Furniture maker and designer Tim Jasper takes us on a tour of his Goodwood home
PUBLISHED: 16:24 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 16:34 20 March 2015
Jim Holden www.jimholden.co.uk 07590 683036 01825 841157
Set among the rolling Downs and sprawling countryside near Chichester and a stone's throw from beautiful Goodwood House lies Tim Jasper's home and studio.
It is here that the designer lives, works and hosts a host of eclectic events in relation to his bespoke kitchen design business.
At school Tim combined an early love of design with his passion for boats, cars and houses, originally drawing and modelling yachts with the help of his Latin teacher. “I was never very good at Latin,” he smiles. “But I managed to successfully distract my teacher with my designs as he shared my love for all things nautical.”
Never one to hide his light under a bushel, and with “all the confidence – or should that be cockiness – of a teenage boy”, Tim wrote to renowned yacht builders Camper and Nicolson at the age of 14. He informed them that his designs were superior to theirs. Far from ignoring his claim or indeed sending him packing, he was invited for a cup of tea, over which he was offered a sponsorship to study yacht design at Southampton University.
This was the plan of action until an adventure out sailing the seven seas was unexpectedly extended. Upon his return, Tim found himself the sole custodian of a dilapidated country pile, which reignited his long-held love for period houses. It was this that led him down the path to kitchen design.
In a similarly fortuitous turn of events, the enviable Goodwood setting for the designer’s life and work came about after a chance meeting with the Duke of Richmond. Tim, then a fledgling designer, took it upon himself to set up a stand at an event happening at Goodwood – namely the dressage phase of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which was relocated following the Soviet War in Afghanistan which began in 1979. The Duke offered Tim the chance to set up shop in the house that he now calls home, “but it was a bit of a crumbling mess – it needed a lot of work, which I duly did over the course of a few years while living in the garden in an original showman’s caravan made in 1919.”
The inside of the house is cosy and homely, and just as you’d expect, every piece of furniture is rather beautiful, although Tim describes it as being “surrounded by my furniture disasters – everything that doesn’t quite make the grade ends up in here.”
In addition to creating interiors for private clients that range from celebrities and oligarchs to aristocrats and “nice ordinary people”, Tim also played a leading role in the repair of Uppark near South Harting, following a devastating fire that gutted the 18th century house in 1989. As project manager he oversaw the repair and restoration of the ornate state rooms with the help of a group of highly skilled craftsmen. When the project ended he invited a few of them to work with him, a number of whom do to this day.
Tim lives with his dog Hamish “who was born in the bathroom”, in the gorgeous Sussex cottage with his workshop and studio right on the doorstep.
Together with his team he offers architectural and interior design services, building works and interior alterations, lighting, flooring, furniture installation and decorating. Built using traditional techniques and only the best materials and fittings, Tim says that “a bespoke Tim Jasper kitchen, library, study or bedroom will last a lifetime.”
He laughingly describes himself as “a modern woman’s best friend.” All too often he says that in-laws and husbands are resistant to change, while wives are keen to modernise and improve their houses. “I provide a middle ground whereby the house still maintains its character and charm, while being brought up to date in terms of aspect, lighting and design.”
The nice thing about offering such a personal service, Tim says, is that “the old adage is true and the best way to create business is through personal recommendation. I often end up doing rooms for many different branches of the same family, or indeed many rooms within the one house, which I love.” His designs he says, “are there to last a lifetime. I’ve only ever heard of one that was removed, and that was because they moved the house!”
*** The company operates throughout London, Hampshire, Surrey and Buckinghamshire as well as further afield. Visitors are welcome at the 18th century showrooms and workshops, where they can see examples of the team’s work.. 01243 774411; www.timjasper.co.uk