After building sets for Glyndebourne, top London musicals and Michael Jackson concerts, trained designer Charles Kimpton waved goodbye to his theatrical production company and set up furniture business Leporello, which celebrates its 10th birthday this year.
First off the production line was the ‘Johann’ bed he made for his daughters when he couldn’t find any good quality furniture for their bedrooms. ‘High volume machinery was behind most of the furniture manufactured in this country, which made it look cheap and basic,’ he says.
Business grew from there and, today, Charles and his small team of craftsmen design, make, paint and hand-finish pieces, from the ‘Lucian’ French Louis-style bed to the ‘Karelian’ contemporary dining furniture, in their bustling Dorking workshop.
‘We are proud to be a British company and believe strongly in supporting British trade,’ says Charles.
5 Old Char Wharf, Station Road, Dorking, Surrey. 01483 284109; leporello.co.uk