As a young teenager in London, John Crowell would often cycle to Portobello Road Market on Saturday mornings before the sun got up. He loved the buzz of the market and the Aladdin’s cave atmosphere of the chilly, badly lit arcades early in the morning. John would buy and sell when he could, but above all he would learn. It was at that early age that he restored his first piece of furniture, an elegant rosewood Regency daybed, suffering from mildew and neglect. He spent his summer vacation stripping it down and rebuilding it, under the watchful eye of a retired master upholsterer.
When John established Beaumont & Fletcher, it was these time-honoured skills that he wanted to harness in all the furniture created. He named his company after two successful playwrights, Francis Beaumont & John Fletcher, who flourished in London in the first part of the 17th century. They enjoyed a reputation for scurrilous behaviour and irreverence towards authority, but their plays were stylish, original and beautifully crafted. In keeping with the company’s own dramatic, theatrical style, he named it Beaumont & Fletcher.
Very sadly, John Crowell died in 2016 and the company directorship passed to Jana Durisova, who worked alongside John for more than ten years, progressing from junior to senior designer, and now owner and director.
Her motto is “Anything is possible” and she applies this as much to business as to design, her optimism underscored by a technical approach which finds its roots in her early studies in architecture and hydraulic engineering. She has carried the love of precision and detail into her career in interior, furniture and fabric design – determined that each scheme or piece should succeed on a practical as well as an aesthetic level.
A company with a reputation for quality, elegance and luxury, Beaumont & Fletcher is world famous for its unique collection of hand-embroidered couture fabrics, as well as its hand-built furniture, made in England by master craftsmen. Its mirrors and wall lights also do justice to these traditions of fine craftsmanship and are made by small specialist workshops in Northern Italy, where generations of carvers, gilders and metalworkers create stunning lights and hand-carved mirror frames, artfully giving them the patina of age.