I was thrilled when Patrick Williams at Berdoulat agreed to make pieces for our Caramel Childrenswear store. “The dresser and the table are designed to acquire a patina of their own and it is furniture which is not too retail-y but also invokes the domestic life” explains Patrick.
There’s such a poetry to what he does, he invests in traditional craftsmanship which stands the test of time and he has this very meticulous and considered approach which is also deeply respectful of the buildings he works on. “In many ways, “adds Patrick, “the building is the client and should dicate what is done.”
His depth and attention to detail slow you down and yet the spaces he creates still feel modern …they’re comfortable which is very important too. I also love the sense of theatre he creates which possibly comes from the materials he uses: he loves wood, he loves stone, he loves creating rooms which look as if they have arrived there by happenstance.
His interior design practice shares its name with the 18th century farm house in South West France that his parents bought as a ruin when Patrick was in the womb and which they gradually restored over 20 years. Everyone in his family worked on the house …the cement mixer was their 5am alarm clock. A lot of his pieces today are very much inspired by below stairs 18th and 19th century joinery.
I love the story that when they meet for a family gathering, impersonations of the mixer ensue. The thought and process involved in this venture rubbed off on Patrick who gained a passion for buildings, furniture, objects and decoration.
I think where Caramel and Berdoulat meet is a love of materials and craftsmanship and the taking the time to do something properly. Patrick says: “I also like to make things that don’t look as if they are 200 years old but which are made in the same way, with the same techniques and yet they sit their happily, coexisting with other objects.”
How does he perfect his spaces? “Getting it right is about taste but within that taste, there are values, like proportions, tones and textures.”
This May, in addition to their online store, Berdoulat will open a miniature department store in Bath for all things culinary that will sell everything from wine to spices, cookery books and 18th century freestanding pieces of kitchen furniture.