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What is luxury craft?

A definitive Guide to High End Design


In the last few years, craft has become somewhat of a buzzword in the world of design. Craftsmanship, artistry and items of a bespoke quality have become less associated with the makings of a small child at nursery and more so with skilled artisans, old production methods and timely processes – the high end design of the creative world. The official definition of craft is “an activity involving skill in making things by hand.” But what makes a craft luxury? In this week’s article, we’re exploring the meaning of luxury craft and how it relates to high end design.

Gilded Speak Vase

What is luxury craft?

In 2015, the V&A Museum held a five-month exhibition titled ‘What is Luxury?‘, directly looking at how luxury is made and understood. “Who is the dictator of luxury?” and “what makes something luxurious?” were amongst the questions this exhibition aimed to answer. The exhibition really resonated with us here at AUTHOR. It showed an appreciation of creativity and craft and didn’t simply pluck objects from the museum archive where the function of the object was for a luxurious purpose.

There is more to luxury craft than creating things for the wealthy – it’s an appreciation of the material, of process, and of time. The selection handpicked by the renowned museum mixed glamour with cutting edge design; heritage with contemporary processes and forward-thinkers with cultural techniques.

Gilded Finch Bowl

How do you create luxury design?

Ultimately luxury craft is an investment in time and process. This applies not only to the time spent making an object but also to the process of perfecting skills; for example, someone who can turn wood has spent years mastering the process and refining their own style. Luxury craftspeople are notably inspired by materials and how they can be manipulated, and this curious nature drives them to spend hours, if not days and weeks, on mastering a piece of luxury design work.

Material is also important to luxury crafting. Selecting something long lasting, unique and innovative is key to creating something with a difference. The majority of designs that you will see on the pages of our own shop are hard to come by elsewhere. Making luxury is not concerned with practical solutions but with the extraordinary, non-essential and exclusive. That means something that is going to last forever in your home.

Chaos Table

What does luxury craft mean to AUTHOR?

Here at AUTHOR, we believe every design involves an element of luxury when time and skill have come into play. The question of luxury is ultimately a personal one and every individual will have a different take on the meaning. For some, this may mean a pure gold object, and for others, it may mean the tiniest of hand-carved wooden spoons that took days to make. Everyone decides for themselves what their own take on luxury could be.

We source high-quality furniture and accessories, designed and made in Britain by talented designers and craftspeople to add to our themed collections. In our opinion, when handpicking these items, there needs to be a harmonic symphony of creation, passion, and skill in every object whether it be a sculpture, jewellery box, floor lamp, or dining table.

Further to this, we also design and commission our own exclusive range of high end design pieces, for the AUTHOR’s Own range. As with everything in the AUTHOR collection, these beautifully hand-crafted pieces are items made with stylish spaces and contemporary lifestyles in mind.

Chaos Table

What should I look out for when purchasing high end design?

Like we’ve explained above, look out for what you think makes something special. Enjoying or affording luxury is not only a question of budget but also of your own individual circumstances and preferences.

If you’re stuck for where to start, London Craft Week is a great place to explore. The annual event showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands.

Crystal Whisky Tumblers

AUTHOR’s Picks

Shop our high end design pieces that embrace the unique creations of individualistic makers­ and luxury craft at the core.


The stunning Windsor Rocker by Katie Walker is a design so exquisite that it was the recipient of the Furniture Award at the 2011 Wood Awards and was awarded the Design Guild Mark No.101 in 2014. Katie designed this piece in her West Sussex studio and collaborates with fine furniture makers in Britain to handcraft it. The design consists of a continuous band that forms the chair’s frame and the rocker, created from a steam bending technique. It can be made from sustainably-sourced ash, walnut or oak.



The Ava Dining Table, made in Tom Faulkner’s Swindon workshop, features a strong, sculptural, and very distinctive design. The top floats above two intriguingly linked tetrahedrons, a shape Tom creatively uses and reworks in his ever-evolving high end designs. Its circular shape is welcoming and open for friends and family to gather around and features a luxury Arabescato Marble top that is sure to create a lasting impression.


If you’re looking to go all out with your luxury design elements, this beautifully crafted chandelier, created by the talented craftspeople at Cocovara in London, is certainly the piece for you. Illuminating the contrast between the 8 piercing rock lights and the strong bronze fixture, the chandelier beckons an angelic hue from all 8 points featured. It is held together with a minimalist bronze construct perfect for a distinct first impression. This beautiful, dramatic piece displays the magnificent British craftsmanship that has gone into making it and is the epitome of luxury craft.



The Hardy Rocker is designed by Northern Irish designer, David Irwin, and proudly made in Britain by talented craftsmen and women at the Another Country workshop. A combination of both the Captain’s Chair and Smokers Bow designs dating back to the 19th century, the chair is an ode to Dorset-born poet Thomas Hardy and his sensational poem, Old Furniture. It’s the story behind this beautiful chair combined with the steam bent back and hard-wearing materials that make it a luxury craft addition.

TEN WATCH BOX | £1,200

Exquisitely handcrafted by the talented team at Dovedale Design Studio in London, the Ten Watch Box is elegant and smart in design. The piece comprises of solid bog-oak frame with a hardened glass lid on top. Brass joints are fitted within the frame to affirm a strong construct and secure the ten watches held inside on plump cotton pillows.

If you’d like to know more about incorporating luxury craft or high end design into your home, the AUTHOR team is here to advise on any aspects of design and furnishing. If you would like any further advice or interior design tips on how to make the most of your interior space, please do get in touch.

Read more about our focus on British-made interiors or our stance on ethical and sustainable interior design.

About the Author


Written by Jane Adams, founder of Author Interiors. LinkedIn:

Read more about her here.

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