Bespoke and made to measure

Georgina Colwell, our Head of Design, and Alan Webber, Managing Director of Webber Furniture. Around them are handcrafted oak tables and drawer units for Bourne View.
Georgina Colwell, our Head of Design, and Alan Webber, Managing Director of Webber Furniture. Around them are handcrafted oak tables and drawer units for Bourne View.

We do our very best to ensure décor and furniture positively helps in making life easy and comfortable for residents.

All our homes benefit from elegant, well-appointed interior design with locally-crafted, bespoke furnishings the order of the day.

Long-standing relationships with trusted suppliers enable us to prescribe the exact requirements of chairs, tables, drawer units, desks, bedside cabinets and so on.

Two Lymington businesses exemplify this. Webber Furniture, a third-generation family carpentry firm, have been with us for more than eight years. They work solely in hand-crafted oak, making many of our dining room tables and chairs and, more recently, bedroom furniture.

Before any bulk production, Managing  Director Alan Webber will typically make a ‘prototype’ in line with a specification set by our Head of Design  Georgina Colwell.

“It’s all down to Georgina’s eye for design,” says Alan, who is currently working on 120 drawer units for our forthcoming Poole home, Bourne View.  “She knows what she wants. Everything we do is based on discussions with Georgina and made specifically in line with her ideas. The attention to detail and the level of quality is what sets Colten apart from everyone else.”

Around the corner from Webber, fabrication firm Fusion has been busy making 68 art-deco-style vanity units for Bourne View’s en suite bathrooms.

Our Head of Technical Design, Alan Portsmouth, specified the exact requirements to fabricator and welder Julian Bailey, based on suggestions put through our recently-formed innovation group.

Alan Portsmouth, our Head of Technical Design (far left), with Julian Bailey of Fusion Fabrication and one of the bespoke vanity units specially made for Bourne View.

Alan Portsmouth, our Head of Technical Design (far left), with Julian Bailey of Fusion Fabrication and one of the bespoke vanity units specially made for Bourne View.

This involves representatives from across Colten coming together to evaluate ideas on how to make life better for residents.

“The units are deliberately wheelchair-friendly,” says Julian. “There is no lower shelf or cupboard so someone using a wheelchair can get much closer in to the sink. Instead, there’s stainless steel shelving and a cupboard either on the left or the right, depending on the room layout.”

As well as the innovation group, inspiration for Bourne View came out of discussions with residents at our most recent home, Wellington Grange in Chichester.

Georgina says: “Residents have given us really useful feedback on, for example, tables having splayed legs so it’s easier for wheelchairs to fit in underneath.  I think it’s great that residents have a direct say on what’s going to improve quality of life furniture-wise.

Georgina helps select fabrics for the dining chairs

Georgina helps select fabrics for the dining chairs

“Using robust, bespoke craftsmanship actually saves money. Off-the-shelf just isn’t ideal for us and we can reduce refurbishment maintenance costs in the long term.

“It’s also a joy to work with local suppliers we know can do a great job for us.”

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