After three painstaking years of research and development, Coco Wolf has now brought its upholstered outdoor furniture brand to market.
It is always encouraging to see new names entering the outdoor furniture fold, particularly when their offering is as unique and considered as that of Coco Wolf.
Sisters Rebecca and Claudine, together with their partners James Lorimer and Richard Davis, created the brand in the hope that they could give designers new scope to create stylish and characterful outdoor spaces, as they would an interior.
“We identified a niche in the market for elegant and durable outdoor furniture that can remain outside all year round,” explains Rebecca. “We had always been able to carve an interior style inside our homes, however, when we tried to extend that into our outdoor spaces we noticed something was missing.
“It took our family over three years of research and development to create this uniquely-designed furniture, using the latest technology and the finest materials”
“It took our family over three years of research and development to create this uniquely-designed furniture, using the latest technology and the finest materials.”
Although this is a totally new venture for Rebecca and Claudine, both have backgrounds in interior design. Rebecca started her career at renowned interior practice, Todhunter Earle Interiors, where she was marketing and creative director, before joining premium furniture brand George Smith as design director.
Claudine, meanwhile, is a trained interior designer, and has gained a great deal of hands-on experience through property development in both London and New Zealand.
Despite their impressive skillsets, Rebecca and Claudine had to overcome a great many hurdles before they could bring their unique concept to fruition. “The first obstacle was designing and constructing a product that had never been produced before,” explains Rebecca.
“We had to work out new methods to build the furniture and sourced revolutionary materials from all over the world that could provide comfort, durability, withstand the elements and meet all the global fire and safety regulations. There have been many prototypes and years of testing and trial and error.”
Ensuring that their product meets with stringent regulations is one thing, but another key challenge has proved to be persuading their audience of the same fact.
“Now that we have the product finalised, the challenge is to educate people that Coco Wolf pieces can be left outside all year round,” says Rebecca. “We placed some pieces at The Ivy Chelsea Garden restaurant prior to our launch. This is a gravel area, where people eat, drink and smoke all year around. It’s been a great way to prove our product works under a variety of challenging conditions.
“Our current product range is designed for hospitality settings in mind, whether that is for a garden, pool, ski lodge or restaurant setting”
“Food and drink have been spilt on the pieces, they’re outside the whole time and often they’re pulled around on the stones. Our furniture has remained durable and still looks fantastic, making a real feature of the outdoor courtyard.”
The Coco Wolf team is, quite rightly, highly confident in the durability of its product offering. Making use of breathable, hardwearing materials – many of which are marine-grade – Coco Wolf furniture cleverly repels all external elements, from hard-wearing wood that won’t rot, to fabric that won’t mould and galvanised steel springs that won’t rust.
The brand’s collections feature a uniquely-designed drainage system, highly aerated peltluxe cushions and quality fabrics which are treated to repel all elements of the weather, even down to the zips and thread stitches.
Exposed wooden frames are made with stained, solid, kiln-dried Iroko wood, which wears a coat of UV protective and water-resistant varnish. Every interior frame is made of water- and boil-proof wood, treated to a layer of Omnia preservative, to maximise durability.
These factors efficiently allow rainwater to run through or off the furniture ensuring that it is quick to dry. Eradicating the need for cushions to be removed during wet weather or furniture to be stored away during the winter, Coco Wolf’s pieces are durable enough to withstand the elements whilst retaining their style, luxury and comfort.
The technical attributes of Coco Wolf’s products make them eminently suitable for the full span of hospitality environments, as Claudine explains: “Our current product range is designed for hospitality settings in mind, whether that is for a garden, pool, ski lodge or restaurant setting. For instance all of our sofas can be adapted to fit spaces and be used comfortably at dining tables.
“Additionally, the collection is perfect for spas as they’re great for relaxing and have the benefit of being quick drying. Along with the rot-resistant wood and marine-grade materials, our range is ideal for a poolside environment.
“The majority of the collection also has slip covers which enable several benefits; the practicality from a cleaning point of view, as well as the ability to change the colour of the upholstery without a huge expense – this has been hugely attractive to those in event planning and makes it easy for a seasonal refresh.”
Ranging from the lavish, classic designs of the Bolgheri collection to the contemporary lines of the Chuchumber, Coco Wolf’s five existing lines – all of which are handcrafted in the UK – offer a diverse array of styles to suit any scheme. But it is also worth noting that the company offers a bespoke service, and is more than willing to work from a sketch or image to cater to even the most exacting of visions.
“We love a challenge but are yet to find a product that we can’t create,” says Claudine. “All products in our collection are made-to-measure – we’ve even had a request recently to make our pieces as indoor-only, because they loved the designs so much.
“2016 is our first full year offering a truly innovative product – we are all excited about that, it’s going to be a great year”
“We’ve listened hard to our customers’ specific requirements, for example our chair feet sliders have been completely redesigned after feedback from ship captains advising that for products to be considered on super yachts the key question was: ‘is this going to damage the ultra-sensitive teak flooring’?
“Overall we are delighted with the current collections and our ability to service bespoke requests, which is becoming a sizeable part of the business.”
Having launched the brand just last year, the Coco Wolf team is, naturally, still growing and consolidating itself and its product offering. Having said this, the business is growing fast, and with a number of key projects and collaborations on the horizon, Claudine and Rebecca are thankful for their shared taste and vision for the brand.
“My sister and I have always been closely aligned in our design influences,” says Claudine. “It’s been great to see this when signing off recent prototypes. However, as the business is rapidly expanding, our roles are becoming more and more defined and it’s great to know we can rely on each other’s judgement.
“We have some exciting projects in the pipeline, which are focused towards private members clubs, both in London and the Mediterranean, and we’re supplying some fantastic new residential properties.
“We are also developing some significant partnerships which will come to fruition in the summer. 2016 is our first full year offering a truly innovative product. We are all really excited about that, it’s going to be a great year.”
This talented family team certainly has a big year ahead of itself but creating an innovative and highly stylish furniture concept is half the battle won …