“Much like a great friend, furniture becomes part of the family.”
Established in 2004 by founder Mark Godsell-Fletcher, Nottingham based brand Eat Sleep Live create the finest reclaimed wood furniture to decorate the dining room, the living room, and the bedroom, with products ranging from dining tables to beds to TV stands and everything in between.
Mark’s passion for interiors was born from years spent studying Interior Design and Product Design at West Nottinghamshire College in Mansfield. As a student, Mark often found himself working towards interiors and furniture, while his peers worked on various gadgets and forms of technology. This, combined with a lack of high quality handmade furniture to rival the mass-produced alternatives, formed the basis of Eat Sleep Live.
In the early days of Eat Sleep Live, Mark asked a local craftsman to build him a reclaimed wood table and began advertising it online. From here, the orders began flying in, and over the next six months, Mark took to the road and personally delivered each table himself. This piece would go on to become known as the Hudson Table, and is still available to purchase from Eat Sleep Live’s website today. Fans of the Hudson Table then began making enquiries, asking Mark if he could create various other pieces such as beds and sideboards, and as the old adage goes, the rest is history.
Speaking about the customer’s influence on the brand, Mark cites, “If there’s a piece a customer wants like a sideboard or a bookcase, then we would design it to how we would want to introduce that to the collection. We do bespoke elements for customers as well, but our actual range of furniture is all designed by us. It’s more customer demand that expanded the different items that we make, it’s not the customers designing it.”
Eat Sleep Live’s repertoire consists of four main collections – the Cavendish Collection, the Branson Collection, the Hudson Collection and the Darcy Collection.
The Cavendish Collection is one of the brand’s latest ventures, which mixes beautiful brushed stainless steel with reclaimed wood, a tasteful contrast between the ultra-modern and the historic, which has been increasingly popular, leading Eat Sleep Live to focus on this collection. Meanwhile, The Branson Collection takes a more stripped back approach to furniture, embodying the notion of “less is more”, where Mark adds, “it just lets the wood speak for itself”, utilising simple designs and straight lines. Additionally, Eat Sleep Live offer the Hudson collection, which Mark describes as simply “taking a modern twist on traditional furniture.” Last but by no means least, the brand offer the Darcy Collection, about which Mark comments, “Everything is on a grander scale, they’re real statement pieces.” The Darcy Collection is the chunkiest collection offered by Eat Sleep Live, yet remain intricate in their creation. These four collections are expanding all the time.
Eat Sleep Live’s real unique selling point is clear; the reclaimed wood utilised in the production of furniture, a notion Mark stumbled across in the early days of Eat Sleep Live, adding “it wasn’t something that was very heard of or anything in those days, and I thought it was a great product.” All the wood, which Mark describes as being “a labour of love”, utilised by Eat Sleep Live is taken from historic demolished buildings across Britain. A recent haul was taken from an 18th century mill in Burton-on-Trent, where, through dealing with one of few specialist wood suppliers who only deal in reclaimed wood, Mark and his team received thousands of beams, which they’d chosen upon an earlier visit to the location. There’s a sense of trust and security in a brand that knows exactly where its source materials come from. Eat Sleep Live are always on the hunt for new suppliers, dealing strictly in reclaimed wood from British buildings.
Eat Sleep Live’s use of reclaimed wood is something they’re extremely proud of. British craftsmanship is highly important to Mark, and the brand deals in reclaimed wood with great pride, in addition to everything being made in the brand’s Nottingham workshop. Mark adds, “I think there’s too much manufacturing been lost from this country, and I think there are more and more companies now who are starting to manufacture more in this country. We have to charge a little bit more for that, but I think consumers and the public are getting onboard more with that and supporting British manufacturing. I think it’s getting strong again, which is great.”
This unique approach to craftsmanship is what sets Eat Sleep Live apart – there are brands across the furniture market which attempt to recreate a rustic look, using new wood and rough cutting it, but quite simply, it’s never going to be the same. Reclaimed wood has become arguably more popular in the last five years, however Eat Sleep Live take pride in being the first company to solely specialise in reclaimed wood furniture. Oscar Wilde once said, “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, and it comes as no surprise that other brands have tried to replicate Eat Sleep Live’s reclaimed wood aesthetic, something Mark finds both annoying and flattering.
However, Mark’s products certainly strike a chord with customers and clientele alike – an enthusiastic appreciator of Eat Sleep Live’s furniture described how she’d bought a table from the Cavendish Collection which had “that strokeable factor”, both engaging and a conversational piece in nature, tactile with its own character. Customers are not the only appreciators of Mark’s work; Eat Sleep Live recently won Best Rustic Manufacturer in the UK at Build 2016.
So, what’s for the future of Eat Sleep Live?
Mark aspires for the brand to become “the place to come for the highest quality reclaimed wood furniture”, and expressed a desire to get involved with Grand Designs in 2017.
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