© James Morley 2014

Stunning, beautiful design

from the heart

James Morley

I love designing and revel in the interaction between you the client and me the designer/creator. There is nothing more exciting, in my eyes, than being approached to design and produce a piece of furniture, turning an idea/thought/dream into a reality.
© James Morley 2014

Before I started training to be a designer/cabinet maker back in 2001, I had a full and varied career – the Army, HR, race course management and stockbroking. Pulling all these experiences together has enabled me, aided by Di, to build and consolidate our own business in furniture design and making.

Design, efficiency, approachability are all key to working together to create the ideal piece of furniture for you. Allied to that is the framework, which I have built up over the years, of subcontractors and other professionals who work alongside me. To date, I have been fortunate enough to design and make a wide range of furniture – all manner of tables and chairs, side boards, jewellery boxes, dressing tables, book cases, wardrobes and many more.

Commissions have come from private clients – nationally and globally. I have worked on commercial and ecclesiastical projects, designing and prototyping products to be brought to market and collaborated with interior designers/decorators.

I value and welcome collaboration be it from private/corporate clients or interior designers.

The story so far

  • 1975 -1985

    Spent far too much time in the woodwork departments at Packwood and Malvern – not great for the A Levels but a wonderful unique picnic bench designed and made. John Makepeace and Parnham House also inspired me.

  • 1988 - 1993

    Commissioned into 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers. Served in the UK, Germany, Canada, Cyprus and The Gulf in 1991. Opportunities for creativity were limited however I did design and make a canoe trailer and a toaster (using an empty grenade tin and an electric element!).

  • 1993 - 2001

    Learned about the commercial world variously in HR, Stockbroking and Race Course Management whilst also serving in the Reserve Forces.

  • 2001 - 2003

    Moved to Devon to study Cabinetmaking and Design – now I can really feel my creative juices flowing again! James Morley Furniture was established in October 2002.

  • 2004 - 2005

    Awards – March 2004 – won a ‘Silver’ in the professional category at the Axminster Woodworking Show for ‘The Quill’ … it “entertained and displayed superb making”. Nov 2005 – won the Devon Environmental Business Award in the Sustainability category.

  • 2006

    Joined the local Cliff Rescue Team as a volunteer Coastguard Rescue Officer.

  • 2008

    Awarded a Bespoke Guild Mark 395 for The Archway Sideboard and won a commission for a pair of carriage clocks for a Royal Yacht!

  • 2013

    Awarded the Lord Lieutenant’s Award for Devon. ‘Helped Inspire the Next Generation’ – Presented at Plymouth University alongside the one person that inspired me to become a cabinetmaker – John Makepeace.

  • 2014

    ‘James Morley’ granted a trademark for furniture, design services and custom manufacture of goods.

Di Morley

Di loves working with James and helps out on the admin front; dipping her toes into accounts, PR and marketing and the general day-to-day running of the office.

Di’s ‘stock in trade’ is secretarial. She started her professional life in the MOD, working in London for about 12 years. She then decided on a complete change of direction; a foundation course in Fine Art followed by a three year degree course in ceramics at what was then Falmouth College of Art in the early/mid nineties. Since then she has mixed secretarial jobs with ceramics; culminating in the reinstatement of the pottery department at Shebbear College, where she worked for a couple of years, before committing to working full time for James Morley in 2003.

Inspired by breathtaking surroundings

© James Morley 2014


The Archway Table in English Walnut and Ebony has been inspected by a jury of the Guild Mark Committee, and has been marked with Guild Mark Number 395 for excellence of craftsmanship and design.

“Every piece of furniture illustrated has been awarded the Bespoke Guild Mark. Therefore every designer and maker whose name is here can justifiably claim to be one of the best furniture craftsmen in Britain.”

James Morley on The Furniture Makers’ Company website

© James Morley 2014


Mindful of the environment, we endeavour to keep our carbon emissions to a minimum. Wherever possible we source local timber. The few emissions that we can’t avoid are mitigated by planting a tree for every piece of furniture we make so not only is your furniture produced responsibly but it will last forever too. This was recognized in 2005 when we won the DEBI (Devon Environmental Business Initiative) award for sustainability.

Our Timber

© James Morley 2014

Everything we do aims to make the most of one of our most precious natural resources – timber. We do this by sourcing just the right amount of beautiful timber from people that understand how best to extract and care for it. Many of James’ designs are actually quite understated but the beautiful figuring makes the piece sing.

‘One recent client had an old walnut tree in the garden that had blown down in the storm. James supervised the collection and the storage of the timber and then used it to make a set of dining room chairs that are now back where they came from – but this time secure within the house as opposed to facing up to the elements outside,’ writes Sarah Mountford from an extract in Devon Life, January 2005.


Our chosen charity is Help for Heroes. In 2010 James completed the Battlefield Bike ride and raised just over £13,500. In 2013 James along with Di this time, cycled from Paris back to London, culminating in the Hero Ride across London. We raised in excess of £11,000. Both occasions were humbling and emotional; proud to do something positive and proud to be amongst such inspirational people.


I am writing to say how pleased we are with the table. We are so delighted with it! It just fits in so beautifully – is just the right size, and height and we love the walnut you chose. We find it absolutely perfect! Thank you very much James, for designing a table which fits in so well with the room.  It could not have been easy to create such a modern design to sit so comfortably with our other furniture

Jim and MarySuffolk

Thank you so much for our very beautiful piece. It really is marvellous and we are so pleased with the end result. Even our teenagers are incredibly impressed!

Dominic & RosieShropshire

Thank you from both Tom and myself for the exquisite box you so carefully crafted as a present from Anita to mark our marriage. It is absolutely beautiful and I understand from Anita the time, skill and huge talent used by you to make it. We have just moved house and it sits so well amongst our modern and antique furniture – a testament to the style in which it is made. Thank you very much, it is very precious.


Just a short note to say thank you for designing and producing such a wonderful and delightful dining table. Both Jenny and I are completely enthralled with it.

Chris & JennyShropshire



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