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How our History has Influenced Design

Posted by Mark Godsell-Fletcher on

Designers and artists increasing fascination with the past gives fruition to objects and creations that are charged with history, and infused with a memory of their own. I am constantly fascinated by history and love how trends come and go as we pass through the ebb and tides of the years.  Combining modern skills with old materials creates something magical.  We take a look how our history has influenced design? Wood is one of those materials that improve with time. It’s not just about the aesthetic of the wood, though, it’s about the history it represents. Each nick, groove, and crack adds to its beauty, mystery and of course history. [caption id="attachment_5852" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Eat Sleep Live Eat Sleep Live[/caption] At Eat Sleep Live we design, manufacture, and lovingly handcraft each piece of furniture from 100 per cent reclaimed wood. ‘We are very proud to craft our unique furniture using only the finest hand-selected reclaimed beams. Reclaimed wood can be hundreds of years old and so its true look and feel cannot be faked. It oozes character and is naturally robust. Every piece of wood we source has had all its rusty nails painstakingly removed and has been carefully hand sanded to reveal its unique rustic charm. Our team is as passionate about history as we are about the wood we use. We only source the finest quality reclaimed beans from beautiful, historic buildings, from the recent Kings Cross redevelopments in London, to a Victorian brewery in Yorkshire, an old mill, and elegant old stables. The average age of our wood is 100 to 200 years old. The natural rustic character is clear in every individual piece of furniture and each beam has a story to tell. [caption id="attachment_5953" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Stables Stables[/caption] As you may know we recently celebrated our tenth anniversary with the opening of a new showroom in the centre of Nottingham – appropriate, as this is a city steeped in history, and breathtaking architecture, past and present. The famous architect Watson Fothergill hailed from Nottingham, and is credited for having a positive effect on the city’s landscape. Heavily influenced by European Gothic architecture, he became known as Nottingham's most flamboyant Victorian architect and many of his buildings can still see many of his buildings in and around Nottingham city centre today. Nottingham is also the home of the Nottingham Council House, designed by T. Cecil Howitt Architect, and often described as the finest municipal building outside London. Two stone lions guard its fine colonnaded facade, while behind its pillars, cherub’s toil at traditional Nottingham trades. And another little known fact; the ten-and-a-half ton bell, nicknamed Little John, is apparently the deepest-toned bell in Britain! [caption id="attachment_5952" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Nottingham Council House Nottingham Council House[/caption] Today, as well as being a global centre for the study of architecture and design, Nottingham is also home to award winning architect Julian Marsh. His company Marsh Grochowski was responsible for the design of Hart's Hotel, the boutique hotel standing on the site of the ramparts of Nottingham Castle and Nottingham Playhouse Square Sky Mirror in collaboration with artist Anish Kapoor. Where better to invest in beautiful, lasts-a-lifetime furniture than a city rich in history and inspiration? Within our Eat Sleep Live showroom, no two pieces are the same, which perfectly represents the trend and growing passion for individual pieces of furniture rather than generic, flatpack-style pieces. And because each piece of wood is an individual with its own quirks and personality, it’s treated as such. Depending on the wood’s look, feel, age, and grain, we will hand wax and treat the wood accordingly. [caption id="attachment_5954" align="aligncenter" width="620"]Eat Sleep Live Showroom Eat Sleep Live Showroom[/caption] As if you needed another reason to buy reclaimed and opt for handmade, there’s the ethical side of things too. Sustainability and green thinking isn’t just a luxury but a necessity, so investing in handcrafted furniture made from reclaimed wood is as good for the planet as it is for your home. Added to which, knowing that generations to come will enjoy the furniture is a wonderful feeling, and you can’t put a price on that.


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