We’re thrilled to unveil our latest furniture collaboration which we’ve designed in partnership with Jules Haines, founder of award winning eco-interiors platform Haines. Our first ever loose-cover design, The Hendal continues our mission to create luxury handmade furniture using only responsible sourced materials and fabrics. We sat down with Nasia - MD of Lorfords Contemporary - and Jules to discuss the new collab.
How did this collaboration come about?
Nasia: As we continue to challenge ourselves to be as conscious about our environmental impact as possible, we like to keep an eye out for other brands who share similar values in the industry of luxury interiors. Haines came to our attention for its ground-breaking initiative to minimise fabric waste, an area which we feel really passionate about as we find it to be one of the most wasteful parts of the process of covering custom furniture. We admire and share Jules’s passion and commitment to a more sustainable future and so, what better way to bring sustainable craft and resourcefulness together than to create beautiful pieces of furniture that will last a lifetime?
Where did your inspiration come from for this design?
Jules: For me the scallop shape is quite a ‘new look’ and one that I think will define this decade. I remember seeing it for the very first time at Decorex at Chelsea Harbour a few years ago when Matilda Goad exhibited one of her iconic raffia lamp shades - I was absolutely hooked! So I was really excited to make this a part of the design, with its distinctive scallop skirt that seems to float off the floor and gives the chair its strong personality.
How long did the design process take for the chair?
Nasia: From concept to completion, the chair took us around 6 months to develop in our workshop. We started with moodboards and then onto drafting concept sketches, technical drawings and developed prototypes of the frame and loose cover, prior to finalising the finished product.
Could you explain a bit more about the sustainability considerations behind this chair?
Nasia: Firstly, we wanted to design a chair which is versatile and that can be used in various rooms and settings around the house. A versatile piece is always a more sustainable piece since you can use it in various settings and don’t need to keep changing it per function of a room. And so we decided upon a slipper chair design as this format made it feel like it could fit seamlessly into practically any room of the house or in hallways, reading nooks etc.
In terms of sustainability of materials, each chair is handmade to order in our workshop with an FSC certified beech wood frame and all natural inner fillings including calico, hemp, cotton webbing, wool, twine, paper, jute, coir, recycled textiles and natural latex foam cushioning. Considered to be one of the best eco-friendly foams to use, natural latex is a 100% natural product made from renewable sources, as well as being fully biodegradable and recyclable. The first loose cover armchair that Lorfords Contemporary has created, the design also has no need for cushion zips - minimising hardware being needed in its construction - with the cover being fitted with fabric button back detailing. A loose cover also means more versatility - you can work with our team to create ‘covers only’ that you can update with seasons, as you re-decorate or if you move from room to room, so that colour and pattern all ties into your colour scheme.
Jules: In terms of the fabric we’ve used, we decided to launch The Hendal in the distinctive ‘Checkers’ print designed by British sustainable fabric house Pomily, which was recently selected as part of our ‘Haines Curates’ initiative, which brings together a collective of some of the most eco-conscious textile designers. Bold checks are really having a moment right now, in fashion and in the interiors industry so it was a design I was automatically drawn to. Founded by Emily Bowring in 2022, Pomily’s studio is UK based and focuses on digital printing to order - which requires less ink, water and energy than some other printing methods - and only uses sustainably sourced linen and cotton blend fabrics which are chosen for their biodegradability.”What are your favourite parts of the design?
Nasia: For me it’s the combination of the clean, elegant silhouette of the chair paired with the incredible comfort that the all-natural materials and craftsmanship create. I love the juxtaposition of the geometric pattern of the Pomily fabric that we’ve used, combined with the scalloped skirt and effortless feel of the loose cover on the slipper chair. The personality of the design changes so much depending on fabric and I love seeing the different iterations. If you wanted a more organic look for example, the chair would look fantastic in the Ellen Merchant, Nomad Linen – Jamboree or the Daphne Roach, Lichen Mania – Blue for a simpler, more pared back look.
Jules: What I love about this chair is its solid presence balanced by the softness of the scallops - the fabrics allow it to appeal to any space and design scheme. I also am pretty obsessed with the fabric covered buttons down the back of the design. It reminds me of how beautiful ball gowns have been fastened for centuries, and really elevates the design I feel. I love how Lorfords Contemporary chose to make a feature of them and mix up the colours - just brilliant. Fabrics for me - I think a floral could really bring out The Hendal’s feminine side - you could go super traditional with a heavy Sanderson floral, or a contemporary Christopher Farr bright floral would really help the chair make an impact. For a softer look I’d like to go for a pale blue velvet with contrast buttons for a little secret colour pop!
The final question - we’ve all been wondering - why is it called The Hendal?
Jules: Our Haines studio is based on Hendal Farm in Kent, where we rent a beautiful converted barn between a pond and a large field. It seemed fitting for our first furniture design as it’s the place where we have grown in our first office.
The Hendal by Lorfords Contemporary x Haines is available now - EXPLORE HERE