I am a designer-maker of bespoke wooden furniture based at Bermondsey, South London. I make contemporary furniture pieces and objects using traditional woodworking skills.
I studied at Williams and Cleal Fine Furniture school on Exmoor in Somerset, where I learnt the Arts & Crafts tradition of quality of materials and making. I explore new forms and ideas within these rules along with an understanding of city spaces and urban living.
Involving the client in the design process from the outset, I try to encourage a sense of co-operation and mutual creativity that is beyond the usual shopping experience. Now based in Bermondsey, South London I provide a bespoke commission service for private individuals and commercial businesses.
Coffee Table with grey glass
We'd spent hours searching online and in furniture shops in the hope of finding a coffee table that had the exact dimensions we wanted in a design and finish that suited our space and style. We finally decided to find a craftsman and commission a bespoke piece. We found Chris and Heliconia online and thanks to the testimonials from other happy customers felt confident approaching him for his ideas. Chris visited our home to get a sense of what we were looking for and talked us through the process.
It was great talking to someone who was as excited as we were at the possibilities. Chris came up with several designs that fitted our brief. When we had questions and a request for a couple of tweeks Chris was very responsive and we commissioned the coffee table in black walnut and grey glass. We followed Chris's progress online with interest and love the finished table. Our favourite piece of furniture. It's warm yet light and the simple clean lines suit our style perfectly.
Chris has a natural understanding and feel for his work and his exacting standards are evident in the very high quality of his furniture. Thanks again, Chris
Narrow Dining Table - Foal
We contacted Chris because we recognised the high quality craftsmanship in his work. We had an idea of what we wanted, and by working with him, we were able to realise a perfect design. Chris's approach in collaborating with us enabled a greater level of creativity and resulted in a unique and beautiful object (the Foal Table).
His attention to detail in refining and realising the design was intrinsic to the process. He made maquettes and he wasn't satisfied until we were all happy with the design. He also spent time helping us choose the right wood. The finished table exceeded our expectations and the Foal has become a prized piece of furniture.
Canonbury, London N1
Fitted wardrobe, Chest of Drawers & Console Table
I was delighted to work with Chris to commission a number of pieces for my house bringing both design and manufacturing ideas together with the vision I had for the overall look and feel for various rooms. My son is delighted with his bedroom wall unit and my wife loves the natural look to the bedside drawers that have been made by Chris.
Chris also designed made and installed the hall console table and mirror in a very tight space-it looks great in Walnut and steel which complement the other materials used in the hallway."
Hadley Wood, Barnet
Arts & Crafts Morris chair - Arts & Crafts Settle
We spent eight years looking for the right sofa for our awkward lounge & then Heliconia was recommended to us.
Chris visited our home to measure and see the space. He then navigated around some red herrings that we provided in our brief, guiding us towards the best design. The final price was surprisingly reasonable considering the quality of materials, craftsmanship and bespoke design.
We could easily have paid the same in high street for something far less suitable. The final design is the perfect style for our Arts and Crafts home. Chris even met the challenge of getting the settle through our narrow front door. The settle is both beautiful and functional and it has transformed our home. It is lovely to think that it will last a lifetime.
Mr & Mrs Loasby
I commissioned Chris in 2013 to create a cabinet to complement the Arts & Crafts period features of our sitting room. I was impressed with how he interpreted the brief and took cues from the room to create a range of quite different designs for us to consider. As an amateur woodworker myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the subsequent development process, which was made fun by Chris' relaxed and collaborative approach.
The final piece sits beautifully in the room, echoing the design of the fireplace. We are delighted with the quality of the materials and the craftsmanship and I have no hesitation in recommending Chris for bespoke furniture commissions.
Thanks a million, Chris for the bookcase, it's the most gorgeous piece of custom-made furniture, looks fabulous stacked with a large combination of book sizes and is in effect a small rotating library, which will see generations of good use in this family.
Carmel Boyhan Irvine
I met Chris when he was exhibiting his cocktail cabinet at MADE London crafts fair at One Marylebone. The cabinet is a true "object of desire" - I love the design, workmanship and the aesthetic appeal. I had no space for a cabinet but picked up a business card after chatting to Chris and knew exactly who I wanted to commission to design a desk a few months later.
Chris is a pleasure to deal with and he spared no effort in the design stage and was not at all pushy in the process. It was apparent that he takes great pride in his work and in delighting his clients. The end result has surpassed my expectations and I love the fact that a photographic storyboard illustrates the creative journey.
We gave Chris what we thought was a 'Mission Impossible' task of creating a curved wall walk in wardrobe interior (I can barely say it let alone contemplate building it!). Chris came up with a beautiful design which looked great, matched current fittings and optimised scarce space. We were still a bit sceptical that if would actually work in real life but were delighted with the stunning end result. There was no way we could have bought anything like this 'off the shelf'. We whole heartedly recommend Chris and Heliconia.
Simon and Ines
Revolving Bookcase with glass top
We are over the moon with our new revolving bookcase. This was our first experience of having any bespoke furniture made, (we were initially daunted by the potential complexity and cost) but Chris really helped to bring our rough ideas to life and within a budget that was suitable.
We were also really impressed with his knowledge of materials and construction techniques, which then enabled us to be guided through the whole process and turned it into a really exciting project.
We were keen to get the finished piece prior to Christmas (so we could show her off to friends and family!) and Chris delivered as promised. We now have a unique piece of furniture that will last forever. Highly recommended.
Marc & Eleanor
I've now had two pieces made by Chris: a revolving bookcase made to a specific size, and a matching non-revolving bookcase for a gap in my living room. Both pieces are well made, from good quality materials and look great.
He emailed me with photos and a bit of cad during the design and build process too, to keep me well informed. The pieces are well designed, practical and well executed. Chris was punctual and delivered on the expected date in both cases. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Chris took our brief, for a very specific wooden game (we only had one photo so show him!) and created a beautiful modern version - perfect for our needs and hours of fun - thanks!
I have no hesitation in strongly recommending Chris, and would be more than happy to work with him again.