Hailing from Exmoor in Somerset, England, Tom Raffield is a designer who has honed his expertise to create extraordinary sculptural furniture and lighting pieces. Tom might only be thirty-five at the time of writing, but his work has already captured the attention of audiences around the world. Tom won the Lighting Design Association’s Lighting Design Award in 2011 and has since gone on to win a plethora of awards for the collective design company Sixixis, which he co-founded.
Raffield Style 1 – Steam Bending
Tom’s work uses a process called steam bending to bend temperate hardwoods and softwoods to eye-catching shapes and intricate patterns. It was at Falmouth University that Tom first used steam bending, when he found that his complex 3D designs were limited by modern techniques.
Steam bending is the same technique used in creating wooden boats, musical instruments and traditional walking canes. Steam bending has been used by craftsmen for centuries but has fallen out of favour to more contemporary methods of manufacturing. Many think that this is why Tom’s work is so refreshing. Tom has given a new lease of life to what once was a pivotal design process. His approach to design isn’t born of necessity like historic proponents of steam bending, but one born of creativity and innovation.
Raffield Style 2 – Hardwoods
While other trends like upcycling and reclaimed wood may have captured the attention of interior designers and amateur enthusiasts in recent years, Tom’s work makes use of only high-quality hardwoods like ash, oak and walnut to craft stunning ceiling lights, standout tables and more.
Tom’s extraordinary steam-bent renovation of a 19th century, Grade II-listed cottage in Cornwall was featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs. In fact, the added project pressure came from the fact that it would be Tom and his wife Danielle who would be inhabiting the house upon its completion.
More recently Tom has featured at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018 where he and two-time RHS gold medallist Darren Hawkes collaborated to design and handcraft a stunning main avenue pavilion. The pavilion was decorated with Tom’s work, which included The Green Range, his new range of luxury indoor planters crafted from sustainable wood at his experimental workshop in Cornwall.
Shop the Raffield Look
Our stylists are obsessed with bringing you the best in affordable designer furniture, so we follow the finest British furniture designers – then help you match their style.
From our collections of contemporary ceiling lights and designer tables, our stylists have handpicked a selection below with a Raffield-esque flair for twisted woods natural designs and traditional craftsmanship.
Can’t get enough designer style? Let our stylists show you how to shop the Tetrad look for outstanding sofas.