Tucked away in a historic mews in North London, Tree Couture’s Workshop and Atelier have a unique atmosphere. Careful restoration has infused light and love into the long-neglected old buildings, originally part of a Victorian dairy. It’s a warm, vibrant, inspiring space which lies at the heart of every one of our furniture creations.
The ‘mill’, our main workshop area, accommodates a host of glorious woodworking machines, which we call our Iron Maidens. Each has a specific role to play in converting timber from rough-sawn planks into perfectly flat, smooth, dimensioned components on which to carry out the intricate handwork. From band saw, rip saw, cross cut saw and dimension saw to planer, thicknesser, spindle moulder, drill press, sander and finisher, each of our Maidens helps us to cut, shape, surface, edge, drill and sand our hand selected hardwood planks: The first step in their journey to becoming a beautiful piece of furniture.
The work we do in this brick vault of a space, with its cathedral-like roof and countless metres of industrial ducting, is heavy duty – not for the faint-hearted or flimsy-muscled. It’s noisy and dusty and, given all the perfectly-honed saw blades, knives, belts and cutters, not without its dangers. But at the same time, it’s exhilarating to transform rough, twisted, dusty planks into smooth, elegant and precision-cut wood components.
Our Bench Studio is a much calmer place than the Workshop. Bright, white and flooded with sunshine in the summer, it’s here that we carry out our handcrafting. Benchwork involves all the processes which are carried out using hand tools or small, portable power tools. Whether it’s the precision-cutting of joints, chiselling out of recesses for hinges, locks and escutcheons or the inlaying of contrast woods or fine metals, our workbenches are constantly in use.
This is the point of origin for all our projects. Whether it’s the design work for a new piece of furniture, a client meeting to take a special commission or a production meeting with the team, the activities which take place here define with precision what we make and exactly how we make it.
Dating back to 1872, this is the most imposing of our buildings. Accessed through a fine set of our handmade solid oak entrance doors, the atelier is both a production area and a beautiful gallery space for Tree Couture’s collections. Downstairs, all the final, critical stages of producing furniture take place; after sanding, each piece is either spray-finished with water-based lacquer or hand-finished with hardwax oil. Our leatherwork studio is also downstairs, where soft leathers and nappas are painstakingly applied to the insides of drawers and other decorative features. Upstairs, the double height gallery provides a stunning, light and airy backdrop to display our collections.
Our courtyard is the perfect place for taking a breather after a spell of heavy work or relaxing with the team and a summer evening barbeque. It also provides additional workshop space, especially useful for laying out timber when we need daylight to closely inspect the chosen boards.
Behind every great business is a fabulous team – and Tree Couture is supremely proud of every member of its small crew. At the core of the company are the workshop staff, shown here from left to right: Troo, Chris, Emma and Adam.