have a shallow arch detail drawn into the cupboard doors, aprons, table legs and pedestals and aside from that were simpler than perhaps Titchmarsh & Goodwin furniture is usually known for.

A selection of the pieces drawn

During the design process, the clients visited our design office to work through the designs and to make sure that they were getting exactly what they wanted.

The drawings then went into our workshop, where new templates were cut and then the component pieces of chestnut were cut, ready to be assembled. While the cabinet shop is primarily used to working with oak, working with chestnut proved to be a refreshing and at some times challenging experience.

A circular breakfast table being worked on by Phil in our workshop
A circular breakfast table being worked on by Phil in our workshop
Hexagonal coffee table made to fit around our clients' piece of marble
Hexagonal coffee table made to fit around our clients' piece of marble
A wavy topped headboard and blanket box below
Chestnut cupboard with an arch detail in the door fronts and a pot board below

Some of the pieces were delivered just before Christmas with the rest of them leaving our workshops last week. Here’s a selection of the finished pieces.

A bespoke chestnut breakfast table
A bespoke chestnut breakfast table
A close up of the detailing on the leg
A bespoke chestnut blanket box with characterful grain
A chestnut side-table with potboard
A chestnut side-table with potboard
A close-up of the side-table with its arch detailing and simple circular drawer pulls
A close-up of the side-table with its arch detailing and simple circular drawer pulls
Bespoke chestnut credence with potboard and drawer
Nest of three chestnut occasional tables with wavy edge
Nest of three chestnut occasional tables with wavy edge
Bespoke chestnut dresser base with distinctive grain and arch detailing