Charlotte James Furniture have been creating bespoke furniture for over 10 years. Their high quality and stylish pieces are the perfect match for the luxury apartments in Old Town Chambers and The Edinburgh Grand. We chat to the Managing Director, Ross Dempster, about his background, his favourite creations, and the partnership between Lateral City Apartments and Charlotte James.
Charlotte James started as a family-run business with over 10 years’ experience. Can you tell us a bit about the company background?
Charlotte James was established in 2003. My career in the interior design industry started at The Isle Mill in Perth where I worked as Sales Director, enabling me to build my contacts.
Working on a day to day basis with interior designers, specifiers and contractors, I quickly identified a unique gap in the Scottish market for a bespoke furniture manufacturer that could supply industry specialists with high quality furniture within a reasonable timescale. It was my ambition to place emphasis on luxurious, high demand pieces that could be made directly in the UK but supplied around the world.
What makes Charlotte James furniture stand out from other manufacturers?
We have always been a client-led company and this flexibility has enabled Charlotte James to really flourish. This, and the high quality and standard of our pieces, is second to none. Supplying exclusively to trade opposed to retail also gives us a unique place in the market.
Our showroom in Edinburgh – our best kept secret! – is also a fantastic resource, which many other furniture manufacturers don’t have capacity for in one building. This enables customers and their clients to really appreciate the quality and standard of a product before purchasing, which is vital. It also gives an element of exclusivity, allowing the customer to see exactly where all the components come together.
The projects we work on are testament to the varied customers we work with, spanning residential and commercial projects.
You only use high quality materials. Where do you source your materials from? How do you ensure they are of the highest quality?
All of our sofa frames are made from kiln-dried hardwoods from British and European suppliers. Years of knowledge and experience in the industry has familiarised us with trusted suppliers, backed by the additional knowledge and recommendations of our upholstery and cabinetry team. We also hold accounts with most renowned fabric houses, who we are in touch with on a weekly basis to refresh our stock and samples.
Can you talk us through the process? From talking with the business, architect or interior designer through to the finished product?
From the first point of enquiry, clients work directly with a nominated member of our sales team who guide them through each step, from order to delivery. This process always varies, depending on the client we are working with, and the scale of the project in question. Some projects can also be very client led, and some require more advice, for example by gathering colour schemes, fabrics and finishes.
When we are approached by a client, we begin by identifying whether they already have an idea of which product they are looking for, before discussing pricing and timescales. Then we can either consider the specification list brought together by the client, or pull together a list of recommended products ourselves, based on the nature of the project. This is collated in a quote for approval, including details such as whether the item is bespoke, and requirements for fabric and wood finishes.
Where possible we always encourage our clients to see our furniture in the showroom, so they can see and feel the quality prior to purchase – alongside offering the opportunity to visit the workshops to see where each component of the furniture comes together.
Once an order is placed, it is added to our production schedule. Our lead time for standard products is 6-8 weeks. A sofa, for example, will then be looked after a nominated craftsman in each department across cutting, sewing, joinery, upholstery and polishing. When finished, delivery is down to our trusted logistics team to arrange.
What has been your favourite or most imaginative creation so far?
Last year we completed a bespoke upholstered headboard and desk for the renowned Eden Rock Hotel in St Barths. Projects like that are a real reflection of how skilled our team are. The final product in situ looked spectacular but unfortunately the team didn’t have the opportunity to go to the Caribbean for delivery!
Why is Charlotte James Furniture the perfect match for Old Town Chambers and The Edinburgh Grand?
Like The Edinburgh Grand and Old Town Chambers, Charlotte James Furniture places emphasis on providing its customers with optimum comfort and style. We take pride in producing luxury furniture which is handmade with meticulous care in Edinburgh. Our signature ‘contemporary classic’ style can also be easily be adapted to a broad range of environments, aligning us perfectly with the distinct settings of both Old Town Chambers and The Edinburgh Grand properties.