Crafting With Craftspeople: Enter The Lovingly Crafted Home with Sebastian and Brogan Cox
Sebastian and Brogan of Sebastian Cox Furniture are a husband-and-wife duo based in Greenwich and Margate. Creating beautiful, almost sculptural, wooden furniture, they operate by a nature-first policy. As a baseline, that means a carbon neutral impact. But in practice, that means attempting to understand nature on its own terms. Rather than warping, bending and breaking the materials of nature into contorted forms to fit articles for human habitation, listening to the material’s uniqueness is the gentle rallying cry.
If slow, thoughtfully made products for the home is something you love too, these partners-in-craft are definitely ones to pay attention to. Styling their Margate home with a little help from Morris & Co., we caught up with Seb and Brogan to learn all about what makes the Lovingly Crafted home.
Seb, Brogan- hi! Please tell us a little about your life down here in Margate.
Seb: “So! Welcome to our home. We live in Margate, between the station and the sea. We live here with our daughters, Sorrel and Damson, our dog Willow and our chickens, Henny Penny and Chicken Lickin’- named by the children. We absolutely love it here. It’s the perfect balance between an urban, exciting setting, but also we have a small garden with a very small veg patch. So, I’m really happy as a country mouse, and Brogan is really happy as a town mouse.
Margate is not exactly a place unknown to creative souls- from Turner to Emin, artists have flocked to this seaside town. What draws you to the sea, and this coastal community in particular?
Seb: We were drawn to Margate as it has a really great reputation with the arts. Turner moved here to paint the skies, for instance. It’s also a place of opportunity as it’s affordable. Artists can come here to start their careers. You can do experimental things here and for us it’s exactly the same. We can afford to buy and renovate a house in exactly the image we would like to, building a proper family home.
Brogan: I absolutely adore the connection to the sea. It’s something I’m delighted to have discovered. Seb is always so deeply inspired by nature and I’m now finding I am really inspired by the sea and the coast and these beautiful broad open skies. The everchanging seascape, I just love it!
Seb, as founder, and Brogan, as Creative Director, you both work together for Sebastian Cox Furniture. Share with us a little about the company’s ethos and outlook.
Seb: I remember, as a student, driving through acres of woodland in rural Lincolnshire, then arriving at the timber yard and there being no English wood for sale. At all. I committed to finding only British wood to use in my projects. And then, in my MA, I looked specifically at using forested wood in woodlands managed specifically for biodiversity. That inversion, where design and product come second to material and environmental concerns, became an ethos. And then that ethos became a company. We only work with British wood, advocating for more woodland to come under management as it’s the best thing for biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
Brogan: Our core collection, the Bayleaf range, features lots of woven wood. Working with Seb on those designs, including desks and bedside tables, allowed an expression of company values as well as those of our personal collaboration [Seb and Brogan]. It’s simple, elevated, lightweight, whilst the weave inserts an element of play into the overall composition.
At Morris & Co., one of the things we love most is seeing contemporary makers use our designs in their process – and we’ve seen a few crop up in your own shoots! Can you tell us what you think of William Morris and Morris & Co.?
Seb: I have been a fan since I was a student, right back since I discovered his political works as well as his pattern creations. The unity of beauty and strong principles is so inspiring.
We know this is hard – because it’s something we ask ourselves internally an awful lot too! – can you pick a favourite William Morris design?
Seb: That’s easy! It would definitely be Willow Boughs. I think of it as a really simple pattern and when you look at it in the context of other Victorian decoration, it’s SO minimal. It must’ve been so radical in the 19th century. Yet, it has beautiful, biophilic qualities. The very first chair I made at university had, in fact, a seat cover made from Willow Boughs fabric.
Brogan: Morris & Co. has been a continuous theme across the entirety of our relationship, actually. It’s part of how we’ve grown together, how I became an important part of the company. It was one of the first things I learned about you [to Seb]. There’s a portrait of Morris in every room in our workshops, in fact! It is, in some ways, the backbone of so much of what we do.
Now, Brogan, you have worked closely with our lovely Stylist, Emma, to transform one part of your home into a creative, professional space. How’d you find it?
Brogan: It was absolutely thrilling! Even as Creative Director I’ve never had the chance to have my own space, you know? I really enjoyed making it feminine, fun, choosing the patterns I was drawn to. Lavishing in the colourways and prints combination. I adored thinking of this room as a space where I could choose something the way I wanted it, not having to balance it with Sebastian’s needs or where the girls might need to be mellow. It could be totally stimulating, just for me!
The bedroom is one of the hearts of a home. A respite and retreat, it’s often the most personal and intimate of spaces. How did you think about reimagining this space?
Seb: Three goals here, really: unwind, relax, recharge! We’re both so busy with the business and parenting that recharging is so important. I love how the hues vary depending upon the time of day, with cooler tones in the morning and warmer ones as the sun sets in the evening. I can’t wait to see how it changes throughout the year. The leaves and patterns in the textiles really amplify the woven textures in our wood fittings, elevating that biophilic feeling.
Brogan: there’s also a real material richness, which I really wanted. Without it being overwhelming or shouty. We’ve loved combining touches of the heavier Acanthus fabrics with the weight of Ruskin Weaves. No single part competes with another, it’s all really soothing.
DISCOVER THE LOOK
DCMW216832 | Wallpaper by Morris & Co
DBPF226844 | Fabric by Morris & Co
CNREDH | Paint by Morris & Co
CNPEAR | Paint by Morris & Co
CNCITR | Paint by Morris & Co
MCOP226979 | Fabric by Morris & Co
posted on 01 Jan 0001 in Interiors