So much more than veneer of achievement

Designers and craftspeople at Silverlining
The designers and craftspeople at Silverlining are pushing the boundaries to attain unique results

Traditional artisanship and digital techniques have won Silverlining recognition at a high level

Queen’s Award for Enterprise

By Michael Cape

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It’s the private place where billionaires’ dreams are turned into breathtaking reality.

Discreetly tucked away in a Wrexham industrial estate, Silverlining Furniture creates some of the most extraordinary pieces of furniture destined for the most exclusive residences in the world.

Almost forgotten crafts are used by Silverlining’s international team of artisans to combine rare leathers, ancient reindeer hide, preserved bog-oak and delicate curl veneers with state-of-the-art lasers and 3D printing techniques.

The brand is murmured with reverence among designers from Monaco to Manhattan.

And the output is found solely in the homes of billionaire clients from Dallas to Dubai, Moscow to Mayfair. Many cherish the works they have commissioned as personal – and lasting – pieces of art.

Receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise represents a “huge moment of pride and wonderful sense of recognition at the highest level,” said Silverlining Furniture’s Founder, Mark Boddington.

The award takes him another step closer to achieving his vision of Silverlining Furniture becoming the most inspirational furniture maker of the 21st century.

“I am absolutely delighted on behalf of everyone involved but particularly our designers, craftspeople and our clients.”

Had he followed in the family business it could have been very different. Mark chose not to join the eponymous brewing dynasty, opting instead to follow his childhood dream of making furniture. He trained under the legendary John Makepeace OBE at Parnham College and formed Silverlining in 1985, quickly establishing a loyal following among a small, but very prestigious, clientele.

The company’s reputation burgeoned among the superyacht fraternity, before clients began asking for ever more challenging commissions, designed for their own homes.

Where others may seek the spotlight, these clients – from Beijing to Seattle, Dallas to Abu Dhabi – diligently protect their privacy. “We are talking about very successful individuals here who are looking at the longer-term; often philanthropists who want to leave something that can be shared with future generations.”

That future-proofing forms another core purpose of the business – and it is what is attracting craftspeople from different backgrounds anxious to hone skills which might otherwise fade forever.

Next step for this hugely ambitious enterprise is the Silverlining Furniture Academy. The goal is to create a learning environment where the skills of yesterday can be retained alongside the exciting opportunities technology brings today and for tomorrow’s generations.

“Our designers are always looking to push the boundaries; to do something different,” Mark explained. “We don’t feel restricted by rules when there are opportunities to create something really remarkable which captures ideas that come out of conversations with our clients.”

Thousands of hours of work go into many of Silverlining’s projects, demanding enormous patience and the highest skill levels. With valuable woods such as 3000-year-old fossilised bog-oak or the American black curled walnut used recently in a 28ft ‘Quail Hunting Lodge’ dining table, the craftspeople operate with surgical precision but carve with the skills of a sculptor. Each piece tells its own unique story; each will leave its own Silverlining for the future.