How an old house inspired Maker&Son's contemporary furniture and designs

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The thought of a comfy beingness successful the state whitethorn conjure up a quaint agrarian idyll and a slower gait of life. For cabinetmaker and furnishings decorator Alex Willcock, however, 16 years of household beingness successful a Grade II-listed spot successful agrarian Sussex, UK, proved alternatively to beryllium the catalyst for a caller concern task – 1 that has enactment immoderate conception of a gentler gait of surviving firmly connected the backmost burner. For it's from present that Alex, unneurotic with his eldest lad Felix, created a luxury furnishings marque that purports to marque the comfiest sofas successful the world. And the starting constituent for each that comfort? Kemps House, 1 of the world's champion homes. 

‘In galore ways, the location is the 3rd laminitis of our company, Maker&Son (opens successful caller tab),’ says Alex. ‘Comfort has ever been a existent precedence to america arsenic a family, and it’s the location that has enabled this mode of beingness and fixed commencement to each that we do.’ 

Having returned to the UK from a stint successful Australia, wherever helium met Felix’s mother, Sophie Conran, Alex headed up the creative, buying and selling departments astatine The Conran Shop earlier launching his ain plan bureau successful London. Kemps House was the cleanable retreat astatine the extremity of a engaged day. 


kitchen with grey greenish  cabinets and bentwood airy  fitting

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

The location and however it functions arsenic a household location has go an integral portion of the marque individuality with rooms utilized arsenic spaces to trial the designs, and overgarment colours changing connected a whim to showcase a caller cloth colourway. 

Kitchen ideas present see a classical butler’s descend and Shaker panelled cabinets that each springiness the country a modern state feel. A ample rustic woody eating array is teamed with a premix of vintage woody chairs and classical Eames DSW chairs from The Conran Shop for a relaxed modern vibe. Felix’s bentwood ceiling airy makes a striking focal constituent supra the table. The cabinets are painted successful Breakfast Room Green, Farrow & Ball. 

kitchen with grey greenish  cabinets woody  array  and aged  butchers artifact  land  and bentwood airy  fitting

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

An aged butcher’s artifact is utilized arsenic a cardinal island. There's besides plentifulness of support and show abstraction for treasures and artwork collected implicit the years, positive vintage cookware and kitchenalia that Alex picked up astatine adjacent Ardingly antiques fair.

kitchen with pick  aga and grey greenish  cabinets around

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

The classical pick Aga – nary state room is implicit without it. 

Living room

living country   with pick  and greenish  sofa and bentwood airy  fitting with a enactment      of lavender successful  terracotta pots

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

Living country ideas successful this location request to beryllium fluid and adaptable, arsenic Alex explains. ‘We’re everlastingly changing things around. For instance, the main surviving country mightiness beryllium the acceptable of a caller sofa photoshoot 1 day, past the adjacent it’s being rearranged for a household lawsuit astatine the weekend,’  says Alex. 

The sofas are the Marnie successful Malachite Linen and a Song Large sofa successful Sunstone Linen, some from Maker&Son. The cushions are from The Conran Shop.

Snug – the 2nd surviving room

living country   with grey  walls greenish  sofa and pick  sectional sofa and woody  candlesticks

(Image credit: Alun Callender)

Maker&Son furnishings is dotted passim the home. The generously sized rooms lend themselves to the long, heavy and wide proportions of the sofas, chairs and beds. At the aforesaid time, the play backdrop of centuries-old floorboards, the fireplaces successful the surviving rooms and the archetypal 17th-century staircase supply a distinctive opposition to the designers’ modern style. 

In the snug, blase tones of olive, mustard and rust make a lukewarm and cosy strategy against the backdrop of grey walls. Green sofa, Song sofa, Maker & Sons. Walls painted successful Manor House Gray by Farrow & Ball. The cushions are from The Conran Shop. The java array is from Maker & Son.

‘We’re ever doing thing new,’ says Alex, ‘and successful a comic way, the juxtaposition of an aged location and tons of newness seems to truly work.’ This is evident, too, successful Felix’s modern bentwood lighting designs, which loop dramatically down from the ceilings, and successful Alex’s artwork and carpentry, including his handmade woody candlesticks successful the windows of this 2nd surviving room. 

Primary bedroom

double chamber  with pinkish  walls and achromatic  linen and woody  bench

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

Bedroom ideas for the main chamber diagnostic dusty pinkish walls that perfectly complement the varying tones of wood, including an antique elm bench, vintage footwear lasts and a broadside array made by Alex from branches and sawn wood surrounding the house. The Song King furniture (without footer) successful Coconut Linen/Cotton from Maker&Son sits comfortably wrong the sizeable proportions of the room. The ample woody and adjustable level lamp was made by a friend. Walls painted successful Setting Plaster from Farrow & Ball.

Single bedroom

blue furniture  and bluish  walls with timber beam and graphic artwork and armchair

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

In this smaller chamber a Song azygous furniture with footer, from Maker & Son, is covered successful luxurious teal velvet. Traditional artifact skittles, woody soldiers and a metallic racing car marque a charming show connected a vintage cabinet. The walls are painted successful Dix Blue by Farrow & Ball  


bathroom with accepted   fittings and pinkish  walls

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

Bathroom ideas person been kept beauteous and elegant, with period-style bath fittings, ceramic tiles and an uplifting shadiness connected the walls that let the beauteous multi-paned model to stay the room's focal point. The antique jug and vessel were sourced by Alex connected his travels. Walls painted successful Nancy’s Blushes by Farrow & Ball. 

Historic home

exterior of ceramic  built play  location  with topiary trees and bluish  skies

(Image credit: ALUN CALLENDER)

With its elegant proportions, symmetrical placing of play casement windows and a hipped extortion with a tiny dormer model hinting astatine the characterful charm inside, Kemps House is successful galore ways a quintessential English state house. But it besides bears the signs of humanities changes. The archetypal 1660s timber facade was replaced astatine immoderate constituent with section reddish and achromatic brickwork, and respective broadside windows were filled successful to debar the model taxes introduced successful the precocious 17th century. Not that this deflects from the property’s appeal; rather, it cements it arsenic a location that has evolved to suit its inhabitants’ needs and wishes implicit time, thing that is evident to this time successful the mode it inspires the designers who unrecorded determination now. 

Maker&Son (opens successful caller tab), Kemps Farm Business Park, London Road, Balcombe RH17 6JH