I feel unbelievably privileged and flattered that World of Interiors has featured Jamb for the fourth time in the October issue with our new twenty-four thousand square footage London warehouse and second showroom which houses our fireplace and lighting workshops and antique furniture and chimneypiece collections.
The first feature was my Hampstead bachelor pad (!) 2001 photographed by Simon Upton who has photographed all the subsequent features ever since. The journey continued with the story of our family home in Camberwell (WOI Feb 2012) that I bought with Charlotte four years later ( a bachelor no more!).
Together Charlotte and I built Jamb from 2004 and we found ourselves having to facilitate our showroom move by selling nearly all of my antique collection at our Christies auction in 2012. Following the sale, I wasn’t meant to buy the same amount of antiques again after the auction, everyone told me not to, but I failed miserably as we were being offered the finest antique pieces that were irresistible to refuse.
The idealised pursuit of restraint didn’t work and we had run out of space once again, with the warehouse reassembling an attic as the 18th Century pieces piled up. The pressure was layered with an increasing production demand on our reproduction mantel and lighting workshops and threats to demolish the twentieth century industrial area we were in, as the inevitable wave of residential development loomed. There seemed to be no choice but to look seriously and quickly for an alternative space.
There are always seismic moments in business and this was one of them. We were faced with only eighteen months to locate, find and move everything we own. By sheer chance I was told of a building when I was on my way to the airport heading to Hong kong. With time weighing heavy and no other options, I had to seize the opportunity to take a look for myself.
And there it was. A twenty-four thousand square foot warehouse and former 1950’s tank factory. Initially I was utterly overwhelmed by the scale of the building. It seemed completely unattainable, however after a lengthy purchase and a lot of luck we were running forty-foot container lorries through the night to complete our move. I will never forget the dedication of everyone at Jamb who worked tirelessly day and night making it happen. It wasn’t quite the ‘team building and bonding’ exercises you hear about in companies and I will always be grateful for their Herculean energy and efforts. To say it was epic is an understatement.
It is hard to believe that the vision has become a reality. Our stone workshop has been built to restore the antique chimneypieces along with carving and finishing the reproductions mantels. The globe, hanging lanterns and wall lights now have room to breathe where they are hand patinated.
Above the workshops is a two thousand square foot mezzanine space where we can stand over a hundred antique mantels from our collection together with the antique furniture. In the middle of it all is the neatly stacked and labelled stock awaiting its purchase.
It truly is staggering how we have managed to fill the space. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a unique way to organise myself (resembling something closer to chaos) and when I look around the space I am amazed at the order. It is magical!
When I asked Nathalie from World of Interiors to come and see it, I never imagined that it would feature in the October issue of World of Interiors. I am forever grateful to both Nathalie and Rupert for always supporting us and always making it look so wonderful with the talent of Simon Upton and his photography.
As I say in the article “The part of the job every antique dealer lives for is acquiring. That’s where the ultimate fun is had.”
The piece is the testament to that.
World of Interiors October Issue is out now.
All photography by Simon Upton.