Meet the Maker: Tailor
Our brand-new Tailor collection is something of a departure from our usual upholstered designs. Wood is at the core of all our sofas, providing a strong starting point that’s guaranteed for life. With Tailor, we’ve decided to let the wood be the star of the show! We’ve left this warm and wonderful material on full display for a clean yet characterful effect. The result is a collection of our first ever tables, with coffee table, side table, and stool designs that have a fresh look and a quintessential Arlo feel. To bring these new ideas to life, we’ve enlisted the help of our friend Steve just down the road from our East Midlands headquarters. To give a sense of the man behind the magic, we connected with Steve for a brief introduction to his work…
What brought you to the world of wood?
I started off as an engineer, actually. I would make the machines that helped to produce wooden products - intricate elements like doorknobs and lace bobbins. Nottinghamshire has a long history of lace production so I find it quite cool to have been part of that. It also really helped me to develop my skills as making those machines required me to work on a miniscule scale, creating detailed components as little as 2mm thick! That lasted for about 25 years. I then transitioned into working on furniture, and have been doing that quite happily for the past decade.
What kinds of wood do you work with?
I work mostly with beech and oak wood. They have a similar look, with a lovely pale straw colour. They’re also very hard and durable, yet a pleasure to work with. They really are ideal for making furniture as they can be worked with real precision. Both oak and beech wood are great for turning, too - which is very handy in the case of my work with Arlo.
How do you build sustainability into your work?
Working with wood, it’s key to be careful about sourcing. I like to know where my timber is coming from and ensure I’ve done my due diligence. I’ve actually gone a step beyond and earned an FSC certification, so now I’ve got that seal to prove I’m doing my bit! I also select my woods based on their geographic availability. Both oak and beech are readily available in Europe, making them a great fit.
What Arlo furniture do you have a hand in making?
I have a hand in various pieces with more intricate wooden design elements. I make the bobbin legs on chairs like the Rose, for example, as well as turned sofa legs. And now the Tailor range, too! It’s exciting to have a whole new cast of designs to turn my hand to - and the techniques they require are a bit different from the other pieces, which is a fun change of pace.
How do you feel our new Tailor collection fits in with the other Arlo products you work on?
With furniture, wood is often a key component even if it’s not clearly visible. I know, for example, that it’s the basis of all Arlo & Jacob’s sofas. So, really, it’s a natural progression to start showcasing that material more, giving it a modern flavour that sits well with the rest of the offering. Working with Mark Smith, Arlo's creative CEO is always inspiring. He has some inventive ideas and has designed the Tailor products to have a minimalist look to them. But they’re made using traditional techniques, which imparts an added bit of character and history. The wood stains I use are also incredibly robust, ensuring these are long-lasting pieces of furniture that, like the rest of the Arlo lineup, will stand the test of time.
Want to learn more about our new Tailor range? Check out the full family online or pop into one of our shops to explore them in person! If you’d like to find out more about how they’re made or how best to style them in your home, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can even book a free style consultation to get the full treatment!