From living walls and futuristic vacuum wardrobes to a twenty-four hour house build in the Welsh Valleys, Hastings-based Johnson Bespoke is revolutionising the notion of traditional carpentry and joinery. 

Robin Johnson, founder of Johnson Bespoke.

Robin Johnson, the founder of the business, is Hastings-born and bred and a local carpenter and joiner. Once a keen surfer living in the south coast of Western Australia, like many, the pull of Hastings eventually became too much, and he was drawn back to the UK where a career change beckoned. From humble beginnings trading out of the basement of the old Observer Building, Johnson now owns his very own workshop with a team of experienced and skilled craftsmen.

Image Credit: Rachel Manns

There are few small companies that can offer a client a completely bespoke design and manufacturing service in-house. The bespoke joiners treat their domestic customers with the same care and level of finish as their corporate clients whose shops, bars and restaurants they fit out.

Combining traditional handmade cabinetry with spray finishing in-house, metal fabrication and sheet metalwork, Johnson Bespoke thrives in its  outstanding attention to detail on-site, working with any material conceivable to meet clients’ expectations and to deliver nothing else but pure craftsmanship.

Taking on projects in television, commercial shop fittings, residential interiors, cabins and outdoor builds to the renovation and fit out of The Colonnade on Bexhill Seafront for Rother District Council, Johnson Bespoke has earned its reputation as a collective of forward-thinking and innovative designers, joiners and fabricators eager and un-afraid to take on a challenge.

 “the creators of tailor-made spaces with character and charm”

Amazing Spaces

Johnson Bespoke’s efforts were proven with the collaboration on some ambitious, high-profile projects namely with architect and presenter George Clarke and William Hardie on their design and build of a futuristic ‘Rotating House’ for the hit Channel 4 show, ‘George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces’. Johnson Bespoke was tasked with creating a ‘living wall’ of moss to fit inside the house and a ‘space age’ wardrobe which could hold vacuum bagged clothes to stop them crumpling when the house rotated.

Ty Unnos

One of the tougher projects that Johnson Bespoke took on for the series was the timed house build, based on the ‘Ty Unnos’ 600-year-old Welsh legend that states if you can create a house with four walls, a roof and have fire burning inside in less than a day, then the house and the ground beneath it are officially yours. Using only natural, raw materials found in the surrounding Welsh Valleys, the team tested this theory and created a cabin in just twenty-four hours. Project managed by Johnson Bespoke from concept to completion, this monumental build was complete by sunrise – despite facing extremely challenging weather conditions.

Boosting business growth

Johnson Bespoke was awarded funding through a ERDF South East Business Boost grant in partnership with East Sussex County Council to purchase specialist wood-working equipment. The funding also allowed the business to expand its team with two additional full-time staff members to scale up production levels and meet projected growth. This resulted in not only a more efficient workplan, but an increase in the profit margin.

Robin Johnson said: “Everyone was on-hand to help us and the support we received has given us a push in the right direction in terms of business growth, allowing me to keep all stages of production in-house and reduce costs.”



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