For more than two decades, Englishman David Linley had been crafting custom wood furniture for interior designers and their clients through his namesake retail shop in London (a second store opened in late 2005). Then, two years ago, he accepted his first commission to design an entire space. That space—a St. Moritz, Switzerland, penthouse in a circular structure built by architect Norman Foster—was so well received by the homeowners and their friends, says Linley, that the experience prompted him to create Linley Bespoke Design, the full-fledged interior design service that he added to his operation late last year.
The new service, he says, “very much fits in with the service we’ve always been providing, which is bespoke furniture.” Indeed, the St. Moritz project involved creating several custom pieces to complement the home’s rounded walls and irregularly shaped rooms. A sofa resembling a parenthesis sets off the living area near the fireplace, and an asymmetrical dining table placed along the windows mimics the building’s curve. For the home’s sole straight wall, Linley and Craig Allen, his creative director who formerly was a worldwide product director for Gucci, designed a sideboard composed of Santos rosewood and walnut.
Since working on the St. Moritz home, Linley—who is the son of the Earl of Snowdon and the late Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, and who trained at the Parnham House, School for Craftsmen in Wood, in Dorset County—has designed Art Deco–influenced suites at Claridge’s hotel in London and restaurants in the city’s Goring Hotel and Sloane Club, as well as a number of private residences.
Allen oversees Bespoke Design’s staff of seven designers, who conduct site surveys, evaluate spatial and functional issues, create layouts, and present design proposals with fabric samples, watercolor pictures, and line drawings and three-dimensional renderings of furniture. “It’s important to look at how the customer uses the space, whether they use the room to read or they need it to accommodate a desk, or if they have children or a dog to consider,” Linley explains. “Our goal with this new service is to accommodate all of their needs, right down to having a place for the Hoover.”
Although Allen and his team suggest Linley pieces that they consider appropriate for a given project—whether the space calls for the company’s traditional wood furnishings or its more contemporary upholstered items, lighting, and accessories—the staff also can acquire furniture, fittings, and other decorative elements from suppliers worldwide.
Linley Bespoke Design