Tete a Tat Sebastian Cox
Sebastian Cox

I continually worry about the amount of Tat in the world. I know I peddle the stuff, but still, it makes me nervous. My saving grace is that all of our Tat has had several owners before it ends up with us, and if my butterfingers don't get in the way, I hope for it to have many more in its lifetime. The idea of passing things on seems to be a novel, if not unheard of concept for many big interior brands who often bash through trends with no consideration for the landfill shaped footstep that they leave in their wake. That's why I was so pleased to listen to award-winning bespoke furniture designer, Sebastian Cox on the LivingEtc 'Home Truths' Podcast. As he puts it: 'We make things with the intention that they will last a very, very long time. That is not just in the making but also in how they are designed. We try to move away from these short-term trend-led cycles that we have started to see in the furniture product industry. Where it's almost becoming like fashion, where they have spring/summer, autumn/winter launches, it really makes my blood boil that that's moving into the space where we are at.' I wholeheartedly agree, which is no surprise as I found myself agreeing with everything that Sebastian says (although I still may not understand all of it; I did have to google a few phrases during my research into Sebastian, but now I am a little more au fait with coppicing and mycelium). That is the beauty of a juggernaut like Sebastian Cox and his team. They are a band of men and women so committed to the sustainability of their furniture that they need to innovate while they create; as the old saying goes, 'necessity is the mother of invention'.

The Cotes Mill Sebastian Cox Kitchen With deVOL
The Cotes Mill Sebastian Cox Kitchen With deVOL

With an ethos so concentrated on sustainability, it is always hard to see how one can continually expand. Still, as Sebastian says himself, the aim is to 'make a living, not a killing'. An admirable ethos and something that I think more people should concentrate on. Who is to say where Sebastian Cox's company will end up, but one thing we can be sure of is that he and his team will do it thoughtfully, considering each step. But that's not something that has held them back thus far; Sebastian has been listed amongst Forbes' 30 under 30, and his work has received a Design Guild Mark alongside many other accolades from design publications such as Elle Decoration, Homes & Gardens and EKKB. Not to mention his collaborations with deVOL and Burberry to name but a few. You can imagine my gratitude that he found time to answer the questions with all this going on. Big thank you also to Brogan (Sebastian's wife and director of Sebastian Cox) for being the conduit for these questions.


 

Sebastian Cox Bayleaf woven screen acquired by the V&A
Bayleaf woven screen acquired by the V&A

Favourite Piece of Clothing?


I love my Armani coat which my dad handed down to me, it is the same coat that he got married in.


Best Moment in your career so far?


Having a piece of my furniture acquired by the V&A or being commissioned to design an entire landscape by a client we really admire; we have no prior experience so they’re showing a huge amount of trust in us.

Favourite Day?


Christmas Eve. It's the most Christmassy day of the whole holiday, fizzing with anticipation and excitement without the actual pressure of Christmas Day. And Brogan usually cooks an amazing lobster macaroni cheese which is a very festive treat.


A Great Restaurant?


Angela’s in Margate.


What is the skill that you would like to learn?


How to be on time for things… I think I would like to learn to sail.


Suffolk, Sebastian Cox Instagram
Suffolk, Sebastian Cox Instagram

How do you like to spend your free time?


I’m not overly familiar with the idea of free time (!) but I get great pleasure from brief moments pottering in the garden, enjoying the beach with my children and friends or hopping on the train and buying some seafood in the neighbouring seaside town.


What is your biggest pet peeve?


People who mow roadside verges in the countryside, during peak wildflower season. This unnecessary quest for tidiness is such a waste of good habitat.


Do you believe in Star Signs?


I want to believe that there are forces and energies beyond our comprehension that influence the natural world but I struggle to see a spiritual connection with concepts like this.

Favourite Smell?


Marmalade making in January; the smell of Seville oranges brings such brightness to winter. Freshly machined hazel is magic. Abundant cow parsley on a country lane in May.


Any good advice? Who gave it to you?


I don’t have a pithy one-liner I’m afraid but I was brought up by my mum to question everything and that’s served me very well, I think!

 

Huge thank you to Sebastian, to follow them click here and to see their website click here.


To buy the Sebastian Cox manifesto 'Modern life from wilder land' click here!


''Modern life from wilder land', our manifesto for nature-first land and resource use outlines how we can reshape our fields, woods, hills and coasts to meet our modern demands and the needs of our native wildlife.


This document proposes change in what we consume and a change in our perspective to see wilder land as beautiful and bountiful.'