Stylish and sustainable - meet the company creating furniture from recycled wood

Bench seat for The Crown Pub, Hastings Old Town
Bench seat for The Crown Pub, Hastings Old Town

Recycling and upcycling pieces of furniture is having a boom at the moment.

Making your home a much greener place rather than filled with throwaway mass produced items that don’t last.

The workshop

The workshop

Harbor Furniture began as a social enterprise 12 years ago, focussing on recycling wood and providing training in woodworking to long-term unemployed people.

Harbor is the name of the furniture company that grew out of the original business.
Stewart Walton is its creative director, he says: “We make furniture for many hotels, restaurants and bars in and around London but are equally interested in making tables, benches and shelving for individual customers.
“At the moment we are very excited to be working on a series of decorative Wall Art pieces which were inspired by customers requests to buy our colourful table tops to hang on their walls.”

All the furniture from the benches to tables is made by hand with the help of machinery.
Stewart adds the business sources the wood from a number of different places.
“We use joists and floorboards from demolition sites; reclaimed scaffold boards, pallet wood and best of all Hastings Pier wood which we salvaged after the fire in 2007.
“In exchange we were able to keep all usable timber from the old pier and also collaborated with the architect to design furniture for the new pier made out of the reclaimed decking boards.”

It currently employs six full time staff and two part time and is based in an old chapel near Hastings main railway station where there is a showroom displaying the range.
“We have an on site workshop where members of our team have different roles in the table making process,” explains Stewart.
“It’s hard to put a time on how long it takes to make something but it begins with timber selection in the wood yard and ends when we’re happy with the finish on the new piece.”

Design

Design

Stewart’s career has a firm root in the arts and he had previously studied Graphic Design and illustration.
“I was commissioned to illustrated a book on decorative paint finishes which was a best-seller and after that I crossed over into working on TV interior design programmes where I picked up skills from the set carpenters and make-over specialists,” he says.
“I’ve never engaged with CAD and still draw up all our workshop plans by hand and that’s what our workforce understands.
“We’re a hands on business.”

Knowing what is available in the wood yard Stewart designs the full range of furniture and adds that alongside the reclaimed wood they also have a supplier of local oak.

Previous clients include Bluebird Cafe, Cambridge Satchel Company, Cawston Press, Chicago Rib Shack, Conran Shop, De la Warr Pavilion, Dirty Bones, FOLK, Gallivant Hotel, Golden Age Public Houses, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Habitat, Hastings Borough Council, Hastings Centre, Hastings Pier Trust, Jerwood Gallery, Kricket, Orbit, Senor Ceviche, and Turtle Bay.

Alongside commercial jobs for hotels and bars Harbor Furniture also undertakes commissions from individuals.
“We have a good range of designs and are more than happy to scale up or down to suit customers spaces,” he says.
“Everything we do is made to order and we want our customers to love what they buy.”

Hastings Pier tables and benches made from salvaged decking boards

Hastings Pier tables and benches made from salvaged decking boards

For more information, visit harbordesigns.co.uk​

READ MORE

The accessories to add a pop of colour to your home

The Hastings woman turning drawings into personal keepsakes