The idea behind recycling, restoring and re-purposing the items of our past is nothing new; people have been doing it for centuries, making good from the little they have or simply giving something a new lease of life. The throw away era that we now all live in means cheap mass manufactured tat that doesn’t last longer than our phone batteries are high in abundance with tacky polymer products that aren’t designed for life now commonplace, adorning the shelves of our local high street retailers.
Simply put; we don’t make ‘em like we used to. Quality, well engineered everyday products that were so apparent in our past unfortunately haven’t joined us this century and manufacturers that hold these design values in high regards have unfortunately and seemingly met their demise.
Driven and inspired by this observation – it has been both our passion and pleasure to rebirth these endearing and forgotten items of our past into modern life, ensuring that they continue to function as efficiently a century from now as they did a century ago. Our items are carefully sourced from throughout the United Kingdom and truly are a testament to Great British engineering.
All of our products are dissembled where applicable and thoroughly cleaned. Dependent on style, some items will be preserved to show off their natural age, heritage and character.
It was inevitable that Tom would fall into loving historic items, growing up in a house surrounded by his dad’s antique furniture; the vintage-bug eventually took hold in 2013.
Fuelled by a a playful love of taking things apart coupled with a curious and inquisitiveness approach to how things work through dissasembly, Tom began buying small items from scrap yards, antique markets and online auctions where he would restore them and sell them on for small gains. Antiques Workshop was then formed in early 2014 with the combined brainpower of both cousins – allowing them to expand their buying, restoration and selling through a their self-made website.
“I’ve been keen on Antiques for a long time – but I always remember as a kid being dragged around junk shops, second hand shops and reclamation yards in the South West with my dad, and hating every second of it. It just goes to show how the worm can turn – I can’t stay away now!”
Inspired by his dads post war make do and mend approach to life and resourceful mentality, Richards transition to salvage hunter and restorer was both natural and progressive. With a history in product and graphic design, he has a sharp eye for detail and is no stranger to spending endless hours in the workshop, getting his hands dirty.
His interest in architectural antiques stems back to over 5 years ago, where his hobby as an urban explorer who often photographed some of Britain’s most architecturally beautiful and forgotten buildings, made him realise, just how much of our British heritage was lost to the skip through neglect and demolition.
“It was something that started out as a ‘labour of love’ for me. But even now, successfully turning something that most wouldn’t take a second look at, back into the charming, functional and practical piece that is was originally, is highly rewarding”