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Intelligent design

Intelligent design

Neptune’s approach to furniture design is a little surprising. The pieces aren’t trying to be perfect. Instead, they focus on making life – as messy and unpredictable as it can be – a little smoother. The furniture is cleverly, carefully crafted to solve niggly problems and make every day a little easier and brighter.

Henley larder cabinet

While larders may be top of many a kitchen wishlist,
when making design decisions, it’s easy to forget about
the all-important details that will make baking, teamaking, or snack-finding effortless. While outwardly, the Henley larder cabinet combines handsome solid North American oak with a stately yet subtle style, internally it’s crafted using age-old joining methods to ensure practicality, strength, and longevity as well as good looks.

It’s when the doors are drawn open that the real magic
kicks in. Within Henley is a chasm-like depth, creating
storage space, it seems, as if from nowhere. Filled with
three vertical layers of shelving, including a double-sided pull-out rack in the middle, it makes finding that specific jar of spice or long-forgotten ingredient so easy, you forget how stressful it once could be.

‘The Henley larder has a huge amount of storage space
crammed within it, and is designed in such way that
everything is easily accessible,’ says Henry, Neptune’s
design lead. ‘It’s arranged to give the best visibility for
each item, and the shelves can be hinged out to give
access to each level of storage, so there’s no need to half empty the whole thing to get to that one item you want.’

Wycombe folding chair

Bidding goodbye to the days of scrabbling around for
mismatched seating when additional guests descend,
it’s hard to believe that the Wycombe folding chair does indeed flatten. To compress, simply lift the seat and move the side rails inwards like a concertina so the front and back legs meet – it happily stands self-supported when flat, slotting neatly behind doors, into cupboards, and under the stairs, minus any precarious balancing.

With its traditional, handwoven cord seat, elegant
spindled back, and streamlined, Shaker-inspired
solid oak frame, the design is the twin of our original,
fixed Wycombe chair, and placing the two side by
side makes for a difficult game of spot the difference.
The only variation? A couple of discreet hinges.
‘What’s lovely about the folding Wycombe is that the
style and aesthetic haven’t been compromised to allow
it to flatten – we focused on creating a beautiful and
comfortable design that could also fold down if needed,’ explains Henry. ‘Now you can unpack extra dining chairs that perfectly match those from the existing Wycombe collection – the shape, the comfort, and the craft skills that go into the making process are the same for both versions.’

Moreton extending dining table

When thoughts turn to extending dining tables, more
often than not, complicated design, confusing
mechanisms, heavy lifting, and bashed wood come to
mind. The extending Moreton dining table solves all of these issues in a simple, stylish, and ingeniously spacesaving way, neatly hiding extra surface leaves stacked within a false drawer – flip down the drawer front, remove the planks, pull the top apart, and slot them in, and suddenly your six-seater table fits ten.
The surface-lengthening leaves feature fold-down
skirted edges to mirror the table’s own skirt. And each
element of the table is made from solid North American oak, constructed using traditional furniture-making techniques to allow for the natural movement of the timber. Moreton’s understated shape quietly showcases the honey-toned wood’s swirling grain, and the extending design is almost identical to the original table.

‘The Moreton extending table has a classic silhouette
and feel, but with modern functionality,’ explains Henry. ‘We wanted to create a timeless table to suit the realities of everyday life, where storage is always at a premium. The only discernible difference between the extending and non-extending Moreton tables is a discreet central breakline in the top to allow for the extension – the false drawer blends in completely.’

Amy Moorea Wong is an interiors and lifestyle journalist, previously features
editor at ELLE Decoration and news editor at Livingetc. She has a penchant for Scandinavian design and eco materials. This article has been extracted from volume 16 of our Stories anthology. You can find the complete archive here