A Tale of Old and New, Part 2
Over the last few editions of this news letter, I have been dropping hints that Lutyens Furniture & Lighting is about to launch a whole new range of contemporary product. This is a project that has been more than a year in gestation and it is a huge step both for me personally and for the direction of the company.
The first thing to say however is that Lutyens Furniture & Lighting is NOT changing. We will continue to do what we have always done – namely to produce the highest quality bespoke furniture and lighting designs, either directly from Edwin Lutyens’s own drawings or derivatives thereof with a strong adherence to the Lutyens design ethic.
Paul Peterson and I started this business in 1987 and, despite his untimely death last year, as we approach our third decade of operations, my appetite for the new and the exciting is undiminished and I feel that Lutyens is ready for the 21st Century.
Our very first product remains our archtype – the classic Edwin Lutyens Napoleon Chair. It is as popular as it ever was and is completely synonymous with ethos of design and production quality; hand webbed and sprung and wadded with traditional materials. A very high percentage of those who buy it continue to want to upholster it in the traditional John Boyd horsehair fabric beloved of and frequently used by Lutyens and shown above. However, there is arguably a case for the “automobile approach” in which options are offered and I shall come back to this below.
So drum roll please for the official launch at Decorex 2016 of…….
Lutyens Contemporary is a brand new company that will sit along side Lutyens Furniture & Lighting. As with its older sibling, it will offer products across the range of seating – both dining & desk and upholstered – tables and lighting. Much of the LC product range is new and the focus is very heavily on new materials, chairs made of moulded ply – as above, acrylic tables and lighting that sparkle in the light, a wonderful hexagonal pendant lantern designed especially for us and a range of accessories that will bridge both the classic product range and the contemporary.
The ethos of Lutyens Contemporary will mirror that of LFL and will continue to combine a very high quality of design and manufacture. We will continue to echo the Lutyens design idiom throughout our pieces though most of them are now unashamedly derivative and our own designs rather than coming directly from the hand of the master. We have also pulled in designs by Robert Lutyens, Edwin’s son and my father and I am proud that Lutyens Contemporary now brings in a third generation to the helm of the designs.
Apart from the new modernity of the Lutyens Contemporary collection, the other main difference against Lutyens Furniture and Lighting is that this is the “pret a porter” collection as opposed to the “haute couture”. It will not be bespoke in the way that the classic collection is although we will offer plenty of choice of colours and finishes. Simplicity is key and this brings with it the benefits of fast lead times and – ultimately – on-line shopping through the new website – www.lutyens-contemporary.com which will go live in the next two to three weeks.
Which brings me to the concept of the automobile approach to furniture and specifically our upholstered range. Whilst we will always continue to offer our classic upholstered chairs made entirely by hand in a very traditional manner, just as when you are buying a car, it is good to have options that fulfill your needs and your budget.
With this in mind, we are now offering – exclusively through Lutyens Contemporary – our two Napoleon chairs (Edwin and Robert) plus our entire Lytton collection of chairs, sofas and ottomans with modern upholstery. The range of upholstery fabrics will be limited but we are working with Linwood fabrics and will offer every colour in their fabulous Omega range. We are also working with Muirhead leather and will offer five standard leather colours. The legs are simplified from the classic product and have nylon glides rather than brass feet.
So you now have available to you the top of the range model in the classic chair or the equally beautiful Lutyens Contemporary chair that has, for the sake of illustration, has a slightly smaller engine and no sat nav! a
I shall be at Decorex from the 18th to the 21st September – stand ST12. Most of the new collection will be on display and I look forward to introducing you to it. Finally, one last sneak preview – the image below is a render, the real thing will be on the stand. I’m really excited about this one and I hope that you will be too.