Since opening his studio in 2007, Thomas Coward has made quite the name for himself. He’s designed products for the United Arab Emirates’ Royal Palace (unsurprisingly a career highlight), bathware for Reece and Omvivo, a range of interior spaces and just recently, created a range of homewares and furniture; something he is particularly enthusiastic about.
Thomas had the desire to homewares and loose furniture. “My main body of work is in bathwear and I wanted something that could sit alongside that easily. Through new manufacturers and clients I have been able to produce a lot of these products locally, which is exciting as it allows for customisation.”
With my favourite piece being his Gem Stool, which was inspired by an exploration of quartzite for an interior project, this piece, like many of his others, is very versatile. Made from moulded PVC, it stands out in his repertoire as Thomas prefers to work with natural materials. He predominantly use stone, glass and timber. He like these natural materials as they are honest and he believe their beauty lies in the imperfections. One the other side of that, he use a lot of solid surface (an acrylic composite), which has no flaws. It’s more for mass production, where every piece needs to be the same.
A piece that combines both contrasting materials: natural glass and solid surface, is the Motif Basin and Table for Omvivo, which also happens to be Thomas’s favourite. It’s an engraved glass bottom basin, surrounded by solid surface. There are three patterns available, which suits so many different types of interior structures. Getting that product to market was a massive achievement as there were so many complicated manufacturing processes involved.
Growing up on a farm in England’s Cornwall, Thomas studied at Ravensbourne Design School in London before moving to Melbourne in 2004. Since then, he’s gone on to work across a wide range of disciplines, and the future looks equally bright. The next few years hold more interior jobs and more furniture. He is currently working on a chair. “I may only ever design one chair, so I’m going to make sure it’s right!”, he said.