'As keen painters, it was the artistry of the past that attracted us to antiques, initially selling from our first shop on the Lower Richmond Road in London.' Lucy Vaughan tells us about the beginnings of the company she and her husband Michael founded in 1983.
Pictured below - Lucy and Michael Vaughan travelling in Chennai, India
In the early days Lucy and Michael found inspiration for their designs from their travels.
Pictured below - Michael in the Far East
'We went in search of craftspeople who had the skills we needed and immersed ourselves in the techniques required to make traditional lighting, such as lost wax casting, which achieves such incredible detail.'
Pictured below - early designs which remain part of the collections today - the Twisted glass column and Rococo wall lights shown with the Colemore Chest of Drawers
From the first shop on the Lower Richmond Road in Putney, Vaughan moved to a larger London showroom on the Wandsworth Bridge Road in Fulham. Designers not only from the UK, but from Europe, the US and as far as Australia were starting to be familiar with the Vaughan name and demand was growing.
Pictured below - the showroom at 156 Wandsworth Bridge Road
Pictured below - the interior of the Wandsworth Bridge Road Showroom
The first catalogue was printed in black and white. Lucy explains, 'Michael did all the photography against a white sheet in the garden at the back of our first shop on the Lower Richmond Road.'
A colour catalogue followed in 1995. The first loose leaf ring binder meant that new collections could be added as they were introduced.
Victoria de Lotbinière, Thomas Frederick and Ginny Hay were Lucy and Michael's first employees, Vaughan now has over 100 staff working in the UK and the US many of whom have been with the company for over 10 years.
Pictured below - Victoria de Lotbinière
Pictured below - Thomas Frederick in the Lower Richmond Road shop and Ginny Hay in the Wandsworth Bridge Road showroom
In July 1996 Victoria de Lotbinière moved from London to open the first Vaughan showroom in New York in the prestigious D&D Building. Vaughan still has a showroom in the D&D Building and Victoria is Executive Vice President of Vaughan Designs in the US.
Pictured below - the showroom in the D&D Building from the outside and its interior
In the year 2000 there was another London move, this time to Chelsea Harbour with the opening of the first Vaughan showroom in the Design Centre. This was to be our London home for 21 years!
Pictured below - the first Chelsea Harbour showroom from the outside and its interior
In 2021 Vaughan moved within the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour to the Design Avenue and in April 2023 opened a second showroom in New York, this time in the New York Design Center.
Today Vaughan continues as it started 40 years ago, designing beautiful, handcrafted lighting, as well as furniture and textiles, for the international design community. Many of the earliest lights designed and manufactured by Lucy and Michael are still being made and form a valuable part of the current collection, their longevity is testament to the enduring and timeless quality of their design - and gives us reason to celebrate 40 years!
Pictured below - traditional lost wax casting is used to make the Truro twig table lamp
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