Ambrose furniture: style and practicality for generation rent

Ambrose furniture: style and practicality for generation rent

Ambrose is a new brand and it's part of Heal's. Pieces have good eco credentials and are built to last

FSC-certified American white oak A-frame table, bench and storage unit by London's Matthew Elton

Ambrose is new brand in the Heal's family developed under the guidance of Kenneth Grange, one of the UK's most respected designers. Pieces have been designed and selected with small space living and ease of packing up and moving on in mind. Some FSC-certified wood products are flat-packed and the great news is those pieces simply slot together. Prices are higher than Ikea, but on a par with Habitat / West Elm / John Lewis. Pictured above: made in London, Matthew Elton's slot-together American white oak A-frame table/bench and shelving unit.

It's good to see that high end furniture companies are taking seriously the needs of people living in rented accommodation.

People who rent invariably are not renting penthouses but flats where rooms are small - hence 8ft long sofas and dining tables aren't much use to them. And while they may not be staying put for years on end, they don't want to live with cheap 'landlord' furniture.

So what's needed is multi-functional furniture that's neither huge nor minuscule, pieces that can be easily assembled and disassembled, that are sturdy, and, of course, great to look at. And if those products are made in the UK/EU from sustainable materials, so much the better. 

Enter Ambrose Furniture, a new brand at Heal's. Some furniture in the collection has been directly commissioned from designers such as Matthew Elton, while other pieces have been selected from companies including US brand Blu Dot and Danish studio Skagerak because they fit with the Ambrose aesthetic and quality level

Furniture is contemporary and fairly minimal. Gaston wall-mounted bureau by Harto is oak-veneered with leather pulls. £525. W60xH72xD32cms
Hinge sofa bed with elm legs, £825 and Kaschkasch aluminium-framed floor mirror (£225)
Grey sofa bed and Nomad ash wood leaning shelving unit £245) which can be adapted for various functions
Matthew Elton's oak bench ready to be slotted together - no glue, allen keys or screws needed
Solid oak lean-to console table by Skagerak, W90xD32xH73cms, £395
Small steel Strut coffee table in red by Blu Dot, £255. W51xH45cms. Comes flat-packed
Swish slim desk/console table with sliding top, steel frame with ash veneer desk top, by Blu Dot, £625

David Steiner, designer at Ambrose, says a lot of thought has gone into developing a collection that's space-saving, slim, and multi-functional. 'We are aiming more at younger people who're starting out, who're living in smaller spaces, but who want quality modern furniture that will last but at lower prices than Heal's is known for,' he says.

Look, no flxings

Steiner says ease of assembly was crucial for the the flat-pack furniture. 'People don't want to be struggling with tools and screws.. so we asked Matthew Elton to make a dining table, bench and storage system where the oak components slot together - you don't need any screws or glues.'

And he's a huge fan of furniture that simply leans against the wall. The Nomad ash wood leaning shelving ladder from Denmark's Skagerag is an incredibly useful as well as attractive piece -  it comes with hooks, but also additional shelves and a mirror, so you can use it in the hall, the bedroom or sitting room. 

Steiner feels the collection is eco-friendly, with materials that are sustainable or recyclable. 'Woods are from managed forests or FSC-certified and Matthew Elton's solid oak pieces are made here in London; our accessories are made in the UK or EU and the cushion fabrics are 95 per cent wool. We work with Scandinavian studios because the Scandinavians have always been very environmentally aware.'

But what about bringing in pieces of furniture from the US, since Blu Dot is an American company. 'We do like to buy British, yes, but we also feel Blu Dot is a good company. Yes, transport is an issue...and we try to minimise the impact of bringing in product from the US by importing in large volume. So we don't just bring in a few pieces of furniture from the states.. the pieces are flat-packed and we fill a shipping container,' says Steiner.