Design a sofa to suit your home and lifestyle with the craftsmen at James and Rose. Stephanie Sparrow reports
Are you sitting comfortably? Can family and friends relax in your living room, or has that mismatched corner suite with the lumpy cushions become an embarrassment?
Having furniture made to your design, which fits your home, and enhances its décor, sounds like a luxury, but thanks to family firm James and Rose, your preferred style, size, and upholstery are available at accessible prices.
“Our aim is to make furniture as it would have been made by quality furniture makers back in the day,” says managing director Tony Reynolds, who founded the Preston-based company with his wife Wendy 10 years ago.
“We use traditional methods and beech timber frames to create furniture which is unique to each customer.”
He adds that although celebrities and glossy magazines snap up James and Rose furniture it is not ‘ridiculously expensive’ and thanks to its quality (all sofas have fully-sprung backs and seats for example, and sofa beds have a sturdy bi-fold mechanism) and individuality, it offers value for money.
Tony explains that in contrast to large-scale manufacturers, who often produce one style in one type of fabric, in up to three different colours, his skilled craftsmen work solely on designs commissioned by the customer from a vast menu of suggested styles which are modified to suit.
From their Fulwood workshops his 14-strong team treat each order individually from cutting the fabric, to building frames, from piping cushions to creating customised buttons and hammering individual studs to create imposing detail. There is even a choice of feet – including brushed metals and antique woods.
“Every time these guys cut a new design it is bespoke to that job,” he says. “It can be in any leather or fabric, any variation in size or depth.”
All of the team have long careers in furniture manufacture and include Tony’s son, who along with his sister gave the company its name, and nephew Ryan, who is one of the highly skilled upholsterers. “We are a true family firm,” smiles Tony.
Attention to customer service extends throughout the buying and delivery process. Customers pay a third of the price as a deposit and can apply for interest-free payments on the balance. Delivery is free across mainland UK, usually within six weeks of ordering, and all packaging is taken away.
“We also give a satisfaction guarantee, so if they are not happy with the goods delivered, we would refund the deposit,” says Tony.
With glowing ratings on Trust Pilot, and clients from San Antonio, Texas, to Berlin, via the Lake District and London, it is obvious that there is widely held confidence in the firm’s flair for turning customers’ designs into reality.
Clients make an appointment to visit the showroom or order through the website. Tony stresses that customer interaction is key, and that he and his staff will act as expert consultants in the process, offering advice on sizes, styles, thousands of fabrics from prestigious British manufacturers and four types of fillings.
“Customers receive samples of materials, fabrics and leathers, and begin to hone in on the style of sofa they like as well as the dimensions of their piece,” he explains.
“We then send the customer’s diagrams to check and ask them to verify delivery access. For example, it’s great to design and order a 12ft sofa, but can you get it into your room?”
It matters to Tony whether the design and fabric are a practical choice for the customer. “At the point of sale we’d advise people on whether they have opted for the best leather or fabric for their needs. For example if they have got pets or children we might recommend a scratch-resistant aniline dyed leather. And although we stock velvet at £100 a metre, we might suggest a more robust polyester velvet better suited to their needs, which is less expensive.”
At James and Rose, Tony’s motivation is to help customers find locally-made furniture to suit their lifestyle: “People want furniture that is unique to them, and that fits their idea of what their home should be. All our sofas are inspired by you.”
James and Rose
14 Carleton Avenue
Fulwood, Preston PR2 6YA