While I was studying for a BA (Hons) degree in graphic design at Norwich School of Art in 1983, I had the idea of creating furniture in the form of architectural objects (as shown in the drawings above); these designs could eventually be made by D.I.Y. enthusiasts following my illustrated graphic posters showing how they were to be constructed. The most eye catching of these was an old red telephone box as a chest of drawers – designed to stand in the corner of a room with ten overlapping drawers (which matched up with the window frame detailing on two sides) – a novel storage solution that I eventually registered as a design at the Patent Office in London (the drawings show my very first sketch of the chest of drawers).
This led to me making a prototype model that featured in my degree show in 1984 – and was one of the reasons I became a self employed furniture designer and maker the following year.
The iconic ‘K6’ telephone box was originally designed by the architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, (who designed the original larger K2 box) to celebrate the silver jubilee of King George V. Many thousands were manfactured in Glasgow from 1936 onwards, mainly of cast iron construction, and were distributed allover the UK. They are still very much an important part of the British way of life and although many have been removed due to the increase in mobile phone availability, large numbers still remain in conspicuous places and are now often used as book sharing spaces after the payphone has been removed.
It was important to make the external appearance of this chest of drawers match the original as closely as possible both in design detail and overall proportion. This attention to detail equates to a considerable amount of time being taken up in the construction process (made one at a time) using sustainable plywood as the main structural material with wooden mouldings applied to give it authenticity.
Traditional woodworking methods are used in the construction process, the drawers can be machine dovetailed for added strength and durability. Each ‘box’ is signed off in pencil by me when finished and can be ordered with the traditional Post Office red paint finish or left as natural wood with an oiled finish. An LED light could be used in the top lantern section, which is removable (ideal as a night light in a child’s bedroom if optional perspex ‘telephone’ signs are used).
There is a choice of either a painted vacuum formed plastic domed top or an unpainted laminated wood dome (when the drawer section below is left unpainted and finished with oil) – the latter at extra cost. The windows are normally painted with grey paint but a photograph of a rural scene such as Dovedale can be fixed to the window spaces as a ‘reflected’ image.
Two sizes of ‘tele-drawers’ are available (as a chest of ten drawers) –
Medium size (114 cm high x 380 cm wide) price from £1,590
Large size (144 cm high x 480 cm wide) price from £1,990
(At present no VAT charge is applicable)
As each box is made to order, delivery times are approximate (allowing 3-4 weeks per individual chest of drawers) depending on how many orders are currently being processed.
Options at extra cost include:
Laminated wooden top dome (instead of painted vacuum formed plastic dome).
2 perspex telephone signs (in lantern) to allow internal battery powered LED light to shine through.
1 extra false door/window panel detail to one side (normally there is door detailing to 2 x drawer fronts).
Please get in touch with me to discuss further specifications and to place an order for this unique piece of furniture – visit the contact/get in touch page of this website for info.
We are supplied with renewable electricity from Good-Energy Ltd, which means that all the machinery and power tools used in the construction of each piece are powered by carbon-neutral energy sources. For more info visit www.good-energy.co.uk
Visit my pages on www.facebook.com/naclarkeofashbourne and www.facebook.com/phoneboxdrawers