In 2009 my wife Marisa and I started Method Studio; a designers and makers of highly detailed and finely crafted handmade furniture, from a tiny workshop space on the outskirts of Linlithgow, near Edinburgh.
Marisa's background is in architecture and I'm a second generation woodworker and creative problem solver - trained by my father, David, who still works closely with us today.
Like most people who start a business, we both had a good deal more passion, zeal and drive than actual understanding of what we were biting off.
Good thing too.
Our aim has always been to bring timeless, elegant and hugely desirable furniture and objects into the world. Contemporary heirloom pieces, with a clean, precise, almost architectural aesthetic - but crafted with the very best natural materials: dramatic native hardwoods, sumptuous leather and precious metals.
Honest materials, with individual character.
Now, as we approach the tenth anniversary of the business, we have opened our first bricks and mortar shop: M74, at number 74 the High Street in the historic Royal Burgh of Linlithgow - less than 3 miles from our workshop and studio.
Team’s grown a little too…
To dig a little deeper…
2009 was, as it turned out, an incredibly tough time to start a business. Especially one that poured time and effort into complicated and highly detailed bespoke products.
But we loved what we were doing, and we believed wholeheartedly that handmade furniture could be done differently. That it could both embrace contemporary design styling and use traditional skills and materials, to really make connections with people and create heirlooms of tomorrow.
So we worked hard (in Marisa’s case juggling three jobs, including the rigours of architectural practice) and put everything we had on the line, seven days a week.
In time our hard work began to pay dividends, as little by little, some very well known international luxury brands and companies came calling.
And then some very interesting things started to happen.
…The likes of The Glasgow School of Art, Jaguar Land Rover, Burberry, Aesop and Bentley Cars commissioned us to design and hand make bespoke projects for them, often pieces which solved unusual practical problems in a stylish, dramatic way.
Detailed, carefully layered objects in wood, leathers and precious metals which also told a wordless story - silently communicating the brand’s values and heritage through care, passion and meticulous craftsmanship.
Towards the end of 2017, after too many years of working too many hours in windowless, rather soulless industrial spaces - and by now with a growing team of talented and hardworking craftsmen to help us realise our designs - we stumbled across the tumbled-down bones of an old wooden sawmill building (whilst being dragged around by our wild little workshop dog, Ash) nestled in mature spruce woodland in the Bathgate Hills, in the locally beloved Beecraigs Country Park.
The sawmill was difficult to access, had gaping holes in the walls, no running water and no insulation. It was also much too big.
We fell in love instantly, and begged the council to let us restore it.
Then, over a particularly brutal winter in early 2018, we enlisted the help of my dad (who also designs and builds unique one-off houses, including the one I grew up in) to manage our team of maker’s, pulled on our thermals, and spent two gruelling months comprehensively rebuilding and renovating the space.
What we ended up creating - as well as a destination workshop and design studio, hidden amongst the trees - was a bond forged through hard work and shared effort with our team. And that’s the beating heart of the business.
That’s our story.
Perhaps one day we can become part of yours.
74 HIGH STREET, LINLITHGOW