What began as an adventure in problem solving, was, followed by positive feedback and sales to some keen early adopters.
This has led me to found Bou London.
I’m Seb, an architect living and working in London. .
For three years before the pandemic, I worked from my kitchen table in my small flat, having to carry computer monitor, papers and all the other work clutter into another room when guests visited. Aside from the nuisance, I learnt being permanently surrounded by reminders of work was not conducive to a contented or healthy existence. Protracted searching for a solution yielded large desks that would just take up too much of my living space when not in use, or compact foldable workstations too small to work from comfortably. The arrival of lockdown, , with less opportunity to escape reminders of work, propelled me to solve the problem myself.
The Lockdown Desk evolved. I havespace for a full-sized computer, 34” wide monitor (or two 27” screens). When the desk is open I have as much room as a proper office desk. When it’s closed, it tactfully hides all evidence of work with a clean, contemporary look.
We used powdercoated steel for the desk’s frame, influenced by the mid-20th century furniture of Charles and Ray Eames.
Our furniture is manufactured in the UK by small, highly-skilled cabinetmakers and architectural metalworkers, using only high-quality components.
Because we are committed to quality, there is a limited production run each month. This allows our craftspeople to take their time over each exclusive piece, and on completion, Seb, the designer and founder of Bou, examines each desk before signing off on the piece’s care manual.
Our fine materials are selected to deliver luxury and durability with a reasonable price tag.
The inspiration for using Valchromat came, unexpectedly, from a visit to the Royal Academy, where the gift shop shelving showcases the compelling effect that can be achieved by this high-performance wood fibre panel. The Valchromat heavyweight cabinetry panels are matt oiled and, because the panels’ fibres are impregnated with an organic dye.Owing to the fact that some wood fibres do not absorb dye, the panels have a uniform appearance from a distance, but a tonal variations close up.
However, there can be too much of a good thing; a desk built solely from one coloured material could be too plain or bold for a room. Feeling pure Valchromat would be stark and appear ‘hard’, Seb introduced engineered wood panels (a choice of oak, walnut, or beech) for contrast and a softening effect.
All our furniture is architect-designed and handmade in
Great Britain by skilled cabinetmakers and architectural
metalworkers. Many of the components we use are designed
by us and manufactured bespoke, so the furniture you have
in front of you is truly unique.
We keep our production local to ensure excellent working
conditions and a small carbon footprint. We only produce
our pieces in small batches, to avoid waste and to maintain
our exceptional quality standards.
I’m Seb, an architect, and the founder of BOU London.
My first furniture piece was a solution to an acute
problem when I began working from home. My small
flat was increasingly having to accommodate a new
function: an office. The work I do requires a lot of space
and clutter – a prominent computer complete with
foreboding black screen when switched off, a tangle
of cables, a multitude of sketchbooks and papers…
For three years prior to the pandemic, I was working
from my kitchen table carrying monitor, papers and
all the other paraphernalia into another room when
guests visited. Aside from the nuisance, I learnt that
being permanently surrounded by reminders of work
was not conducive to a contented or healthy existence.
Protracted searches for a better set-up yielded large
desks that would dominate my living space when not
in use, or compact foldable workstations too small
to work from comfortably for long periods.
The arrival of lockdown exacerbated the need
to separate work from living, and propelled me
to solve the problem myself.
The FOLD MAXI evolved. When unfolded, it provides
space for a full-sized computer and a wide monitor
(or two screens) – as much room as a regular office
desk would. And, when closed, all evidence of work
life is tactfully hidden away, leaving a contemporary,
unobtrusive cabinet in my living space.
The physical action of folding away at the end
of the day is, for me, unparalleled; the equivalent
of shutting up shop. The most important things
are usually the simplest.
What began as a problem-solving adventure was
followed by positive feedback and commissions
from some keen early adopters.
This led me to found BOU London. We are a small
company and we want to stay that way, so we can
keep designing with thoughtfulness and care,
producing pieces that last and make life better.
We’re hugely grateful to you for your purchase and
hope you enjoy using your furniture as much as we
enjoyed making it.
The resulting design brings contemporary architecture to the home, reflecting Seb’s credentials and interest in works by architects such as Mies van der Rohe. The size of your workstation is of paramount importance for efficiency and comfort. The Lockdown Desk is generous enough to be practical without requiring you to lose a bedroom or move house. When not in use, the closed depth is 34cm; about the length of a shoebox.