Furnished with passion

Timothy Oulton

Timothy Oulton’s luxury furniture puts a modern spin on vintage designs, using only the world’s finest materials

The Timothy Oulton brand is best known for its handcrafted leather sofas, but its flagship London branch is much more than just a furniture store. Located in the historic Bluebird building on the King’s Road, Chelsea, it occupies 7,200 square feet of space what was once an art deco motor garage with connections to the record-breaking driver Sir Malcolm Campbell.

It is now a venue that serves champagne on entry and features an Apollo spaceship, a 1.7-tonne slab of glowing rock crystal, and a giant fish-tank housing a yellow submarine. You’ll also find an array of timeless furniture, lighting and accessories, including Timothy Oulton’s most iconic designs, such as Chesterfield-style sofas and Aviator armchairs. “Leather is definitely our speciality,” says the brand’s eponymous founder. “It’s a big passion of mine. Only 5 per cent of the world’s leather is good enough for us, and it’s all sourced from South America.”

The Chelsea branch is just one of 43 high-profile galleries that the brand has opened across the world, from New York to Dubai. “We want people to feel wowed when they walk in and like they’ve actually experienced something when they leave,” explains Timothy. “The experience is everything to us. We’re very much about hosting people as you would host at home; once you come into our gallery, you’re our guest.”

Pure, authentic materials form the basis of every design. “I’m passionate about reclaimed materials,” says Timothy. “I bought a fleet of fishing boats in China many years ago and we used the wood to create our Axel collection. We even used the propellers as a table base.”

Timothy was immersed in the world of antiques from an early age. He spent much of his time helping his father with the running of their family business, Halo Antiques. When he took ownership of the business, he decided to push it forwards by retaining the vintage element but reinterpreting it for a contemporary audience. The result is an array of high-end stand-out pieces that are quintessentially British and finished with a modern twist.

“We take inspiration from a diversity of heritage periods, from Victoriana to art deco to the Swinging Sixties,” says Timothy. “Vintage never dies because it has a story, and that’s what makes it timeless.”