An Exclusive Personal Interview with Tim Gosling

Tim Gosling, Director and Founder of Gosling, launched his business in 2005 and has since carved out (literally) an international reputation for his beautiful bespoke furniture.  As huge fans we wanted to ask a few personal questions!

By the design cognoscenti worldwide, you are as well known today as the great 18th century masters, but in a mere 18 years!  To what do you attribute your success? 

That’s very kind of you. I am passionate about collecting and immersing myself in the world of 18thCentury creation and design. Over the years I guess I’ve started to absorb it in the way I create and use British craftsman. My success is due to the very talented people I am lucky enough to work with, Photis and Phil have designed with me for over 20 years and we are fortunate to have brilliant cabinetmakers.  Gosling pieces are made with exceptional skill and care and it is this microscopic attention to detail that makes us successful.

Craftsmanship is clearly at the heart of your design identity.  You are known for promoting British interests but is your furniture also made elsewhere?

The more I travel the world, the more I realise how lucky we are in Britain to have all the craft skills still alive.  So many countries have lost that connection.  I try and make everything in Britain, but will of course use the genius of Murano Glass from Venice – Pietra Dura from Florence and Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan. It saddens me we no long beat our own gold leaf but we still have amazing guilders.

You’ve written three acclaimed books, is there another in the pipeline?

Yes, very much so. I have just started the layout of my ‘thought process’  – it takes two to three years to write and collate the work and ideas.  It also takes time to run around the world photographing Gosling pieces and interiors.  I insist on being on location with my photographer, Ray Main. I translate the energy and creation of the piece and he uses his phenomenal capability to capture the message on film.

Your beautiful Regency house in London hosts many private events. How do you create such a stunning, almost theatrical atmosphere, yet retain the sense of home and comfort?

I am very lucky to have a house that is historically interesting – and yes sometimes it does feel like a museum, but a true living one! I use it a lot for Master Classes and teaching and as a resource to stimulate design intent. Having a library with so many original books gives me the ability to look at the origin of an idea in its pure form.I also believe in using things no matter how precious they are – otherwise there is no reason to have them. That’s why it feels real and comfortable.

Where is your other home and could you briefly describe it?

You are the first person to publicly know this but my partner, Steven Holmes and I have just purchased the most magnificent chateaux in Normandy, 22 bedrooms with the most stunning formal reception rooms, completely untouched since the Second World War.  It was built in 1830 and redesigned by the designer of the Ritz in Paris in 1911. It has this exceptional, classic feel to it – it is vast, but it’s going to be remarkable fun putting it back to life again and discovering it room by room. The 27 acres of parkland gives it magnificent room to breathe as well – we are very excited.

You are also recognised on the ‘best dressed’ lists for your subtle yet flamboyant, perfectly tailored and toned suits.  Do you own a pair of jeans?

That makes me smile – I only wear suits and ties because I don’t know how to dress in casual clothes! I did not have a pair of jeans until I was 27. Even at Art School I wore a suit [and bolwer hat]  I did buy a pair of ripped jeans once, but looked utterly ridiculous in them – I don’t do sexy at all.

What is the most exciting item that you have added to your home recently?

I have been buying the most wonderful fireplace fenders and chenetsfor the Chateaux and bookcases gild furniture and statues– so now we can’t move at home, something arrives every week.

Tell us one secret that people don’t know about you?

I brought my dog Hachi through Gum Tree from a family that could not look after her because the father had a motorbike accident. I was assured she was fully trained.  When I got her home I discovered she was only fully trained in Polish…

Learn more about Gosling at www.tgosling.com.

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