Material Source Studio

Material Source Studio

Material Source Studio is the very first of its kind. An innovative space, it brings together products, materials and insight in an environment designed to spark inspiration amongst the North West’s architectural and design community.

As a partner at Material Source Studio, we were approached to create three items of furniture that captured the design-led nature of the space, but that also provided beautiful, practical solutions. A concierge desk in the reception, a table for the CPD room and a kitchen island were all taken from concept to creation.

It started at Material Source

As with every bespoke item we create, the process started with a pre-design visit to Material Source Studio, to understand the need, the vision, the space, and the concept. We visited the Studio to see where the three items would live. The concierge desk, which would welcome people in, had to be eye-catching; the CPD table durable and collaborative; and the kitchen island practical but fit to entertain.

All three were then put on paper with a technical drawing. The team made design suggestions, alongside Material Source,, to come to a solution that not only met the visual need but, crucially, that would fit into their intended home. Particular care was taken to seamlessly incorporate unique features into each item, the concierge desk boasts an area tailor-built for a coffee machine, and the kitchen island an LED halo.

Collaboration was at the core of our partnership with Gresham Bespoke. From the get-go, the Gresham team was on hand for constant discussion about the best ways of bringing our vision to life. This flexibility and adaptability translated into every step of the journey, with the skilled team of makers taking rough sketches and transforming them into the beautiful pieces you now see in situ at Material Source Studio.

Darren Clanford, co-founder & creative director at Material Source Studio.

It is built to last – beautiful practical

Once we had the designs, we moved onto the materials. Birch plywood was selected for the structure of all three items, offering strength and a fine grain texture while being receptive to many different types of finish. Birch also ages beautifully and takes on its hue through use, time, and environment.

Each item was then given an aesthetic identity. The concierge desk is rounded and multi-levelled to welcome people into the space, drawing them in, rather than creating a barrier.

The kitchen island gains its unique appearance from a ceramic tiled front, interchangeable for future updates, the island sits in an open and interactive space used to entertain.

The CPD table is built for use and to last. Incorporating power points, fast charging pads and wrapping around the room, rather than dominating it – it supports a truly collaborative space.

All three items were then installed on-site by our team with an exceptional level of care. Seamless jointing was used so that all parts were able to fit through the door and assembled so their desired appearance took shape within the Studio itself.

We aimed to create stunning, practical pieces that would be used in the Studio daily. As well as needing to look exceptional, they also required structural integrity. Now, 12 months on, their strength of functionality has been proven, with every piece performing just as it did on Studio launch day. Aesthetically, we’re also benefitting from beautiful natural ageing, with elements such as the ply taking on a new patina for added depth. Materiality was an incredibly important part of the creative process, with Chris and the team feeding back on ideas to enhance and improve wherever possible.

Darren Clanford, co-founder & creative director at Material Source Studio.

Furniture with purpose

The Material Source Studio furniture was built by our dedicated team in our bespoke joinery workshop in Bolton at Gresham HQ. Decades of care, knowledge and experience were poured into each item to ensure the very highest quality products were delivered.

By taking the time to understand the needs of Material Source Studio, listening to what they wanted to achieve and centring the whole process around them, we produced three stunning items that will stand up to any use – now, and well into the future.


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Getting it right the first time is so important to us, to you and your customers – therefore our bespoke service is built around you, for you.

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Our concierge desk has greeted thousands of visitors so far. As the first point of contact people have with Material Source Studio, and housing our check-in facility and coffee function, this is an integral and hard-working piece of furniture. The same goes for the bespoke table in the CPD Studio and the nearby kitchen island unit – both of which have supported the hosting of over 100 events over the past 18 months, from product presentations to sushi masterclasses. Regardless of what’s been needed, the furniture has delivered on every occasion.

Darren Clanford, co-founder & creative director at Material Source Studio.

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