As the world, hopefully, emerges from the pandemic crisis, I’m very grateful to our clients for the position we find ourselves in. It has been such a difficult time for so many people but, extraordinarily, 2021 has so far been our best and busiest year.
I think there are probably a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, the nature of lockdown has led people to appreciate and think more about their home and working environments, and what better to make the space around you special than by commissioning bespoke furniture.
Secondly, I’ve noticed a trend across various markets for people to move to a more personal kind of service. You can see it in areas such as private banking and even the trend of ordering groceries from local artisans rather than a supermarket. People are placing a firmer emphasis on provenance and developing a direct relationship with the people who are looking after their money, slicing their cheese or supplying their vegetables. And it’s very much the same when it comes to luxury products such as furniture.
I get to know all of our clients personally, which is one of the things I love most about my job. When we make them a cabinet or a table, every detail is designed with them in mind. Of course, the world does need mass-produced, pre-pack furniture churned out on anonymous industrial estates. It’s cheap and it’s functional. But a piece of carefully crafted bespoke furniture made especially for you is truly something to be treasured.
A question that many of us are now pondering is whether the experiences of the pandemic crisis will have a permanent impact on the way we live and work. At 1718, we’re fortunate in that we have continued to work pretty much as usual, whilst closely following government guidelines. Of course, there have been more phone calls, emails and Zoom meetings and, while that may continue to be more of a feature of business communication, I’m really looking forward to saying hello to my clients in person.
However, there is one technical area in which I see us enhancing what we are able to offer. Everyone is now so much more aware of how viruses can be spread and this has led to a growing demand for anti-viral coatings to be applied to interiors plastics, glass, leather and wood. The science in this area is advancing rapidly and it’s certainly something I’m keen to offer clients where possible.
For instance, one of our partners, the luxury leather specialist Muirhead, has been highly innovative in this field over the past year – their beautiful anti-virus leathers are pictured above. The option of bespoke furniture with built-in virus protection has got to be an appealing prospect given what the world has been going through, so do get in touch if you’d like to find out more.
Also, I hope the past 15 months have been kind to you – and I look forward to seeing many clients, friends and new faces in the months to come.