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THE KBBREVIEW INTERVIEW | Oli Deadman RIGHT: Skilled


craftsmen are at the heart of a company where bespoke is the watchword


steel gridwork that can hold a ridiculous amount of water spillage if the drawer is left open. Everything is thoroughly thought about.”


just as David [Dunkley] and Clive did when they came up with the iconic Architectural kitchen. We are in exactly the same position today, looking to push those boundaries with design. Every single day I have to ensure that we uphold the ethos of producing the very best for the very best clients around the world. We have an excellent team of men and women who are all very proud to be working for a British powerhouse of manufacturing excellence.”


Future


As well as ensuring they remain true to their heritage, he tells me that 70% of his time is spent thinking about the future: “What do we want to put in the next showroom? What do we want to be releasing next year? I would also be involved in special, bespoke projects. Such as one we have at the moment for a client in our Nantwich showroom. “They wanted to commission us to do a piece of marquetry that sits on a 2m square piece of cabinetry that will depict the London skyline. Projects like that, that take some real meticulous thinking that we want to put a little of our magical design stamp on – they are generally the bits I would get involved with.”


And that brings us neatly to speak of the Garden Kitchen. Deadman reveals how it all started: “When we came first started talking about the Garden Kitchen, it was led by a large project that we were doing over in Spain [at the tail end of 2020]. We had already done the full property, and the client


34


asked if we had anything we could put on the sun terrace.


“It was one of those briefs where you think ‘crikey, that’s a huge step for us in a different direction’. It was as much, if not more so than usual, about the engineering of the product, to make sure it can live up to being outside in the elements with the rain, snow and sun. So I went away and did an immense amount of panicking. How would we make something that would stand up to this use?” And before long, Deadman found the perfect solution. He explains: “We arrived at the concept of designing the furniture as if it were a superyacht and taking the exacting engineering standards that you would expect with a piece of high-precision coachbuilding and combining it with the glamour and elegance of a Clive Christian installation.


“The timber we use, Royal Iroko, isn’t just beautiful with fantastic grain and tone, it was chosen because of its natural properties that deter fungus growth and water damage. It has fantastic natural resistance to UV.” On top of that, it is further treated with a synthetic oil to ensure it is fully sealed against water ingress and the Garden Kitchen also uses adhesives from the boating industry – “the same as is used to secure the outer cladding of a yacht hull that has been designed to sit in water for all of its life”.


But the nods to superyachts do · October 2021


not end there: “We will be offering it with a choice of two handles. The first is inspired by a deck cleat and is made from 316 grade stainless steel with a beautiful, highly polished finish. And so everyone will know that it might be a kitchen, but it is part thoroughbred yacht in its heritage.”


Hidden gems


And thinking back to the question that he tells me David Dare would always ask of a design – ‘Is it Clive Christian enough?’ – Deadman affirms: “It is Clive Christian through and through – as much as a Metro Deco or an Architectural kitchen. We picked up on the beautiful details and hidden gems. You’ve got the surface level of the products, impeccably smooth and sleek exterior with its milled-in inlays, then inside you have concealed drawers with edge-pull handles that pull out and reveal drawer bottoms that have been lined with a stainless


Summing up his design ethos, he says: “We always take a brief on face value and then think about how we can take that out of the comfort zone. How do we take that away from the market expectation and turn that into something that is going to turn people’s heads? And that attention to detail goes for all Clive Christian furniture. Industry-standard is not acceptable at Clive Christian Furniture.”


He admits he thinks high-street furniture companies have “really upped their game” in recent years and adds: “It makes us home in on what makes us different. It keeps us sharp and on the top of our game.”


And if the passion and enthusiasm that comes across during our interview is any indication, the brand’s powerful heritage is in safe hands.


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