ARTS & CRAFTS CABINET SYSTEM

Designed by De La Espada Atelier

The Arts & Crafts cabinet system by De La Espada Atelier offers a variety of storage solutions including sideboards and tall cabinets in various sizes and configurations, as well as the option of a fully customised piece to suit unique spaces.

Featuring exquisite detailing and woodcraft, the product was inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement, a design period that has influenced the work of De La Espada for over twenty years and which we are now exploring more deeply with our in-house design studio, embracing its principles and researching and applying historical detailing in our unique design language.

Combining the work of woodworkers, ceramicists, and textile artists, the Arts & Crafts cabinet is a celebration of collaboration and creativity across a number of craft disciplines.

Explore this page to learn more about the inspiration, design detailing, collaborations, and configuration options for the Arts & Crafts cabinet system:

INSPIRATION & HISTORY
DETAILING
COLLABORATORS AND MATERIALS
SPECIAL EDITION: ARTIST COLLABORATION

HOW IT WORKS / OPTIONS AVAILABLE


INSPIRATION

Photo credit: James Brittain

Image credit: Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott

Rather than a specific style, the Arts and Crafts movement is characterised by a way of approaching design and craft, one that honours the experience of the craftsperson as well as the end user, and champions the handmade, small-batch production, and the intersection of functional design and the decorative arts. Born in Britain in the late 19th century, the Arts and Crafts movement rose up as a response to the negative effects of industrialisation, valuing the human experience in both making and living with products, and our need to connect with nature. Its principles remain relevant today, as we seek to reconnect to traditional craft and objects that speak to our humanness.

Left to right: Walnut Cabinet by Waals, Oak Settee by Gimson, Oak Drawers by Waals, Oak Gate Leg Table by S Barnsley, Mahogany China Cabinet by Waals, Oak Gate Leg Table by S Barnsley, Oak Drawers by Waals, Oak Bookshelves by Gimson. Photos credits: Leicester Museums.

The Arts & Crafts cabinet system by De La Espada Atelier strikes a balance between referencing historic pieces from over 100 years ago and reinterpreting them for the 21st century.

Nellie Lovibond with her embroidery at Five Oaks.
Photo courtesy of Gimson Family Archive, from the book 'Ernest Gimson: Arts & Crafts Designer and Architect'.

Photo credit: James Brittain


DETAILING

JOINERY

The Arts & Crafts cabinet system celebrates traditional joinery with the use of wedge tenon, mortise & tenon, and finger joints and only minimal hardware.

CHAMFERING

The striking grid of the Arts & Crafts cabinet and sideboard is softened by the use of chamfering. The use of chamfering as decoration originated in rural culture, where it was used by wagonwrights to reduce the weight of wooden wagons without compromising structural integrity. De La Espada Atelier has taken this chamfering detail, often used in highly complex ways in Arts and Crafts furniture, and brought it into the 21st century with a more simplified, modern expression. The 3- and 4-unit cabinets are also chamfered across the width, with the far ends tapering away from the central sections. This brings greater visual levity to the piece and a sense of dynamism.

Chamfering details run like a red thread throughout the collection.

SLIDING PANELS

Tall cabinets include sliding panels which are crafted using traditional means, with a frame set into a channel. The sliding panels serve as an expressive canvas for the cabinets, with numerous material options.

DRAWERS

Both the tall sideboard and the sideboard section of the tall cabinet have an upper level of drawers. These feature internal trays and divisions for easy organisation. These trays are removable so they may be used elsewhere in the cabinet, if desired.

Deep box ‘kitchen-style’ drawers, available as an option on all units, have two inner drawers behind.

Drawer bases are lined with smoked cork to prevent fragile items from sliding around.


COLLABORATORS AND MATERIALS

The Arts & Crafts cabinet system celebrates collaboration, bringing together woodcraft with ceramics, textile, and textile art, with each artist and artisan chosen for their exceptional craft and artistic vision.

WOODWORK

The body of the cabinetry is crafted at the De La Espada atelier in Portugal where expert craftspeople combine advanced technology with handcraft to create intricately detailed furniture from premium solid wood: ash, oak, and walnut. Drawing on a long history of crafting wisdom, De La Espada craftspeople achieve the highest level of European craftsmanship, building for endurance, both aesthetic and practical.

WOVEN TIMBER

Woven timber is an option for the sliding panels. These panels are woven from solid wood, sliced into thin strips. Due to the thickness of the timber strips, the panels have a pleasing 3 dimensional surface, which is further enhanced by the subtle differences in the way the light reflects across the surface of the cross-directional wood grain.

The woven timber panels were inspired by traditional wood splint baskets which are traditionally used in coastal regions of Portugal for farming, fishing, and harvesting.

CERAMIC

The cabinet fronts are punctuated by ceramic tiles, forming both the handles and accents. The ceramic tiles are made in collaboration with artisan producers in Portugal. They are slip-cast in stoneware before ceramic artist Teresa Branco, based in Porto, applies the glaze.

Photo courtesy of Teresa Branco

Ceramic artist Teresa Branco, born and raised in Coimbra,“transforms earth into art” at her Porto studio, Brâmica. She hand crafts with ceramic pastes, chamotte stoneware, and porcelain, in a symbiosis between ancestral knowledge of art and the modernity of simple design and irregular shapes. With both decorative and functional pieces, Brâmica’s ceramics explore the sensations of the earth and the relationship between humans and the natural world.

FLORES LINEN TEXTILE

Sliding panels are also available in a limited edition handwoven linen created in partnership between Flores Textile Studio in Lisbon and two local artisans: Dona Maria, who is involved in every step of the linen process from harvesting to weaving, and employs traditional methods to create unique textiles; and Isabelle Ormieres who is dedicated to vibrant natural hand-dyeing.

Valentina Pilia and Emma Pucci. Photo credit: Shahid Datawala

Flores Textile Studio, founded by Valentina Pilia and Emma Pucci, is an interior design studio and textile showroom that combines contemporary design with traditional Portuguese handcraft. They work closely with artisans to create unique textiles of exceptional quality.

The Flores Linen Textile is particularly emblematic of the Flores ethos, using an entirely artisanal process, from the harvesting and processing of the flax to weaving on manual looms to hand-dyeing. This premium textile has an inviting tactility and great depth of colour and benefits from the close relationship Flores has with the craftspeople, where the mutual respect and open approach to collaboration brings meaning not only to the lives of the creators, but to the end product.

Photo credit: Emily Jean Vanweydeveld for Flores Textile Studio

The Flores Linen Textile is harvested, prepared, and hand woven in the north of Portugal by Dona Maria, a craftswoman with deep expertise in linen craftsmanship. She employs traditional methods passed on from generation to generation to create unique textiles.

Photo courtesy of Isabelle Ormieres

Flores Linen Textile is hand-dyed by Isabelle Ormieres, with the green colour achieved through a combination of extracts of chestnut, chlorophyll and iron. An expert in natural dyeing, Isabelle breathes new life into fashion and design with her dedication to eco-responsibility and local production.

TEXTILE ART

De La Espada is collaborating with carefully selected artists to create single-edition pieces for the sliding panels on select cabinets. The first collaboration is with London-based textile artist Catarina Riccabona, who has handwoven textiles specifically for two single-edition cabinets.

FABRIC

Sliding panels are also available in COM, subject to approval.


SPECIAL EDITION: ARTIST COLLABORATION

ARTIST COLLABORATION: CATARINA RICCABONA

Two single-edition cabinets have sliding panels created in collaboration with textile artist Catarina Riccabona. The panels are unique to the specific cabinet for which they are designed and handcrafted.

Catarina Riccabona is a hand weaver based in London, UK, who creates unique textiles for interiors. She was a natural choice for our first artist collaboration due to our shared reverence for natural materials and the poetry of handcraft. Riccabona's work expresses tranquil simplicity while simultaneously revealing great depth and complexity.

“I make one-off pieces for interiors, mainly throws and wall hangings, using selected natural yarns. Each piece is highly individual. This distinct identity is created by an intuitive way of working, allowing the design to form spontaneously while weaving at the loom. Each piece is also characterised by the slight irregularities typical of making by hand, like a natural selvedge,” Catarina Riccabona.

Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinson

Photo credit: Alannah Cooper

Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinson

Photo credit: Alannah Cooper


HOW IT WORKS / OPTIONS AVAILABLE

CONFIGURING YOUR ARTS & CRAFTS CABINET OR SIDEBOARD

The Arts & Crafts cabinet system is flexible, allowing for the creation of a sideboard in a choice of two heights and three widths, or a tall cabinet in a choice of three widths. Numerous material options and drawer/door combinations allow for further personalisation.

Download the Arts & Crafts Cabinet worksheet here

1. CHOOSE SIZE

Sideboard: low or tall; 2-unit, 3-unit, or 4-unit
Cabinet: 2-unit, 3-unit, or 4-unit

2. CHOOSE CUPBOARD DOOR AND/OR BOX DRAWER COMBINATION

Both the tall sideboard and the sideboard section of the tall cabinet include an upper level of drawers that include removable organising trays. Below this level, and on the low sideboard, any combination of cupboard doors (with internal height-adjustable shelf behind) and/or deep box 'kitchen-style’ drawers (with two inner drawers behind) can be specified.

Inner and deep box drawer bases are lined with smoked cork to prevent fragile items from sliding around.

3. CHOOSE TIMBER/FINISH

The full De La Espada range of timbers and finishes is available, including ash, oak, and walnut in numerous finish options.

4. CHOOSE PANEL OPTION
(for tall cabinet only)

Choose from woven timber, Flores textile linen, or COM.

5. CABLE MANAGEMENT

Both cabinets and sideboards feature cable management as standard, with dedicated space to hide messy cables and extension leads.


If you wish to exclude holes from the back panel; for example, if the cabinet will be placed in the centre of the room; then specify this at time of order.

CREATING A FULLY CUSTOMISED CABINET

De La Espada also offers the option of a fully customised storage solution to suit your unique space and needs, including custom textile art and glazes for the ceramic elements.


Contact us at sales@delaespada.com to discuss your requirements.