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In conversation with Tom Faulkner

We talk to the British furniture designer about travel, sleep and his new Cloud bed design
The Cloud bed designed by Tom Faulkner

From industry icons to up-and-coming talent, Savoir collaborates with the world’s leading designers and artists to create the most extraordinary bed designs. Through our collaborations and the bespoke nature of our craft we can introduce a level of creativity that pushes the boundaries and goes beyond the norm.

Our recent design collaboration with British furniture designer, Tom Faulkner, was a journey that led us to recognise the creativity of freeform. Headboards are traditionally rectangular or square. However, Tom’s Cloud design celebrates the opposite of traditional with its irregular, organic shape. With his travels nearly always inspiring his designs, we spoke with Tom to discover the inspiration behind the Cloud and his approach to sleep when he’s both home and away.

Tom Faulkner Portrait and his Cloud bed design

Left: Tom in his workshop, Right: The Cloud bed

What was the inspiration behind the design?

I wanted to create a bed that felt soft and dreamy, like a cloud, in the way a bed should. Whilst I often incorporate metalwork into my designs, I purposefully wanted this design to encompass a strong shape without the use of metal to define it. I wanted to get away from the traditional idea or expectation that a headboard needs to be rectangular or square. There is something free and unconstrained about the freeform, irregular shape.

My travels nearly always inspire my designs and a recent trip to Vietnam introduced me to spirit walls which protect graves and homes. The headboard draws upon this concept and elegantly extends past the width of the bed base to convey the idea of protection, safety, and cosiness.

Many of your designs feature beautiful silhouettes, how did the new cloud shape begin?

The cloud shape is a design that has been swimming around in my head for a few years now. I’ve started to incorporate it into other designs, it was recently used for a mirror and our newly launched Papillon rug.  It will also be part of a new coffee table which we will launch soon, but I always knew it would be the perfect fit for a bed design.

You mention that a bed should be soft and dreamy, how did this influence the new Cloud design?

I prefer a bed with a soft headboard, as opposed to a traditional metal bedstead and so from the outset I wanted the upholstery to be a big part of the design. I personally don’t like having a footboard on a bed, it ends up with things hanging on it and I also find it constraining in some way.

How does sleep impact your daily life as a designer?

It’s generally acknowledged that a good night’s sleep is good for your health and well-being. I’m lucky in that I tend to sleep well, as I often have long days in the workshop which are physically demanding. That’s also the reason why it’s important that I feel well and rested.

Left: Tom on location in Italy, Right: Tom in his workshop in Wiltshire.

You travel a lot for your work. When you’re away how do you ensure that you get a good night’s sleep?

If I’m travelling for business a good night’s sleep is important, so perhaps it comes down to the choice of hotel. I have always noticed in the US, the hotel beds are generally incredibly comfortable, and I think it’s because they almost always have a mattress topper. So, I’m a huge convert to the concept of a topper!

Does a good night’s sleep impact your creativity?

The better you sleep, the happier you are, the more alert you are and the more receptive you are to your environment. I like to walk a lot and take in my surroundings and discover the small details.

Do you have any tips on how to get a good night’s sleep while travelling?

When travelling, try to get on to the local time immediately to avoid any tiredness or jet lag. Ask for a quiet room, one high up. I always like to have a room with a bathtub. A nice bath and a good bed are a calming combination for a great night’s sleep.

When you aren’t travelling how do you unwind at the end of the day?

In theory I read and play my guitar, but the reality is I listen to the radio, watch TV, look at my computer and generally faff about. I need to work on that. Right now, I’m cooking a lot more and trying to go to bed early so that I can get up early and make the most of the long days.

Do you prefer reading, listening or meditating before bed? Any recommendations you can share with us?

I definitely read before going to bed. I have been known to watch a dreaded box set, but I normally find them rather unnourishing, like chewing gum. Unless it’s The Wire or Mad Men. Those were the days…

If I meditate I do it in the morning and I listen to lots of podcasts. The podcasts that are currently on my playlist are Talking Politics, 99% Invisible and Sound Opinions. Another music one that I would recommend is Song Exploder. The best book I have read this year is Educated by Tara Westover and I’ve been reading Moby Dick for ages, which is amazing, but long. Enough to send anyone to sleep!

For more sleep tips visit our sleep page and to uncover all of Savoir’s collaborative beds designs visit the design page.