Crafting Legacy: Martin Taylor’s Journey from Antiques to Hospitality Furniture

The story of Taylor’s Classics stands as a beacon of adaptation and enduring style. Martin Taylor, the visionary behind the brand, took us on a journey from the company’s humble beginnings to its status as a key player in the contract and hospitality furniture industry.

Martin Taylor, Founder of Taylor’s Classics

Reflecting on the inception of Taylor’s Classics in 1978, Martin shared “It was the year I got married to my beautiful wife Ruth, and together we embarked on this adventure, transforming a Georgian property in Shifnal into our launchpad.”

As the conversation progressed, Martin recounted the pivotal moment in 2007/08 when the antique market’s dynamics shifted dramatically. This period prompted a significant transformation for Taylor’s Classics, moving from antique dealing to crafting bespoke furniture for the hospitality sector. Martin’s narrative highlighted the necessity of this shift, “The antique business was on fire until it wasn’t, forcing us to rethink our direction and focus on supplying the hospitality industry with our unique blend of historical design and modern functionality.”

Taylor’s Classics

When asked about the inspiration behind the Birch collection, Martin’s enthusiasm was palpable. He described his long-standing admiration for the antique Birch chairs and how this affection gave birth to a collection that marries classic aesthetics with contemporary needs. “I’ve always been drawn to the design of the Birch chair, its elegant back columns, and bun finials. It was about taking that inspiration and adapting it for today’s use, making it more comfortable and durable while retaining its character.”

Birch Chair by Taylor’s Classics

The conversation then shifted to one of Taylor’s Classics’ most distinctive pieces – the three-legged chair. Martin’s discovery of this unique design in an antique centre in Lincolnshire led to its inclusion in their catalogue. He detailed the chair’s design considerations, noting its practicality and appeal in various settings. “The three-legged chair, with its stability and comfort, is perfect for a pub or a cosy reading nook, offering a piece that’s as functional as it is intriguing.”

3 Legged Chair by Taylor’s Classics

Martin’s vision for Taylor’s Classics extends beyond just creating furniture; it’s about crafting pieces that leave a lasting impression, balancing form and function. His dedication to this craft is evident in every piece that comes out of their Stafford workshop, where a team of skilled artisans brings his visions to life. Looking to the future, Martin remains committed to innovation while staying true to the core values that have defined Taylor’s Classics over the decades: quality, sustainability, and timeless design.

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About Alys Bryan

Alys is a knowledgeable design editor who is focused on instigating conversations, both online and in-person, with industry experts which challenge, educate and advance the commercial interior sector. Her training and 15 years of professional experience as a furniture designer for the commercial sector makes her uniquely placed to lead Design Insider as Editor
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