24 May 2024, 17:42
By Furniture News Apr 22, 2015

Sloane, Henderson Russell – Winner of The Furniture Awards 2015: Upper-Level Category

The January Furniture Show debut marked 25 years of furniture exhibitions at the NEC. Alongside a fresh approach and a new identity, the event saw the launch of The Furniture Awards, a programme designed by the organiser in collaboration with Furniture News magazine to highlight some of the best new product launched at the event. In a change of approach to the majority of previous product-of-the-show awards, The Furniture Awards aimed to reflect the businesslike nature of the event by putting an emphasis on the entrants’ commercial value above that of design or manufacturing innovation, with three price-level categories permitting a level playing field for the companies present. The event's judges were: Robert Shotton, chairman and owner of three-store independent retailer Cousins; Tristan Lynch, ecommerce director of e-tailer WorldStores.co.uk; and furniture designer and developer Rob Scarlett, the founder of Scarlett Design UK.

The Sloane range is handmade to order in Long Eaton by Meadowmead, and is part of the company’s freshly-rejuvenated contemporary upholstery brand, Henderson Russell.

A comfort-driven design with a fixed seat and back, Sloane is eminently flexible in specification, available in four sizes, a choice of show-wood colours and a large range of fabrics – some of which ensure the model is delivered in just four to six weeks.

Sloane’s back and arms feature sewn-in fluting detail, and are contrast piped. The frame is made up of selected fully-seasoned beech and other hardwoods from managed sources, and the joints triple or double doweled, glued and screwed, with large corner blocks for extra rigidity.

Sloane’s seat is fully upholstered on a tempered steel serpentine spring unit, while the back is fully upholstered on a tempered steel super-loop spring unit.

“It’s outstanding for me, across the board. It ticks every single design and value box, it’s interesting, innovative, well sold and looks nice. It’s also surprisingly comfortable for a high-backed piece”

The scatters employ China duck feather. Sloane also features removable hand-polished beech legs. A single chair, Spencer, has been designed to accompany the sofa.

Comments marketing and brand manager Jane Levick: “Style. Design integrity. Personality. Desirability. High quality. Comfort. Customisation. Flexibility. The Sloane has it all!”

Judge, Tristan Lynch, comments: “There’s a few different pieces in the range, different sizes, and if you think about how commercial and on trend that product could be – looking at the back, the piping, the high arm – I think it’s a really strong product, and I think the price is spot on.

“When you consider a lot of what we’re seeing in the bedroom – quite high-back upholstered beds with wings on them – this has a very similar look. If people are trying to replicate that and bring a trend or a look through their house, it could transition quite nicely from the bedroom into the living room.

“It’s a risky product for them as a brand – but it’s very well manufactured, with good attention to detail. There’s a mix of styles in that product which, if you threw them all up in the air, and said ‘I’m going to do this to a sofa, and that, then this,’ you’d think it would turn out a mess. Actually, they’ve put all that together and it’s turned out really well.”

Rob Scarlett says: “Henderson Russell has taken something existing and tried to do something new – and it’s a really interesting take, very well conceived. There’s some very modern elements coming through in Sloane which are really hard to handle when you mix them together.

“It’s outstanding for me, across the board. It ticks every single design and value box, it’s interesting, innovative, well sold and looks nice. It’s also surprisingly comfortable for a high-backed piece.”

Robert Shotton adds: “It’s like a contemporary Chesterfield. It sits really well, the plain fabrics are really nice, and you could add scatter cushions to bring in different colours and it’ll go with different wallpapers. It’ll work for upmarket independents, definitely. It’s also pretty good value for their market.”

This article was published in the March issue of Furniture News magazine.

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