Celebrating 100 Years of Family Heritage in Furniture Design

2018 is a special year for Brayer Design as its marks 100 years since William Brayer set up his bespoke joinery business and workshop in the East End of London.

From these early beginnings, four generations of knowledge, expertise and passion for beautiful bespoke furniture design have been passed down the line to Barry Sawyer, the great Grandson of Brayer and owner of Brayer Design.

The name Brayer Design is in honour of this family heritage, in recognition and celebration of this family tradition in master cabinet-making which you can read more about below.

100 Years of Brayer Quality Craftmanship

William Brayer, a fine cabinet maker was a student of the Arts & Craft movement and opened his first workshop in Shoreditch, 1918. He very quickly became a respected designer and maker of fine furniture and earned a reputation for combining skilled craftsmanship with high quality veneers.

As his reputation grew, William’s son, Albert joined him in the workshop. Another fine cabinet maker, Albert was influenced by the more decorative Art Deco style of that period. This is evident from these early pictures of Brayer display cabinets.

Brayer Art Deco Cabinets - 100 years heritage in Design

The Brayers continued to flourish moving to larger premises in Shoreditch with Albert’s son Reg eventually joining in with the family tradition.

As fashions and lifestyles changed, the Brayers began making bedroom furniture and offered more alternatives to traditional wood and veneer finishes. In particular, sprayed lacquer finishes became very popular, available in a wide variety of colours – white or magnolia!

A lot has changed since then. In the early 1980s, the Brayers moved out of Shoreditch as manufacturing disappeared from the area and trendy apartments moved in. They continued to specialise in bedrooms and soon became known for luxury kitchens with their own retail showroom in Walton-on-Thames.

Fast forward through to today and it is the Great Grandson of Bill Brayer, Barry Sawyer, who is the fourth generation to continue this family tradition as the lead designer and owner a workshop and design studio in Surbiton named Brayer Design – a name which was given to the business by Barry in honour of his Great Grandfather and the other Brayer craftsmen who had gone before.

As Brayer Design has grown, so has their portfolio – expanding beyond kitchens and bedrooms, to bespoke furniture for home libraries, living rooms, wine rooms and even cinema rooms. 

As for the next 100 years, Brayer Design is dedicated to keeping the family reputation for intuitive and immaculate bespoke furniture design going strong into the 21st century…

….and beyond.