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Interview: Sydney’s The Wood Room

Sydney-based The Wood Room, is one of those businesses that was started because its founders experienced a gap in the market and found a real unsolved need in their lives.
At the time, Kate Nicholson and Simon Plowman, for all of their searching, just couldn’t find simple, quality, beautiful timber furniture for their Northern Beaches home that was big enough while maintaining the raw, natural look of the wood. So the couple joined forces to create their own solution, The Wood Room, which is quickly becoming the go-to brand for custom, minimalist, clean-lined timber furniture, with a signature ‘untreated’ finish.
It’s the type of furniture that is at once both ‘on-trend’ and ‘effortlessly timeless’. I’m personally a big fan of blonde-toned and Scandi-style furniture, so when I came across these pieces of furniture, I was instantly a fan! Take a read of my interview with this clever couple below…

What were you both doing before starting The Wood Room?

Kate: Before starting the Wood Room, I studied interior design whilst starting up an importing business, where I sourced beautiful and original homewares from around the world and sold them via my online website. Simon has always been involved in carpentry and construction.

Tell us about the decision to start your own company – what gave you the push to do so?

Whilst importing homewares was wonderful, the need and the desire to create my own product, was always in the back of my mind. I would draw designs of different furniture pieces, and say to Simon “I know we can make this!” Simon’s always had a passion for timber and construction, so it just felt like a natural progression.

How long did it take you from concept to get The Wood Room’s first piece created and available for sale?

With Simon’s joinery skills and my obsession with the colour and style I was looking for, it was almost instantaneous. We mastered our first beautifully constructed piece of furniture, in our garage at home. A 5 meter lime washed “Bentley” dining table, which sit in our home in Avalon.

Where do you get your inspiration from for your work?

We are continually inspired by simplicity and minimalism in design. Embracing the natural beauty of timber and using the fewest and barest essentials to maximum effect. The clean and simple shapes, in which timber can be constructed into form our furniture. The “less is more theory” has always applied in our designs.

What are both of your roles in the company?

We both have input into the design process and once a new concept has been developed, Simon then brings the design to life. Kate then finishes all the furniture in various wood washes, lacquers, oils and waxes, and uses a unique handcuffing process which creates a beautiful soft finish on the timber.

Who else do you work with to make The Wood Room a success?

We work closely with our timber supplier, who helps us sources both Australian and imported hardwoods. However apart for that, it’s just the two of us. We feel as though together, we make the perfect team, each bringing something unique to the business.

Tell us about some of your collaborations/projects with Sydney eateries?

We’ve been lucky enough to have worked with some of Sydney’s most beautiful and successful eateries. We worked closely with the lovely team at the Boathouse venues, on the design and fit out for the furniture to cater for their newest venue at Shelly Beach. The brief was to keep in line with their rustic coastal feel. And to develop pieces for both their indoor and outdoor spaces, that encapsulated the gorgeous surroundings and beachside charm.

And with the concept of an interactive dining experience, the client also required tables large enough to accommodate communal dining. For this, we created a 6meter long Bentley Table. Pale timbers and a minimal lime wash finish were chosen.

Our most recent project for the revamp of the iconic Newport Arms, saw over 150 pieces of our outdoor furniture. We worked closely with Merivale’s design team to create original, custom made pieces for the venue. A combination of American Oak and Blackbutt timber and powder coated steel were chosen as the materials.

What has been the most fulfilling or exciting moment in The Wood Room’s journey so far?

Mastering our “raw” finish on our timber furniture, has to be the highlight of our journey so far. We spent many long months experimenting and testing different formulas, and being told by expects everywhere that it was not possible to “finish” a timber without changing the colour and the look of it. Without giving up, we eventually came up with the perfect formula to create the most natural looking finish for our tables.

What is your big long term goal for The Wood Room?

Our long term goal, is to keep providing the highest quality furniture to both residential and commercial clients for a long time to come. To keep meeting with new (and repeat clients), to discuss their ideas and concepts for their perfect pieces of furniture. Furniture that is made with passion and furniture that will last a lifetime.

You can follow The Wood Room on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest.

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