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Tim Gosling

Date published: March 03 2015

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Theatrical flourishes add elements of drama to this designer's project

Tim Gosling studied theatre design at Central St Martin’s School of Art and Design and was a set designer on West End musicals Miss Saigon and Starlight Express, before spending 18 years as a director at Linley so it is little wonder that his theatrical background is so firmly established in his designs. He uses his natural talent to inject an element of drama into his creations and this, coupled with his meticulous attention to detail, results in a perfect performance.

In 2005 he launched his company, simply named Gosling, to provide the design world with contemporary furniture and design service based on classical furniture.

He lives in an 18th-century house in Clapham Old Town, London, which is a true reflection of his personality and acts as a showcase for his passion for classical furniture.

Dark painted walls, bright gold leaf cornicing and intricate, mahogany cabinetmaking create a warm and dramatic setting. Inspiration for bold yellow walls came from the Soane Museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields where Tim can often be found on a Tuesday evening when the whole museum is lit only by candles. He describes this experience as ‘truly magical’ and one not to miss.

He is a custodian of many exquisite vellum books, rare sketches, Grecian urns and fine statues, and he mixes these  historical pieces with contemporary, upholstered sofas and chairs - all pieces from the Gosling for Todhunter Earle collection.

His bedroom is mellow and uncluttered. Soft muted walls, with romantic lighting and a dramatic four poster bed has a faux fur throw on it, where his Spaniel, Hachi, is usually found curled up and fast asleep.

Gosling commissions include private homes, superyachts, hotels and commercial headquarters.

The briefs may be for the entire space or just an individual piece of furniture. Which ever it is, Tim likes to get involved with the architectural and design team from the very beginning to ensure the team has a sense of the scale.

He always has a pencil close at hand and still adheres to tradition of producing hand sketched, line drawings of the project.

This enviable skill enables the team to have an instant visual example of the space and ensures the client and designers are on the ‘same page.’ It has also led to him publishing a wonderful book of sketches called London Secrets, A Draughtsman’s Guide.

A recent commission involved the design of a London home in the style of the lavish interior of the passenger ship SS Normandie. In the entrance hall hangs a stunning chandelier commissioned from Sharon Marston, which features fine Venetian glass and fibre optics. The fluid form represents the movement of the sea and perfectly enhances the curved staircase and inlaid flooring.

Tim is passionate about preserving British craftsmanship and he uses the very finest, traditional cabinetmakers. He champions the work of fine Vellum workers and straw marquetry experts and is continually exploring, researching and experimenting with new materials and new techniques. He loves to push the boundaries of design and the use of materials and regards his work as a constantly evolving.

This autumn Thames and Hudson are publishing his latest book on the DNA of furniture design.

‘Every time you sit on a chair or a table, it has a language of it’s own and a story which we should endeavor to decode. My next book will be explore this language and decipher and understand the different design periods and styles. I am concerned that traditional furniture design’s own language will be written out of the dictionary if we do not continue to use it,” he says.

Designer: Tim Gosling

Author: Lucinda Magraw

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