Claire and Andy Pedley’s handmade home hides a hive of industry out back
Andy Pedley is a remarkable example of “a man who can”. He is able to design and make almost anything he puts his mind to and his home is testament to his ingenuity and skill.The rooms are full of his woodwork and metalwork, though his latest material of choice is concrete.He has fallen in love with its strength, raw beauty and versatility and, together with his wife, Claire, he has managed to craft a successful business out of it.The Poured Project specialises in making sculptural and colourful concrete basins and can also manufacture concrete wall cladding and worktops.
Andy with his Poured Project basins
After a lot of experimentation with formulas, pigments and moulds, Andy has managed to elevate concrete production into an art so that the design possibilities are endless. His work now features in some of the country’s most fashionable, high-end homes.The Poured Project studio and workshop is hidden behind the couple’s semi-detached house in Knottingley on a large plot of land.The quarter of an acre garden with outbuildings was one of the main reasons for buying the property.
Andy in one of the outbuildings, which is now his workshop
“I grew up in York but there was no chance of finding anything in our budget there. I wanted outdoor space that was big enough for workshops but we really struggled to find anything,” says Andy.“We widened our search area and found this. I never imagined I’d end up living in Knottingley but it’s a great place. It’s an ex-mining community and the people here are friendly and there are really good transport links.”Andy trained at Tomlinsons Antiques as a joiner and restorer before working for renowned cabinetmaker Clarity Arts in Summerbridge, near Harrogate. “I’ve done all sorts from bespoke joinery to customising cars. I’m happiest when doing something creative,” he says.
Claire in the extension built by Andy, who also made the kitchen and dining table
He and Claire bought their live-work semi-detached home in 2007 and the biggest change they made was to the rear of the house, which they extended.Andy did all the work himself, including making the green oak frame and the brick-style cladding. What was the old kitchen is now a utility room and ground-floor cloakroom while the extension houses a spacious living kitchen.The kitchen is circular and the curved cabinets were designed and made by Andy out of recycled rosewood. He added sliding, tambour doors that he upcycled from old office furniture. The worktops are in MDF lacquered with car paint, which is about to be replaced with concrete.“I like trying something different and I’d never seen a circular kitchen with tambour doors, which is why I decided to do it,” adds Andy.“It threw up a challenge because it was more technical than a conventional kitchen but that’s the kind of project I really enjoy.”
Claire's office area in the living kitchen.
The kitchen lights were reclaimed from a school in York and Andy made the dining table from a piece of burr oak. He also crafted the TV cabinet from birch ply topped with reclaimed wood from the Main Company in Green Hammerton.The office area is for Claire, a super-organised former manager at Aldi, who is in charge of the administration, finance and marketing side of the Poured Project so that Andy can concentrate on design and manufacturing.
The sitting room also doubles as a play area.
The separate sitting room next door doubles as a playroom for their children, Emilia, three, and her brother, Ruben, 18 months.Outside, Andy bought refrigerated lorry containers for about £1,200 each and turned them into work and storage facilities for the business.“People tend to buy shipping containers but the problem there is that they are not insulated whereas refrigerated containers are and they are good value. I got mine for £1,200 each.”It is here that he and his small team manufacture the coloured concrete basins, with most of their work going to residential and commercial clients in London and the South East via a select number of suppliers.“Our high-density concrete is created on site in our dedicated workshop. We use locally sourced materials, such as our crushed granite, as well as special polymers for added durability,” says Andy who also offers a colour match service.“I spent a lot of time experimenting with the concrete mix to get the best quality. Ours offers a smooth finish without the need for polishing but we can create a subtle etched effect if you’re after a more textural, organic feel.”
The concrete basin in the ground floor cloakroom
The benefit of using concrete is that it is naturally water-resistant and can withstand extreme temperatures. It can also be poured and cured at a depth of less than 10mm, which makes the design process extremely versatile.It allows Andy to create an array of elegant forms using moulds. This is where his woodwork skills have come in especially useful. He designs and hand carves every wooden mould himself.“That’s where the challenge is and it is the most expensive part of the process. Other firms contract mould-making out but that’s where we differ. I make them and, although it is time-consuming, it means we can offer something different and bespoke,” he says.The future looks very busy thanks to full order books and a head brimming with new ideas.“I’ve got plans for a concrete bath,” Andy says. “But I want to refine them and make some prototypes. It’s important that everything is right.”For more details and for stockists of the Poured Project’s coloured concrete basins visit www.thepouredproject.com