A Chip Off The Old Block | Davonport’s Heritage
Creating a business with exacting standards, a sharp eye for detail, an unwavering insistence on the very highest standards and building a reputation for excellent service doesn’t happen overnight. In the case of Richard Davonport, it has been a lifetime’s work. Richard’s passion for fashioning beautiful handmade furniture is not new; it is something that he learned from his father, Aubrey Davonport. The picture below shows Richard aged 4 with his father. Aubrey was an honorary member of the British Woodcarvers Association and taught his son how to carve using off-cuts of ‘green’ timber that Richard had collected from an after-school job cutting down trees in the woods close to his home.
Richard attended college and qualified with a Distinction in Furniture Design and Cabinet Making. His knowledge continued to grow and he soon set up his own workhops – Davonport was borne. His success meant that in 1996 he moved his workshop to larger premises and began designing and building bespoke kitchens. Working for himself gave Richard the freedom to work to his own standards. By using only the finest quality materials and combining traditional cabinet making skills with resourceful building techniques, Richard very quickly established high standards for his work, creating furniture designs without compromise.
By 2005, Richard Davonport had created a working relationship with over 20 different design studios across the UK. He employed 17 like-minded people at his workshop in Colchester, on the Suffolk/Essex border, creating luxury bespoke kitchens and interiors. The Davonport brand and first retail studio were borne from this success. The business’s reputation for quality kitchen furniture, beautiful designs and great customer service soon spread, thanks to praise for its designs and premium standards in the interiors and kitchen press.
Continued growth and success meant that in 2013 Davonport moved to its current home; a 1.2 acre site in Colchester comprising of a 20,000sq ft workshop, a retail showroom and nearly 30 employees. Despite the success of the brand and size of the business, Richard Davonport’s ethos remains the same as it did when he opened his very first workshop; a strong focus on quality materials, traditional craftsmanship and creating furniture without compromise. As he says, ‘It’s not just a job as the furniture we make carries my name.”