Midlands- based window company Bromsgrove Glass and Windows has turned its business 'outside-in' by using its knowledge of exterior glass and glazing to diversify and enter the interiors market for contemporary glass furniture.
The new online retail venture - glassdomain.co.uk - is the brainchild of Bromsgrove Glass managing director Graham Southall, who spotted the opportunity to use his company's extensive experience of working with glass to take his business into the area of furniture design.
With support from Business Link West Mercia under its business diversification programme, the company researched the glass furniture sector only to discover there was a definite gap in the UK market for good quality pieces to suit modern living requirements. Graham next sought the help of one of the region's most up and coming young designers, Peter Wardleworth, to succeed in turning his business idea into reality.
Mr Southall said: "As a company traditionally specialising in exterior windows and conservatories, moving into the arena of contemporary glass furniture was a big step to take.
"However, I was confident our experience of working with glass, combined with Peter's eye for innovative design, would result in the creation of a really eyecatching furniture collection that is a million miles away from the glazing products we usually produce at our Bromsgrove factory site. And I was right.
"Italians have led the field of glass furniture design historically but now we're looking forward to playing them at their own game and demonstrating just how good British furniture design can be."
Graduating from Birmingham's UCE with a first-class BA honours degree in furniture design and having completed an MA in product design in 2002, Peter Wardleworth originally joined Glassdomain on a two-year teaching company programme with the specific brief of developing a coordinating collection of functional yet highly aspirational pieces.
Commenting on the design philosophy behind Glassdomain's first collection, he said: "Glassdomain is not about design for design's sake; my philosophy is all about starting from the point of view of the consumer, looking at their requirements and developing aspirational furniture that meets their needs.
"This might be a desk that converts to a dining table out of office hours or a coffee table designed to hold a potted plant or bottle of champagne.
"Every Glassdomain piece has been designed to have a practical function, as well as making a design statement.
"For starters, I have designed three distinct ranges - Soho, Contemporary and Apartment. As well as designing a mix and match range for living areas, the collection also features a selection of versatile home office furniture that won't encroach on living space.
"In fact, that's the beauty of working with glass. Light passes straight through it and the eye doesn't jar at the sight of it, making it the perfect choice for making a room feel more spacious."
The Glassdomain website can be found at www.glassdomain.co.uk . Selected pieces can be viewed in a dedicated showroom located at Bromsgrove Glass and Windows on Sherwood Road, Aston Fields Industrial Estate in Bromsgrove.