Drummonds was founded in 1988 by Drummond Shaw who was restoring his English countryside mansion and having difficulty finding unique pieces for his property. Since then, the company has evolved to manufacture classic and transitional designs.
In 1988, Drummond Shaw was restoring his English countryside mansion and having difficulty finding unique and well-made pieces for his property. He was on the search for bathroom and full classic items from flooring to fireplaces and more. So, he began restoring items.
Since then, the company has evolved to manufacture classic and transitional designs. Today, the ethos for Drummonds is timeless classics. “If we design something we have to want it ourselves and it has to fit in our style,” says James Lentaigne, Creative Director, Drummonds. “As a small business, we are completely integrated – from the design of products through to manufacturing and distributing but also retailing. This control has many challenges, but it also allows us to forge our own path in the industry and to do things differently.”
That means items aren’t mass produced. Each product is handmade in what Lentaigne describes as an art form – and these timeless classics take time. “Really stunning results come from this, but also with the need to take time to produce and even to design, it has taken some items five or so years to bring to market,” Lentaigne says. In fact, he is currently working on a mirror that’s been a year in the making.
Drummonds designs the majority of its range, which is inspired by classic originals. Some of the company’s great ideas have come from Drummond himself in the early years. In later years, standout pieces have been designed by Lentaigne and the UK team. But Drummonds isn’t afraid of a good collaboration.
“We have had some great conversations with our customers and these have lead to collaborations,” Lentaigne says. “In the early years we would make some unusual bespoke and one-off items. With Martin Brudnizki we embarked on a collaboration of products which was enjoyable and helped create some stunning designs.
“We have recently worked with Marc Newson and are so proud of the results,” he continues. “He is a designer I have followed and admired for many years. In fact, our relationship goes back over 14 years when he first bought from us!”
The company’s products are produced in its own foundries. They work with brass, iron, and clay but also source high-quality marble and other materials. Brass is the most-used material as it works with all the company’s products, from faucets to the accessories, towel rails, and more. Chinaware is sourced from Stoke-on-Trent in England, while marble comes from the mountains of Italy. (Note: Click here for Lentaigne’s video on the marble sourcing process.)
As for the design process, it’s a team effort. “We have a great system where we ‘post’ discussions and ideas. One source comes from our quality review process, and as a small business this is key,” Lentaigne says. “Customer feedback on things they love and don’t love (which he notes is rare). We can take a product and review it pretty quickly.”
As a small business, the company is able to move with agility. And the passion for creating drives the team forward. “I joined Drummonds as I love buildings. I love the process of looking at the detail in a property and understanding how things come together and how things are made,” Lentaigne says.