80 yEARS IN THE MAKING
2019 marks the 80th anniversary of Knightsbridge, the award-winning British furniture designers and manufacturers. Features Editor Sophie Harper visited the company’s Bradford headquarters to learn more about the company’s origins.
Based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, Knightsbridge originally began making furniture for the healthcare sector but now designs furniture for all market sectors including hotels, cruise ships, universities and commercial offices. Choice, quality and exceptional service are the three basic principles inherent to Knightsbridge Furniture. This, along with their market knowledge and service ethos, ensures that customers are offered the best furniture solutions. Committed to British market led design they are one of the very few British contract furniture companies to invest in an in-house design and development team. As part of a tailored service a complete turnkey package is offered including space planning and full project management assuring specifiers complete piece of mind.
Much of Knightsbridge’s success over the last 80 years is down to its versatility and ability to design furniture to suit a wide range of styles, tastes and needs. Crafted using timber from renewable sources, its portfolio embraces a collection of products that are as practical as they are beautiful. The ability to utilise any fabric means there are no limitations and means they can create bespoke designs tailored to their client’s needs.
On my walk around at Knightsbridge HQ, the company’s home since 1944, I’m shown through a labyrinth of walkways that lead from temperature controlled store rooms to busy work benches, past heavy-duty pieces of machinery and a number of highly-skilled and happy craftsmen and women all busily working away on some of the 47,000+ items Knightsbridge makes each year.
As well as using oak and beech, Knightsbridge products are largely made from timber or birch plywood, which is why you’ll find they come with a ten- year guarantee. Pieces are cut and shaped here, onsite, from raw materials, and employees are trained to be meticulous in order to create precision pieces that all slot together perfectly.
With staff trained to be masters in their craft, designers working in close collaboration with clients, and rigorous quality testing throughout the production process, it’s clear Knightsbridge is passionate about furniture making, but really it’s the people, who are more like a family here, that make Knightsbridge what it is, and with their success over the last 80 years, that’s something to be very proud of indeed.
CELEBRATING 80 YEARS
Knightsbridge will be kicking off their 80th birthday celebrations with a launch at Clerkenwell Design Week. Their stand will highlight the company’s history by drawing influences from the past with the Coupe collection and the Caravelle collection, which consists of an armchair and two-seater sofa that is designed around a previous mid-century collection. They’ll also be producing a futuristic version of the Coupe, which has acoustic properties and incorporates technology.
New for 2019 the stunning Coupe range takes inspiration from the Knightsbridge archives and the stylised geometrical forms of art deco. Perfect for enhancing lounges, bedrooms and restaurant areas, the coupe will provide instant glamour with its gorgeous fluted back and elegant curves. Available in a wide range of fabrics including soft velvets, practical linens and faux leathers, the coupe is
designed to enhance existing décor. You’ll find the Knightsbridge team at Project – PA8 at this year’s Clerkenwell Design Week from 21st-23rd May, where you can find out more about the company’s history and latest collections as well as entering their digital smartboard competition where the winner will get to design their own piece of furniture.