At eleven years of age Paul Osborne attended his first woodwork class: “I can still remember the scent of wood that filled the air and the pure joy of seeing raw timber transformed into furniture, those feelings are still aroused each day as I enter our premises.”
Leaving school at 15 to pursue a five-year apprenticeship with H.W.Moult Paul would go on to master the art of carpentry and later work restoring Grand Old Theatre Houses in London before returning to his native Nottingham to work as a Kitchen Fitter.
It was during this period installing kitchen furniture Paul realised that with his skills and expertise he could produce furniture to a much higher standard.
With no financial backing and a young family to raise Paul faced a dilemma, would he play safe and continue to work fitting kitchens for other companies, or would he follow his belief that there was a gap in the market for truly bespoke fitted furniture?
Commissioned to produce a kitchen for Nott’s County footballer Bill Brindley, Paul set to work at home in his garage, soon after the first Osborne Bespoke Kitchen was produced. Eighteen months later Paul was gaining an unrivalled reputation for truly bespoke furniture and bigger premises were needed.
The Move to Ilkeston came in the mid 80’s, taking up residence in a small unit at the Old Tathams Factory, Osborne of Ilkeston was established.
It was at this time Paul realised extra hands were needed if he were to keep up with demand. Richard Manners joined Paul in 1986 and along with one other carpenter, as a small team the company was now able to take on larger projects.
In the following years, Paul’s unique style lead the company from strength to strength and although Osborne Of Ilkeston’s furniture was increasingly in demand Paul knew it was important to ensure that each project remained true to his exacting standards.
Increased demand for bespoke furniture took Paul countrywide and satisfied customers were only too happy to recommend his work. It was through one such recommendation that led to Sir Alex Ferguson commissioning a kitchen for his Cheshire home. Jersey’s Celebrity Chef Shaun Rankin was so happy with his new kitchen that actively endorses Osborne furniture. He has even been known to cook a meal and demonstrate all the functions of the kitchen to new owners.
Today Osborne Furniture graces some of the finest homes in Britain & the British Isles, often undertaking projects to furnish entire homes.
With such projects Osborne of Ilkeston now employs a highly skilled workforce, master craftsmen that ensure the furniture produced is of the highest quality and meets exacting standards whilst highly talented designers work with the client to bring furniture together with lifestyles of today.
Headed by Paul, each project begins and ends with the design team, be it traditional or cutting edge, they understand that style is a personal choice and therefore each project produced is individual to the client and their specification.
Developing the company has been a labour of love for Paul and in recent years both of his sons have joined him to ensure the company remains well and truly a “family run business.”