Scottish Designed Furniture

Hugh Parsons’ work combines a raw, element aesthetic with exquisite craftsmanship.

Hugh Parsons is a cabinetmaker who works in Scotland. He has been making his own pieces since 2011.

As well as designing furniture, Hugh designs and makes cribbage boards. He was introduced to cribbage as a teenager and is fond of the game and its importance to Scottish and British culture. It is a grass roots, working class game that is played now mainly by older generations in pubs and by sailors in the navy. However, Hugh is still a keen player and is pleased that traditional games seem to be regaining popularity – for instance, with board game cafés opening in London.

Hugh was a creative child, and made his first stool with his father’s help at the tender age of eight. Several relatives of Hugh’s family are also in creative and woodworking trades. For Hugh, a career working with wood seemed an obvious choice.

Hugh trained originally as an architect, gaining a Bachelor’s Degree. As a trainee architect, he developed expertise in the use of CAD, model-making and 3D renders. Hugh subsequently learnt to become a cabinetmaker, working directly with wood and other materials which allowed him to combine a cutting-edge design sensibility with an authentic sense of place and presence.

When Hugh began making furniture he studied traditional, vernacular design and makers of basic, modest furniture, as opposed to studying the ‘big name’ designers. He is inspired by other furniture makers including Angus Ross, David Linley, Charles and Ray Eames.

Hugh also finds inspiration from many other, varied sources, including his passion for innovation, beauty and sustainability. He loves old furniture and has gained a lot of knowledge from finding and restoring old pieces of furniture. Design Festivals are another important source of inspiration and experience for Hugh, who likes to collaborate, and does so frequently.

Author's Choice

We love that Hugh combines his woodworking skills and his interest in cribbage. Hugh decided to produce a handmade cribbage board as a tasteful, unique and desirable alternative to the mass-produced versions available.

AUTHOR is also delighted to include Hugh’s Monarch Chair in our collection. Hugh describes this piece of furniture as suitable for ‘custodians of special homes’. And there could be few more special homes than Edinburgh Castle, where a VIP suite houses the very first Monarch chair, by special request. In contrast to its current stately setting, the chair’s original design was inspired by a beanbag chair photographed in a Highland’s youth hostel. Inspiration can truly be found in the most wonderful of places.