'Life is a series of new beginnings'
Foreword By Rachel
We all know the old saying, you're born, you live, you die. The first and the last are inevitable but the in between? The living, now that's the exciting part. The part where we laugh, we love, we cry. Life's journey is all about endings and new beginnings. With each ending comes a beginning. From sadness can come joy. From release can come freedom. From tension can come relaxation.
We understand that you, our customers are travelling your own path and in many cases it is a new beginning that brings you to us. A new bedroom often represents a new start, a new direction, a new lease of life and we are touched to have joined so many of you making amazing transformations to your life over the last 15 years.
Maybe you are moving or have just moved into your first home or a new baby is expected. Perhaps you find yourself making the buying decisions for the first time on your own. Fresh starts are often stressful and not without hurdles but new beginnings when embraced can be magical.
Whilst the kitchen is the heart of a home, the bedroom is it's soul. It's sanctuary, a place to rest, a place to contemplate and a place to love. Of all the rooms in your home the bedroom should have the most thought put into it as it fulfils more roles than any other room in the house.
I wish you well on life's ever surprising and never dull path and look forward to many more years of your new beginnings. Thank you for including us in your journey.
How we came to be
Once upon a time a girl met a boy and they fell madly in love. And where better than to meet the love of your life than in St Tropez! In that moment some thirty years ago a bond formed that could never be broken. And a love affair with all things French was born.
The boy proposed to the girl! And the girl said yes!! And they had the most glorious of weddings with much fun and frivolity. It wasn't long until they bought their first home. And then along came their first child. A bouncing bundle of joy!
That girl was Rachel our founder. And as most young couples with their first home and a new child experience funds were tight. Rachel found herself living in her dream home. A wonderful Victorian house that amazingly had managed to make it through the decades with all its period features still intact. It was full of period details but in need of major renovations. What budget there was went on making the building sound and there was little left over for the decorating and styling.
Rachel was faced with transforming her newly acquired, rambling Victorian pile of a house into a welcoming, comfortable home for her family. So with the ramshackle ‘money pit’ to renovate. And a baby to consider along with a love of period style French furniture to fulfil. She faced the age old dilemma of quality versus cost. Yes, it was important to find something stylish and unique but at the same time it needed to be hard wearing and at a price that wouldn't break the bank. Not an easy task!
After a fruitless search, i.e. loved it but way to expensive or within her budget and hated it, Rachel was feeling more than a little despondent. Was this going to be the longest renovation in history? Would the children be fully grown and have left home by its completion? Over a bottle of wine one evening throwing ideas back and forth Rachel and her husband Tony had a light bulb moment. With a history in interior decorating and the need to furnish her home sympathetically and within a strict budget an idea had begun to flourish. An obsession was born! So with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and drive that would not allow her to accept the mediocre Rachel put pencil to paper and sketched a few designs. And Tony along with his brother Mike hopped on a plane to set up production and our first pieces of furniture were brought to life. Rachel along with her hubby and extended family slowly built on their dreams to create exclusively designed and well made French furniture at a price that wouldn't break the bank. A family business in the truest sense of the word.
That was some 15 years ago now. The children are almost grown up and Rachel and her family are still in their Victorian Home. We still have the same energy, drive and determination that we had on that very first day the doors opened. And we've also stayed true to our dream of creating fabulously French luxury Furniture at surprisingly affordable prices.
Rachel's original idea was and still is to create well designed, beautiful handmade furniture with High Street rather than designer price tags. Her design skills coupled with a keen eye for detail combine to create an eclectic take on timeless, classic design. She is known for her slightly eccentric marriage of British design known for its wonderful quirkiness with a sprinkling of sassy French Je ne sais quois. You’ll find her at the point where the light side of interior design meets the dark side. A lover of all beautiful things and a bit of a Magpie she takes inspiration for her designs from the world around her.
Rachel designs unique French Style Beds and Bedroom Furniture, creating Collections to suit all tastes, from ornate and baroque to modern and minimalist to quirky and slightly eccentric. All her designs are exclusive to us and handmade by us (no buying from wholesalers at Newtons!). Together with a modern, progressive approach and outlook. She is always striving for excellence, adding to and tweaking our Collections which have evolved and grown over the time since we first opened our doors in 2002. Whilst always keeping a keen eye on current fashion she strives to remain true to classic French Elegance with a British flourish for each new design.
Each unique piece of furniture is handmade by Newtons to withstand the trials of modern day living and is polished or painted or leafed in a variety of colours and finishes to enhance the natural beauty of each piece allowing you to create a stylish and individual home. All our stunning pieces of furniture are meticulously handmade by one of our master carvers in Semerang. Each craftsman spends many years honing and perfecting their skills. They are, in our opinion some of the finest carvers in the world. Once a piece is carved it passes through countless finishing stages. Depending on the individual piece this involves, sanding, sealing, painting, lacquering or leafing, distressing (if appropriate) antiquing and finally a protective top coat. Each piece of furniture is handmade and no two items are the same, making each piece of French Style Furniture we make as totally unique and as individual as you are.
Because we are in charge of manufacturing this allows us to offer glorious handmade, exclusively designed French Bedroom Furniture at amazingly affordable prices. But how can our prices be so competative? Surely the price reflects the quality? A saving of up to £500 for a bed compared with other retailers must come with a catch? This is what other retailers in the luxury market may tell you but the truth is quality is not code for expensive. We have no middle men to pay, we don’t buy from wholesalers who have bought from wholesalers and the reduction in costs gained by manufacturing ourselves is passed on to our customers. Rachel designs all of our furniture in house too so there are no expensive design agency costs to cover.
We’ve grown into an international family with a collective set of values and a passion that does not allow us to accept the mediocre. We still work with the same craftsman and their families that carved our first pieces for us some 15 years ago. And our craftsmen hand carve each piece from mahogany sourced for its sustainability. Not one piece of furniture arrives into our warehouse without a certificate to prove the wood came from an ethically managed sustainable source.
Along with the family we have a wonderfully polite, enthusiastic team here in Devon waiting to take your call. Or answer your email to help you with any questions or queries you may have. You can also have a chat with us via our live chat button or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, Polyvore and Google Plus. We are still very much a family business. Rachel and the rest of the family still love answering the telephone and when the phone rings there is still that same level of excitement and anticipation as the first call we took 15 years ago. Our Motto? Treat every customer with the good grace and well-mannered service that you, yourself, would wish to receive. Why not take a look at our Meet Our Family page to get to know us a little better.
If you want mass produced furniture and home accessories that can be found in every High Street shop then we may not be for you. But if you want a sprinkling of exclusivity and hand made built to last furniture or a quirky home accessory then you have come to the right place.
If it's faceless customer service and a person on the end of the phone reading from a script who doesn't know the answer to your questions then we may not be for you either. But if you want to chat about design or have a question big or small and want to speak to someone who really knows their bass relief from their mortise and tenon joint you may have stumbled onto a winner.
If you want to Price Match a piece of furniture you can find on several websites we can't help I'm afraid. If we could we would. But we could only price match if we bought from wholesalers and as our designs are exclusive to us this is impossible.
Here at Newtons we do things a little differently. What makes us stand out from the crowd we hear you ask? Well, there are many things that make us different but let's stick with the stuff we can share!! We are possibly the oldest and most established online French Furniture retailer here in the UK and we are still very much a family business . Collectively our founders have over 60 years experience of working with and designing French style furniture so we really do know our stuff.
We Design all our own French Furniture in house, you won't find our designs anywhere else. Not only that but make all our own French Furniture too, by hand! No mass production techniques or items bought from wholesalers that you could find elsewhere. Instead we embrace the slow movement. Ethically sourced materials, built to last by craftsmen. Every piece of furniture we create is designed to last. We like to think of them as modern heirlooms.