The story behind…the Thurlestone
The Thurlestone range has special significance for Swoon Studio designer Sam Greig. Named after a village in south Devon where he spent copious time with his grandparents as a kid, it’s infused with an unsurprisingly nautical theme – one that for him embodies his nostalgic sense of the seaside there, the pubs, restaurants and old-fashioned hotels that line the seafront.
His Swedish grandmother grew up visiting a small coastal town called Lilleby, and it’s these cross-generational trips that Sam wanted to pay homage to through the range – the shared experiences of their childhoods. It’s the reason, he tells me, that there’s a heavy Scandi influence in a lot of what he designs. It’s kind of in-built.
Where a lot of Swoon’s designs are bold, imposing and brave, the Thurlestone revels in a cool simplicity and attention to detail. In Sam’s words, ‘We’ve allowed ourselves to be confident enough to go with a fairly stripped-back construction, something that’s a bit more clean cut. We sort of reverted back to the idea that sometimes simpler is better, that a colourful piece of painted furniture can still be sensitive.
‘For me, it felt almost groundbreaking that we were allowing ourselves to be this pared back – but we trusted that people would appreciate its subtlety, that it’s refined and grown-up despite being painted. But it was kind of a risk.’
The coastal elements come through especially in the china blue hue, as well as in the natural oak legs. And the details are where it really shines: its simple but purposeful brass handles, with the radius just before they meet the door.
Nestled in Spitalfields, just around the corner from the Swoon HQ, you can find rows of Huguenot houses – a style of architecture that Sam loves, and very much inspired this range, particularly in blue.
‘They’re quite traditional in their architectural style, and inside you often see them painted that blue-grey colour. But the whole aesthetic relies on leaving a natural timber element revealed. It’s understated, and it’s all about the detail. It’s traditional but carries an understated opulence.’
Shop the Thurlestone range here.