The Fine English Company was conceived by Benedict Wormald after a lifetime of sourcing unique and artisan pieces for himself during his career in the City. Benedict was concerned about the decline of traditional skills such as gun making, tailoring and shoe making; he saw them as timeless and less subject to the vagaries of fashion.
“I found existing brands too polished and artificial in aesthetic, they did not represent a truly elegant way of living in Great Britain - where form and function are intertwined,
designs and materials that have remained unchanged for 150 years and still serve uncompromised.” Benedict does not come from a conventional interiors background and consequently his solutions and creativity are borne out of a genuine love of traditional country pursuits such as polo, shooting, hunting and fishing. “If it is British and bespoke - we will undoubtedly be able to make it - there is no limit to our capability.”
In this era of ‘semi-bespoke’ and ‘made-to-measure’, it’s important to purify the term bespoke and create truly unique items; to the very best standard available that will undoubtedly become design classics to hand down for many generations. Working with the very best craftsmen in the country, a lot of time is invested in establishing relationships, developing better working practices and where possible, funding training.
A Fine English interior is limited only by your imagination. Whether your requirement is a games or gun room, a Chelsea town house, a Buckinghamshire manor or 12 bedroom ski chalet, you will be inspired to create something really unique and personal. It is important to capture the personality of the client therefore the team wholly encourages input throughout the design process. This begins at head office where there is a library of reference books, photography, stock samples and mood boards, not to mention the interior to really set your imagination alight. It is difficult to capture the essence of Fine English without visiting, so do make an appointment.
There are some staples that are quite hard to lay your hands on, the classics that make a Fine English house a home and add that little bit of character and personality that is so often lacking in other interior designed properties. Fine English will find the impossible (or at the very least make it). With a great selection of classic items and antiques such as taxidermy by the very best names - Rowland Ward and Van Ingen of Mysore - and a selection of stunning items from the world of militaria, automotive and aeronautical. Also available is a representative selection of pieces from key makers such as Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Alfred Dunhill and Cartier as well as vintage posters and fine art.
Fine English furniture evokes words such as quality, timeless, classic, elegant, distinctive and exquisite. The unique aspect of English country homes and lifestyles is that they encompass many generations of influence taste and styles, so overlaying the desires of the current owner with ties to tradition and previous influences.
we typically focus around items that would have been found in Grand Estates and the requests get wider and wider! We had a hedge fund owner who wanted his shooting lodge furnished but without any of the conventional design cues- tweed, tartan, leather, antique guns, swords, traditional taxidermy, antlers etc. He is a very quiet and genteel individual and then we started to pick up a pace and I was clearer as to what he wanted, items that break the ice and open conversation for his guests who have often travelled a long way to shoot with him- we ended up with a full Saber Tooth Tiger skeleton (The size of a pony), a Vickers machine gun from WWII but completely Nickel Plated (It looks like an oversized sterling silver centrepiece that might have been presented post war) and the piece de resistance was a huge bear mounted to order that was holding a silver platter for aperitif on a brisk winters morning. The end result was spectacular and not what I was expecting at all.
This can be particularly useful for international clients who have adopted the English style and want to know that if they are going to spend hard earned money, that they will get the very best available and often more importantly that it will hold its value. I never advise a client to get into anything that will not yield a profit mid to long term. A great example is a Van Ingen Tiger that we sourced for a client that was 1930’s but had never been unpacked- it was still in its branded canvas bag and had the transit wax on the teeth and claws. I don’t mind saying that the client paid around £5,500 for that Tiger and it would undoubtedly fetch £20,000 some 2 years later. The appetite for original and best quality taxidermy has just soared.