A world-renowned brand set up a more permanent new home in the Flatiron District amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Timothy Oulton is a one-of-a-kind furniture brand that prides itself on its handmade items. The brand’s namesake, Timothy Oulton, was raised surrounded by antiques as his father ran the store Halo Antiques in Britain. At the age of 18, Oulton joined his father to work in the store for the summer and was completely captivated by antiques.
In 1990, Oulton took over the family business and started to focus on the actual design of furniture, ultimately leading to the Timothy Oulton brand. Each piece that his company makes includes the best materials sourced from around the world, from the finest leathers to stone and crystal.
“It always starts with the materials; we don’t even decide on the shape until we’ve got a material in our hands. We bring old timber from the UK, leathers from Brazil and Argentina, stone, crystal, and glass, and we’ll look at the materials and say what can we try and do with this,” said Oulton. “I follow the Paul Smith adage: “You can find inspiration in anything, and if you can’t, look again.” It could be an LP cover – those Pink Floyd designs and Rolling Stones covers are iconic. We have leather finishes inspired by antique cowboy chaps, lighting inspired by vintage jewelry. I see the creative process as a bit of a quest, a journey. You explore, discover, and often end up finding inspiration down rather unexpected avenues.”
The brand opened its first New York City showroom in 2009 on the third floor of ABC Carpet & Home, however it was in 2018 when the store opened its first Los Angeles gallery.
“We started in 2018 with our first gallery in L.A. and we now have almost 50 galleries worldwide. We’ve always aspired to be in the world’s best gateway cities so after opening our London flagship in Bluebird a few years ago New York was very much in our mind – it’s such an epicenter of design. New York’s brutal, if you’re going to be here you better be flipping good!”
Even though the brand has several storefronts throughout the globe, one particular building kept coming back to Oulton’s mind: 901 Broadway. Located in the Flatiron District, the building boasts a historic-looking facade with huge windows and is comfortably sitting on the corner of Broadway East 20th Street.
When the opportunity arose, Oulton jumped on the opportunity to set up shop inside the building. The new permanent Timothy Oulton storefront opened officially to the public in September 2021.
“I used to walk past 901 and I always loved the windows – they’re huge! I’ve wanted the building for a long time, it has such a great history, and then we got lucky. They say be careful what you wish for as you get it!” said Oulton.
One of the latest additions to the Timothy Oulton furniture line is the Apollo, a recreation of the famed Apollo 11 that made history so many years ago. Created as an inspirational talisman of Timothy Oulton Studio, the piece is popular for entertaining and can be customized for indoor or outdoor use, with each one being hand-built by the Timothy Oulton team.
“It encapsulates the innovation, imagination, and meticulous attention to detail that are at the forefront of every project we do, as well as our capabilities to design and make anything from our own workshops,” said Oulton. “We built the first one in 2018 and we’re now up to Apollo 16 with more on the way. The interior can be customized to a client’s bespoke needs, the one in New York has a tufted velvet interior printed with a design based on Botticelli’s Birth of Venus painting, it’s just beautiful.”
The Apollo has been a huge hit, capturing the attention of not just the average consumer but celebrities and businesses as well.
“We’ve sold them to clients all over, Gordon Ramsay bought an Apollo for one of his restaurants in London, we’ve sold them in the US, Dubai, Italy, and we’ve made an outdoor version for a project in the UK,” said Oulton.
As for what’s in store for the Timothy Oulton brand, the founder expects that there will be more storefronts as well as hospitality spaces that will come to fruition this year.
“We have several new stores opening next year throughout the US and globally, starting with Orange County in California. We’re also looking to expand into more hospitality spaces – giving people the complete experience. And we’ve just finished work on our new collection which will launch next year. 2022 is going to be very busy!” said Oulton.
For more information about Timothy Oulton, visit timothyoulton.com.
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.