Feet-up furniture - Lifestyle NZ
Feet-up furniture

Feet-up furniture

The home is a place to relax, to socialise and to enjoy. Once mid to high-end furniture starts becoming incorporated into interior spaces though, those principles can often be overlooked with homeowners afraid to use furniture they see as design objects...

Words by ArchiPro Editorial Team

British furniture designer Timothy Oulton grew up surrounded by antiques. His father owned an antique furniture dealership and it was there he developed an appreciation for the design ethos of times gone by. As an adult, he has developed a world-renowned brand centred around the reinvention of vintage furniture.

It is that brand that has seen rising popularity in New Zealand lately as Kiwis embrace a move towards affordable luxury and a relaxed aesthetic. Timothy Oulton’s pieces are a melting pot of reinterpreted vintage furniture. Travelling frequently, he collects unique pieces from flea markets and antiques dealers and studies their makeup and design, utilising them to create contemporary pieces borne of the artisans of old.

In New Zealand, the Timothy Oulton range is distributed exclusively by furniture retailer Dawson & Co. “The Timothy Oulton ranges encapsulate what we see the New Zealand market moving towards,” Dawson & Co’s Scott Fisk says. “All the pieces are made by hand by quality artisans. It is an affordable luxury; a relaxed, casual style that we like to call feet-up furniture.”

The Kitkats Coffee Table has a distinctive “feet-up” appeal to it

The furniture market, like many others, is one in which New Zealanders are continuing to look for eco-conscious materials and reclaimed products. “It’s also about a natural, organic look with furniture that can be used and enjoyed,” Scott says. “We are seeing a real move towards more of a luxury feel – for a long time there has been a focus on the industrial look but that is now evolving in how it is being seen in the market.”

The evolution away from the industrial aesthetic is towards an appreciation of vintage pieces that in themselves incorporate a relaxed luxury along with environmentally friendly materials and products. And within that resides an appreciation for pieces that can used without fear; furniture that doesn’t have to be managed and instead can be enjoyed without compromise.

The Wall Street Armchair is a twist on a classic form, with ultra-comfortable seating

The Timothy Oulton range incorporates about 10,000 different pieces, many of which have a clear focus on reclaimed materials. One of the sub ranges, known as Axel, is particularly evident in its desire to reuse materials. “Timothy bought a collection of 100-year-old Chinese fishing boats that were essentially falling apart and used the wood from those boats to create the Axel range.” But it isn’t just the wood that was used; the ‘Propellor’ coffee tables utilise original propellers from the boats as legs.

For Dawson & Co, which is a family business that has been operating for just more than 40 years, the clear focus is on the home as a social place, and one which incorporates spaces for relaxation. “It’s about being comfortable relaxing and enjoying your time at home without being afraid of your furniture,” Scott says.

“People want to live in their homes without having to carefully negotiate around pieces of furniture that you can’t put your feet up on.”

Dawson & Co specialises in indoor and outdoor residential furniture as well as lighting, and work with eight international brands as well as manufacturing their own furniture.

If you’re considering reinventing your home, get in touch with Dawson & Co on ArchiPro here or visit one of their two Auckland showrooms.

The Shabby is high impact comfort seating, commonly known as Timothy Oulton’s true ‘sloucher’.
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