Ar­chi­tec­tural iron­mon­gers: Beard­more

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design Made In Britain -

J. D. Beard­more & Com­pany LTD was es­tab­lished in 1860 as a gen­eral iron­mon­gery store based in the heart of Lon­don’s Fitzrovia, which was then home to a large num­ber of crafts­men mak­ing fur­ni­ture. after its hey­day at the turn of the cen­tury, when ev­ery­thing was cast in eng­land, the com­pany be­gan to lose its iden­tity and, by the 1990s, it had gone into ad­min­is­tra­tion.

en­ter Danny Vara and his fam­ily. ‘my fa­ther al­ready owned a stan­dard hard­ware shop on Ful­ham road, SW10 [Farmer Broth­ers], and I heard that Beard­more was in trou­ble. I took a chance and went to see what was for sale—i’d hoped to pick up the dis­play cabi­nets, but, in the end, we got the busi­ness.’

after dis­cov­er­ing the orig­i­nal moulds and cat­a­logues dat­ing from the late 1890s and 1900s, which he’d in­her­ited along with the busi­ness, Danny was in­spired to bring them back into the col­lec­tion. ‘We went ahead and bought a foundry in Hast­ings—the south coast has a long history with fer­roners—be­cause I wanted to have the flex­i­bil­ity of be­ing able to re­pro­duce all the old pat­terns and de­signs as well as pro­duc­ing new ones for our own col­lec­tion.’

today, Beard­more de­signs fea­ture on the doors and win­dows of many high-end Lon­don homes, in­clud­ing the pent­houses of One Hyde park and Wi­tan­hurst House in Hamp­stead. the com­pany is cur­rently in dis­cus­sion with the de­sign team for the £3 bil­lion Chelsea Bar­racks re­de­vel­op­ment.

For Danny, door fur­ni­ture can have as much im­pact on a room as a fire­place or a chan­de­lier. ‘Do­ing up a house or start­ing one from scratch means spend­ing so much money on el­e­ments that you never see, but door han­dles you see and feel ev­ery day.’ Ara­bella Youens (020–7351 5444; www.beard­more.co.uk)

Pho­to­graph by Richard Cannon

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