Eco Friendly Designers – Tom Raffield
Today, we are all consciously aware of our environment and the detrimental effects we have on it. The knowledge that we have available to us, and the choices that we make in our day-to-day living, hopefully, mean that we are all doing our bit for future generations to come. There is no better place to start thinking more about our environment and how we can help by making the right choices in our homes.
Some of you may already be into upcycling or recycling around your homes. For those of you that struggle with or not into DIY, there are some brilliant designers out there producing some amazing eco-friendly designs that take our environmental issues into consideration.
As an interior designer, it’s really important to promote sustainability and tackle carbon emissions, which are just a couple of areas that all designers, should adhere to make a positive impact on the environment. Before studying, I have to admit, I was somewhat unaware of how many amazing designers there are when it comes to the spaces we live in.
One designer who I absolutely fell in love with is the brilliant Tom Raffield. He creates unique furniture and lighting inspired by nature, and these are reflected in the forms of the designs he creates. Tom Raffield has been in operation since 2008, designing and manufacturing steam-bent, wooden lighting and furniture. Each one is hand-made in Cornwall, England, which just happens to be where I spend my summer each year with my family.
Tom Raffield’s approach to sustainable design is to use local timber from renewable sources ensuring a greener carbon footprint. The timber is from sustainably managed woodlands where more trees are planted than cut down. This wood is either unseasoned, green or air-dried to avoid energy-intensive kiln drying processes.
His designs are formed by the use of steam bending process which is a low energy method of manufacturing which has very little wastage. This process ensures that there is no use of toxic or harmful chemicals just water.
One of the reasons why I love his work is that he is not a slave to ‘trends’. Instead, he creates unique pieces that have a timeless quality about them. I am a firm believer in staying true to ourselves in all aspects of our lives, especially in our homes. They should reflect our own personality and style. What is the point in creating your home from this years magazine shoot because next year, it’s all change and that is hardly a sustainable environmentally conscious way to go. Remember trends are there for inspiration purposes only whereas stylish, quality and sustainable pieces will be around for future generations to come.
Here are just a few of my favourite pieces from Tom Raffield’s range …..
The Cove is an elegant wooden pendant ceiling light which is formed by a continuous coil of steam bent ash, oak or walnut. I love how light flows through the grain providing a warm glow to a space. On the oak and walnut versions, the golden glow is directed more onto the interior of the shade.
Good to Know: Handmade using sustainably sourced wood and finished with an eco-friendly, non-toxic varnish. Dimensions H25cm, D 39cm
The Creel pendant is exclusive to Heals. Each pendant is as unique as the piece of wood from which it has been hand-made from. I love the fact that the Creel’s design has been inspired by the traditional woven baskets found in Cornwall.
Good to Know: Available in sustainably sourced ash, oak or walnut, H 30cm, D 40cm
The May Coffee Table is again handcrafted using sustainable English Oak. I love the sculptural curve that connects to all four legs of this elegant table. Initially, it appears quite simple in design but the sculptural twist actually creates a complex shape to the piece which also provides strength and durability. This makes it a long-term quality table to have in your possession and I love it.
Good to Know: Sustainable English Oak; D 75cm, H 48cm
The Salt Table: Set of Three – These contemporary nest of tables are beautiful and have a timeless quality to them that will stand the test of time. I fell in love with them as soon as I saw them. They would be great in any space, large or small and I can visualise so many possibilities for their function within our homes and their nesting quality adds to their appeal.
Good to Know: Made from sustainably sourced English oak. Finished with a blend of natural oils to give a matt finish, Large: W 140cm / H 82.5cm / D 79cm, Medium: W 97.5cm / H 70cm / D 70cm, Small: W 68cm / H 39.7cm / D50cm
Although I have provided external links to all the above pieces, you can order directly from Tom Raffield at Tomraffield.com
I’ll leave you with Tom Raffield’s take on sustainability….
“We create products that will be cherished, enjoyed and loved and feel strongly that in our disposable culture longevity is the basis for sustainability. In an ideal world, sustainability is a by-product of good design. Running a business in a sustainable way should naturally be sound business practice”.
Have a great week! I’m off to Cornwall for our holidays and will be back posting in a couple of weeks.