Homegirl London pays homage to Lucy Turner. She’s received national critical acclaim through her distinctive mix of using the latest technologies and materials to create bespoke contemporary furniture. Lucy specialises in customising and transforming mid-century furniture with the clever use of laser cut Formica® laminate – using playful shapes such as pineapples, tulips and flamingos on sideboards, chest of drawers or dressing tables to achieve a witty, retro feel. Lucy also offers a bespoke service; you can choose any design and apply it to one of her specially selected pieces in stock. Alternatively, she can tailor a piece to suit your existing interior, for example, the process can be applied to kitchens, wardrobes and dining tables or for commercial uses such as retail environments, restaurants and hotels. Loveable Lucy kindly answered some questions for me …
Q: Your collection focuses on sideboards, what is it you like about sideboards and why do you think they are making a welcome return?
A: When I created my first piece, back in 2006 sideboards were being thrown out, broken up and burnt. A lot of these vintage pieces were so well made, a real homage to British craftsmanship and furniture manufacturing. I guess not only are they stylish, and like with everything, fashion repeats itself, but they are so well built, with quality materials. That was the whole reason for starting the business, to ‘save the sideboards’ ha ha, no, not really. It was to give them a new lease of life as they have another few decades left in them, they needed a boost and for people to realise that they should not be thrown out as they are the last decade of mass quality furniture manufacturing in the UK and should be celebrated, after that it all went flat pack and chip board, unless you bought a hand crafted item. Nowadays people are enjoying them as they are, without the ‘up-cycled’ touch, but what I can offer is a quality retro piece to suit any room, that is durable and ‘fun’.
Q: Do you have a sideboard at home? Where it is and what do you keep in it?
A: I have 3 … One in the spare room which is full of books that no one reads and two ‘man drawers’ full of bike bits and god knows what – old screws and batteries probably. That one is an ercol solid elm piece, just stunning, actually I should restore it but talk about a busman’s holiday! The second one is a copy of the Robin Day sideboard – very 50s, this is in the kitchen full of ‘midwinter’ crockery, and it’s at a good height so doubles up as a work surface. The third one is a quite horrible sideboard / wall unit this has the stereo, a drop down drinks cabinet, loads of porcelain dogs (I’ve developed an unhealthy collection ha ha) and it’s there because I keep thinking to myself, there must be something I can do with this, and never have!
Q: You seem to like using pineapple in your designs, what’s your fascination with this fruit? How much do you love eating pineapple?
A: Pineapple for breakfast, pineapple for lunch, pineapple for tea, not really. Well, what can I say, what a fruit!!! So many good qualities, shape, taste, health and they are a symbol of wealth and prosperity (apparently!). I just love them.
Q. What new pieces of furniture you are working on at the moment? Are there any themes you’re currently experimenting with?
A: Well, after a turning 30 crisis, and always wanting to go to Blackpool, the only way I could get my partner there was to use the 30th birthday excuse. So I dragged him all the way there, from west Cornwall, in December, everything closed, he had the flu, it rained, it was miserable, but … I became really inspired by all the tack and grimness so came away with some great photos and colours in my mind. I got back to Cornwall and started using bright pinks, minty greens and yellows and sharp lines, so alongside the pineapples and other designs I’m exploring the Blackpool theme, whatever that is.
Q. What do you like most about combining new technologies with mid-century furniture?
A: I love my job, I love finding new pieces and being able to experiment with machines and materials and combine them with nostalgia.
Check out Lucy Tuner at www.lucyturner.co. Here are a few pieces from Lucy’s collection which you can buy from www.johnlewis.com. Credits: images supplied by Lucy Turner and John Lewis, special thanks to Lucy Turner.
Lucy Turner Pineapple Sideboard, £1,800