Conserving our cabinet-making heritage

Our furniture restoration service

If furniture restoration is to be carried out sympathetically and to a high standard, a restorer will need to be engaged who has a love and thorough understanding of their trade. This is where our specialist’s experience can be of great help. Since 1989 Jonathan has undertaken the restoration of countless pieces of furniture for private individuals, businesses, and institutions, and prior to that, he supplied traditional restoration materials to restorers across the southeast of England. Culvertons also benefit from his expertise by way of receiving a steady flow of sensitively restored and well-chosen pieces for their gallery in Dorking, and online shop – some of which are viewable by visiting our archive.

Please visit our contact page if you would like a quotation, or just need some help and advice regarding furniture restoration – attaching images to emails will always give us a better understanding of what is required, and enable us to comment with accuracy.

Supporting independent artisans

If a piece of furniture is to be restored to a high standard, a broad range of artisanship will need to be employed. To achieve this, different workshops may need to be visited to take advantage of the specialist skills within. For instance, one restorer may excel at woodcarving or turning, and another in veneering and marquetry, but they may not have the same depth of knowledge as a traditional French polisher when it comes to finishing the piece, or the tooling required to apply gold leaf to a leathered writing surface or make a lock and key from scratch.

Jonathan’s experience and contacts will not only enable the sympathetic restoration of your furniture but also lessen any concerns that may arise with venturing into a trade that you are not familiar with.

Protecting your furniture whilst it is being restored

From the time your furniture is collected by our specialist or trusted couriers to the time, it is returned and placed back in situ, it will be carefully and securely stored and adequately insured, both whilst it is in transit and within a workshop environment.

Furniture restoration – benefiting the environment we live in

A once elegant, but now neglected piece of Edwardian furniture, this revolving desk chair awaits restoration.
Before … a neglected Edwardian desk chair awaits restoration

There are sound personal, cultural, aesthetic, financial and of course, practical reasons why furniture of all ages should be either conserved, restored or repaired. However, whilst we wait for many of the world’s furniture manufacturers to become environmentally compliant and forward-thinking, surely the primary reason is to reduce the quantity of mass-produced furniture that rolls off energy-sapping production lines and into landfill each day.

An Edwardian mahogany revolving desk chair after our furniture restoration team and upholsters have worked their magic
After … and now ready for many more years of use, and for delivery to its new home in Italy.

To be more environmentally aware and at the same time enhance the interiors of our homes, we should consider the restoration of the many pieces of fine furniture that often lay neglected within them. With some expertise and a moderate investment, our skilled team of restorers will return them to a functional state whilst transforming their appearance. In some cases revealing hidden beauty and unique natural works of art that only the passing of time could create. This transformation is only possible because of the inherent quality found within many older pieces. Their original design, and the natural materials, cabinet fittings and craftsmanship employed in their production are nearly always far superior to modern mass-produced equivalents.

If we could replicate an antique cabinet, and the unavailability of raw materials and forgotten processes often makes this impossible, it would be prohibitively expensive. But why would you want to? If you don’t already possess a piece of old furniture that needs restoration, there is a vast and affordable range auctioned and sold by dealers on a weekly basis, throughout the UK to choose from.

So, please consider furniture restoration as an alternative to buying new, or why not commission us to create your vision with reclaimed or sustainable materials?

Will the cost exceed its value?

Yes, not always, but often the cost of restoration does exceed the open market value of the piece of furniture we are working on. This is certainly not because our charges are high, they are not, we provide an affordable and efficient service. It is mainly due to the current low values achieved at auctions across the country for many fine pieces. This has been the case since the antique emporium-style interiors, which prevailed throughout many homes in the last decades of the twentieth century, fell out of favour, roughly at the same time we welcomed the new millennium.

However, we are once again choosing, albeit in a more considered manner, pieces of period furniture that compliment today’s decorative interiors. With future value and pedigree of less importance than it once was, it is now colour, artisanship, and visual impact that will secure its appeal and position within the home or business. Qualities that our restoration team will endeavour to unveil.

Rest assured that your satisfaction is very important to us

Our specialist is known for being very particular and going the extra mile to achieve excellent results. So much so that he has never had an item returned or received a complaint regarding the quality of work. This has been made possible by always placing customer satisfaction in front of financial gain and working with a highly skilled team of like-minded restorers.

Do we undertake furniture restoration in your area?

We offer our services throughout central and southern England: principally in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Hampshire, including London.

What our clients say...

"Dear Jonathan, Max and I are absolutely speechless. What an amazingly wonderful job you've done on our panelling. It is superb, absolutely superb. We're more than delighted. It was slightly sad coming home to find all your tools and equipment gone. We've enjoyed having you in the house and will miss you. I'll email you again soon to arrange a time for you (and your daughter) to come for tea to see how the house looks when it's all back in order. Thank you so very much for your hard work, perfectionism and friendliness."

Shannan & Max