Integrity, craftsmanship and provenance, a conversation with Croxford & Saunders

Keep Creativity Going –

Jane Landino, Creative Head of Studio at Taylor Howes recently gave a talk during Design Week, on behalf of KLC Design School, on the role of integrity, craftsmanship and provenance in modern day interior design.

The subject of this talk has become extremely poignant when we reflect on the nature of the projects we currently work on as a practice. Increasingly, perhaps in a revolt to the trend for fast fashion – and the impact that this is having on the interiors world and the meaning of true craft – more-and-more high net worth individuals and consumers, as whole, are seeking stories within their designs. They want their interiors to tell a story, be it of the house itself or of their lives.

We spoke in our very first trend report, Kaleidoscope about the concept of the Grand Tour and the blending of interiors new and old. Little did we know how directly this concept (cited in a report forecasting what would happen) would truly become.

At Taylor Howes we’re fortunate to work with amazingly skilled craftspeople, artists and smaller suppliers that, due to the unique nature of our projects we get to enlist. One of the teams we have had the pleasure of working with of late has been Croxford & Saunders, who we worked on our Epping Forest, manor house restoration project, Wallsgrove.

The brief from this client? To bring to life the history of the Grade II listed house in every detail, weave into its fabric the stories of the family and their own histories. Croxford & Saunders, founded in 2009 by Tom Saunders and Matthew Croxford are decorative artists with strong guiding principles – “to be faithful to the character and spirit of the period which we are illustrating” – and therefore a natural fit for this project.

They are an example, in its simplest form, of the UK’s cultural soft power they met as artistic exports, recruited to work on a Middle Eastern Palace over 20 years ago.

As part of the Keep Creativity Going campaign we spoke with them in order to better understand what creativity means to them and the guiding principles of the way in which they work.

Without individual and collective creativity many of our most memorable works simply would not exist, I don’t think either of us would have embarked on such a career if this essential ingredient was not part of our DNA. Creativity is about approaching day to day life from different angles and perspectives, never assume you know everything and use what knowledge you have to broaden possible answers, always look for a new way of approaching a time honoured thing.

Our company  signature is about meticulous attention to detail and being faithful to the character and spirit of any given period. Adapting and reflecting a knowledgeable international client base with respect to their own decorative heritage.

Inspiration comes from great art, nature and the past.”

Croxford & Saunders employs 5 people in permanent roles and employs up to 20 freelance artists and craftspeople depending on the intricacy of the project.

What has been their favourite commission to date?

“One of our favourite commissions was the Georgian Manor House project we worked with Taylor Howes on. It was of particular interest due to strong design integrity and the sheer number and variety of design skills we got to implement. Throughout the house we applied disciplines from painted chinoiseries and singerie orientalist painted panelling, to muraling, etching, trompe l’oeill and traditional oil gilding.

To find our more about Croxford & Saunders click here