What Would They Know? Sally Taylor and Tom Coles of Timbermill Designs

by | Styling Wisdom, What Would They Know?, Wisdom

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Ms Polka Dot
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Timbermill Designs

I love recycled timber furniture, the particular character of the wood and the little jolt of ‘wow’ it can bring to a room. So I’m thrilled to introduce today Timbermill Designs a young company whose owners make, sell and hire out recycled timber pieces. From trestle tables, and stools, to smaller items such as blackboards, serving boards and boxes, Timbermill Designs have your wedding furniture needs covered. Perfect for any style of wedding from spring garden to industrial venue, or as a wedding gift from a group of friends to the happy couple, this recycled furniture might be just what you are looking for. So here is Tom and Sally’s story…

Please tell us when and how you started your business. Do you have a background in making furniture or other items?

Sal:

Timbermill started as backyard hobby for Tom. He was working as a civil engineer 9-5 and then coming home on the weekends to make furniture for friends and family. Over the period of about a year, the demand quickly grew for his furniture and the decision was made in March this year to turn it full time. Since that time, I have come on board to help run the business side of things whilst Tom builds his amazing furniture pieces every day.

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Where are you located?

Alexandria, Sydney.

And where can we see your furniture? 

At the moment we only have a workshop, which whilst it isn’t very glamorous allows our clients to view the timber and furniture pieces in person.  This allows our clients to see the process behind the furniture making and helps them visualize their pieces.

Other than that, our website and social media feeds are the best place to get the most up to date imagery of the pieces we are currently building. Hopefully sooner rather than later we will have a beautiful showroom for our clients to come visit.

What types of timber do you use, and where do you source it? What is your favourite timber to work with?

Tom:

We mainly use recycled hardwood, a lot of which is hardwood fence palings. This is definitely one of my favourite timbers to work with, as it is so interesting to see how each piece comes up once it has been sanded and turned into a furniture piece. We also use a lot of recycled Oregon. Our timber is sourced from all over NSW from a variety of building sites, farms, and residential homes… wherever we can find it really.

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Why use recycled timber and not new timber? What appeals to you about recycled timber?

Tom:

Recycled timber has a story. No piece is every exactly the same and that is what is most appealing. Whilst sometimes it would be great to work with clean, fresh timber everyday and occasionally I do and it is great, I am always drawn back to recycled timber eventually. The satisfaction from turning something that is considered firewood back into a beautiful dining table for example, cannot be matched.

What is it about making furniture/working with timber, that is so satisfying?

Tom:

As I touched on in the last question, I love the fact I can take old recycled timber which some might consider rubbish and turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture. Timber is an absolute passion of mine, and the fact I have been able to turn it into my job is a bonus!

What influences your furniture designs?

Everything really – in terms of our sales side, our clients provide continuous inspiration and influence. When they come to us with their ideas of the custom pieces they would like, sometimes (not meaning to offend anyone here) they seem a little bit crazy although once you have worked together to develop the design these ideas can sometimes open your eyes up to something you never would think of.

For the rentals, we are influenced by the current trends in the industry and then look at how we can produce pieces, which will work for these trends.

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You offer a rental service for weddings events. Does this service extend Australia wide?

Yes we do, although at the moment we can only offer it in NSW.  We are always looking for opportunities to expand to other states so hopefully we can offer it soon.

What sorts of small items do you have for rent, and what is your most popular larger rental item?

In terms of smaller items we have a range of serving boards, crates and boxes, and hand painted signs.  And in the larger items, our traditional trestles and benches are the most popular. Brides and event planners love the rustic look of them, and the fact we have enough to seat a whole wedding. Our collection is continuously growing so if you have anything in mind, it is always worth checking with us first because it might be something we could have in a few months.

What style of wedding would your furniture most suit?

The furniture probably best suits and is most popular with rustic/vintage weddings, or an outdoor garden wedding. Although our clients continue to surprise and amaze us with the variety in which they are using our products. Timber has an ability to match so many styles and can be made to look quite modern or quite rustic depending on it’s setting and the styling which is done.

I think the biggest misconception about recycled timber tables is that they can only be used with a rustic/vintage look. This is not the case at all – with appropriate styling and accessories a timber table can me made to look quite modern.

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Is your rental furniture finished in different ways? 

At the moment our rental collection is left natural with a light wax for protection.  We plan on offering a range of finishes, although this will happen gradually as we expand our stock levels.

Do you offer a styling service if required? What do you offer in this regard?

Sal: Informally, yes we do although we don’t have an official service yet. I am an interior designer by degree so part of me is itching to get back to my roots and add a proper styling service to Timbermill, but we have made a conscious decision to focus on getting the business up and running this year before we take on any more work. Although, I am always very happy to provide input and advice into your wedding styling.

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Where do you feel most inspired? Country or city?

City.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time doesn’t seem to come around as often as we would like, but when it does you’ll find us with our friends having a long brunch followed by a lazy day of magazine reading (Sal), motorbike riding (Tom), and being somewhere near water.

Thank you Sally and Tom for telling us your story and showing us your stunning furniture. For more information on Timbermill Designs please visit their website.

All images from Sally Taylor of Timbermill Designs

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