Profiles: Stuart Scott

Stuart Scott_Self PortraitHomegirl London pays homage to Stuart Scott.  Maker of beautiful hand-crafted contemporary furniture with a strong design edge.  His company, Stuart Scott Associates, draws on his twenty years’ experience in London, Paris and Riyadh working with the world’s leading interior designers and architects.  The business launched in 2011 and makes a gorgeous collection of upholstered furniture – luxurious wing and slipper chairs and stunning sofas.  The cabinetry includes a cool collection of occasional and coffee tables.  Each design is handmade in England by Master Craftsman using traditional techniques from its workshops in Wiltshire and Oxford.  I caught up with Stuart to ask him a few questions …

Q: Tell me about your qualifications and experience.

A: I trained at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication in Chislehurst, Kent and received a BA (hons) degree in Industrial Design (Furniture & Related Product Design) in 1993.  My first proper job was as a designer to the Saudi Arabian Royal Family having been interviewed at Blake’s Hotel, London by one of the family.  I was based in Riyadh for the duration.  The project ended up being featured in the Andrew Martin Design Review Volume 5.  During this time I met some really interesting people and decided to move to Paris where I worked for Atelier Pierre Bonnefille.  He had worked on the Saudi Project and we found we had a lot in common.  After 5 years working abroad, I took a job for Gensler in London and then stints working for Jonathan Reed and John Minshaw before finally deciding to work for myself.

Q: Who has been your inspiration?

A: My inspiration came from the work I was exposed to during my work in Saudi Arabia.  The family had a large Art and Furniture Collection and to see some of these pieces for real was awe inspiring.  Works by Fontana, Dali, Giacometti, Eugene Printz and Jean-Michel Frank, my interest in furniture just went off the scale, hence my subsequent move to Paris where I could really feed my appetite.  Pierre worked with people like Christian Liaigre, Pierre Mesguish and Bernard Pictet so there was inspiration all around.  It started a real love affair and fascination with furniture, its history and how real furniture was made and finished.

Q: Why upholstery and cabinetry?

A: My early career was all about Cabinet work, built in Libraries and Dressing Rooms to ‘one-off’ Drinks Cabinets and AV Cabinets.  About 7 years ago I started looking at upholstered work and got to know an upholsterer, long since retired, who introduced me to upholstery as a trade.  From this ad hoc training I was able to start bringing upholstery into the mix.  For me it’s all about how things are made, this is the fascination; how things go together and when you design a piece you need to know how you’re going to make it.  The only way of knowing is to make it yourself, and I really advise trying to make the prototypes yourself instead of relying on a piece of software!

Q: What’s your USP?

A: Handmade in England, signed and numbered.  I sign each piece of furniture myself and keep a register.

Q: Describe your design style.

A: Precise, clean, eclectic, often geometric, often colourful and well detailed.

Q: Tell me about your current collection.

A: The current collection is a mix of upholstered pieces introducing some interesting fabrics from the Liberty Art Fabrics Collection.  We’ve also just finished some walnut and brushed brass tables called Orichal and have brought out the Vertere Stool.

Q: What makes a good chair?

A: One that you can fall asleep in!

Q: What’s your favourite chair design?

A: I love the simplicity of the Rover Chair by Ron Arad, but it has to be an original Eames Lounger.  At auction once I bought a Rover Chair and it turned out to be a fake!  I’ve also bid on Eames Loungers countless times and lost!  They’re so iconic and just beautiful

Q: Who would you most like to make a chair for?

A: It would have to be for Ken Adam, production designer most famous for his set designs for the early James Bond films of the 1960’s and 70’s.  Taking the set design of Goldfinger as my inspiration it would be something based on this, perhaps featuring an ejector button!

Q: What are you currently working on?

A: I’m currently working on a collection that focuses on leather and oiled Walnut & Oak.  I’ve done a lot of research into Saddlery and the work of the Master Saddler, so you’ll find elements of this throughout these new pieces.

You can buy Stuart’s beautiful pieces direct at www.stuartscott.co.uk, visit his showroom in Wiltshire or go to the 4th floor of Liberty in London.  See below for a selection of his work.  Credits: text by Homegirl London, images courtesy of Stuart Scott, special thanks to Stuart Scott.

 Tux Sofa in Holland & Sherry wool felt_Stuart Scott Associates Ltd

Tux Sofa in Holland and Sherry wool felt

Vegas Lounger in Lisle Grey wool_Stuart Scott Associates Ltd

Vegas Lounge in Lisle Grey wool

Isabella Slipper Chair - Stuart Scott Associates Ltd

Isabella Slipper Chair

 Vertere Stool in solid walnut and leather_Stuart Scott Associates Ltd

 Vertere Stool in solid walnut and leather

Edo Dining Table_Stuart Scott Associates Ltd

Edo Dining Table