Bespoke furniture – a family tradition

Richard Delane founded the Wood Works bespoke furniture operation in 1990 with the help of his wife Donna and their newborn son Josh strapped to Donna’s back.
The scene was set in 1942 when Richard’s grandfather Morris Delane came to London’s East End from Poland to learn cabinet making. He spent years perfecting his craft in numerous furniture workshops lining the streets of Hackney and Hoxton.

Morris’s sons decided to develop the family craft into a business and set up Denmor Furniture, which specialised in designing and making beautiful china cabinets. The trendy designs gained popularity and were supplied to all major UK furniture retailers: from an independent shop in Vauxhall to household names such as Harrods and Selfridges. In the 60s and 70s new ranges of lounge and dining room furniture were added – weird and wonderful shapes of chairs, tables, and display units that invigorated people’s living spaces.

Richard had always known he’d join the family business and started at the factory from the age of 17, working his way up and learning the craft at every department: from design to production to fitting.

By 1990 his mind was set in going completely bespoke and he started his own two-pronged business. Wooden Tots was dedicated to designing and producing nursery furniture for John Lewis. The Wood Works, focused on bespoke furniture, later naturally took over and became the heart of today’s business. With Donna helping handle administration, Richard’s now vast and in-depth experience enabled him to handle projects from start to finish. Over time Richard and Donna hired and trained a small team of designers, craftsmen, and fitters who’ve since become part of The Wood Works family.

Relocating to Hertfordshire was a natural progression to meet the need for a dedicated facility, housing the head office, the showroom, and the factory. Clients enjoy visiting us and being able to experience the magic of seeing the drawings become exquisitely hand-crafted pieces they can touch and feel.

We feel blessed to have a closely-knit team, generations of clients we are proud to serve, and the fresh young minds (Joel and Josh) to help carry the family furniture artistry tradition into the 21st century.

1942

Morris Delane comes to London’s East End to learn and perfect cabinet making, planning, veneering, cutting, and joining.

1961

Richard’s father and his brothers open Denmor Furniture, a successful family operation, designing and producing fashionable occasional furniture.

1979

Richard Delane starts working at Denmor Furniture and spends 11 years learning every aspect of furniture making by hand.

1990

Richard sets up The Wood Works and Wooden Tots on the premises of Denmor Furniture factory in London’s East End.

2005

With the client base and the team growing strong, The Wood Works moves to a dedicated facility in Hertfordshire, now home to the factory, the head office, and the showroom.

Present

Things are looking bright with the clients bringing us exciting ideas to work on together. The younger team members work on growing the business with the latest advancements in design, production technology, business software and marketing. Richard and Donna are still at the helm, happily running the day-to-day proceedings and holding clients’ hands.

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