David Lin­ley

Founder, Lin­ley (020–7730 7300; www.davidlin­ley.com)

Country Life Every Week - - Another Country -


I was trained as a hand maker. It’s a slow process, but, be­cause of that slow­ness, there’s a ma­tu­rity to the de­sign and a more philo­soph­i­cal ap­proach to which tool you use. It’s this ex­pe­ri­ence that builds up knowl­edge and gives you more con­fi­dence to de­sign.

Craft ver­sus tech­nol­ogy

It’s a bit like a gin and tonic: you can’t have one with­out the other. I’m a mag­pie and have al­ways been very in­ter­ested in new pro­cesses—we were among the first in the lux­ury sec­tor to use web­sites to sell our prod­ucts, for ex­am­ple. The cu­ri­ous thing about this is that, if some­thing is ma­chine-made straight, it’s not as emo­tion­ally beau­ti­ful as if it were made by hand and might have a wrin­kle in it.

CNC ma­chines

Our Sav­ile fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion is largely made by ma­chine. There are def­i­nite ben­e­fits—par­tic­u­larly as it cuts down the mak­ing time dra­mat­i­cally, so, for cer­tain mar­kets, it makes sense.


We’ve been ex­plor­ing and us­ing this for many years and it’s par­tic­u­larly help­ful when it comes to both look­ing around an ob­ject or plac­ing it in a pho­to­graph of an empty room to see the scale and pro­por­tion and un­der­stand how the light will fall from a win­dow.


I’m a huge fan of The Prince of Wales’s draw­ing school and sup­port any­thing that en­cour­ages de­sign­ing by hand. Draw­ing of­fers such an emo­tional re­lease: if you spend just two min­utes do­ing a draw­ing, your brain talks to you in a dif­fer­ent way.

Be­low: Vor­tex cab­i­net, £65,000

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