The Bespoke Blokes
A smaller workshop houses our elite upholsterers where the most specialist of work is being carried out. This is where Style Matters stands out from its competition in being able to offer this very high-end finish ability in the same location where high quantity commercial items are also being produced and finished.
To hear first hand about the craftsmanship that goes into our bespoke designs, we headed down to the Bespoke Workshop; to interview the dream team, which consists of Bespoke Upholsterers Dave Bond, and Jason Heyes who started as a apprentice and now is a fully qualified craftsman with a hand full of successful projects and pieces in his portfolio.
What first drew you to the world of upholstery and interior design?
Dave: I started when I was 16 in traditional upholstery. I’ve been in the trade ever since, so that’s 30 years!
Jason: I’ve been doing it for three years. I studied design at college and joined here as an apprentice.
Could you describe a typical day?
Dave: A typical day starts with us arriving at 6.40am, starting work at 7 am so an early start – apart from my boy there (Jason) who gets here but actually wakes up about 7.30!
Jason: (laughs) we get together and have a look at what we’ve got to do for the day or the week ahead. The day includes measuring, prototyping, packaging designs, fitting covers you name it.
How long do you have to plan ahead?
Dave: Usually bespoke items have a 6-8 week turnaround. However, it depends on size and quantity.
Jason: Last week we had a sofa to complete, and we had just days! Which was a huge challenge really, but we managed it!
From all the furniture you make here, what’s your favourite piece to make and which piece have you found challenging?
Dave: My favourite piece to make is the Gainsborough Lounge Chair. It was the first piece I was let loose on. I put a lot of time into the design to improve it., The most challenging piece was a curved, deep buttoned Chesterfield In velvet. The velvet was a nightmare to deep button around the curve.
Jason: I like the Chesterton Buttoned back Canvas. I had never worked on a design like this and it takes a lot of effort to create. I think every day you learn something new and different so that is a challenge in itself. Nothing is ever as straight forward as it seems.
Jason, have you learned a lot form, Dave?
Jason: Definitely, I started out building frames and not much else, but I really started to get into it. I begged Dave to let me specialise in Bespoke and train me. I have learnt so much since then and enjoy every aspect.
Have the team ever come to you with an idea where you’ve just thought ‘there’s no way we’re ever going to be able to do that’, and it’s actually worked really well?
Jason: (laughter all around) All the time! No there’s not that many that have been too worrying, we have a go at everything!
Dave: Recently we produced a 5-meter long sofa for Motel One, Manchester. The fabric supplied was so thick I had never seen leather that thick before. The client wanted it buttoned and I thought no way is this going to work, but it did! The outcome was stunning.
Ok so to finish off, can you describe working for Style Matters in a couple of words?
Jason: Every day is crazy busy, but always creative. Absolutely fantastic (thick Irish accent).
Dave: Its hard work, but thoroughly enjoyable! (Runs off busying himself with the nail gun).
This stunning buttoned sofa is available in any bespoke size. See the FH 303 in situ at Motel One, Manchester.
With a sumptuous look complimented with designer fabric. See the Baroness sofa in situ at King Street Townhouse.
Reflecting the Art Deco heritage of the building. See the Monroe Chaise in situ at Gotham Hotel.