All roads lead to Colchester

Signature collection kitchen from nicholas anthony, british craftmanship in colchester showroom

In Roman style, the road to who we are today can be traced straight back to Colchester, the former capital of England and Britain’s First City. While our flagship showroom is in London, Colchester is firmly woven into the fabric of our brand as the place where we originated and where our head office still resides.

A city brimming with heritage, both of its own and that’s personal to us, it’s that gravitas and depth of continuity that influences who we are and what we do, with a reverence for the stories behind each individual and project.

Colchester, Constable and the Roman Empire

Colchester’s history is an inextricable part of what it is today. The city on the Essex/Suffolk border has a culture hewn from its Roman past, the scars of the Civil War, its metamorphosis into a bustling centre of trade, and the surrounding Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty that inspired the great John Constable.

Under the Romans, the town became a hive of creativity – potters working clay and artisans forging from glass, bone, bronze, tiles and brick. The town’s arts scene continues to thrive today across all genres and media, encouraged with over 3,500 businesses anchored by four Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisations.

This combination of old and new, urban and natural inspiration, and fusion of commercial energy meets cultural and creative reverence, are all influencers in the work of our designers, from their values to their inspiration. It is particularly notable at a property we worked with on the outskirts of the city, which broke barriers and boundaries to create the ultimate luxury culinary and living space. The case study for this can be seen below:

Roman Holiday: A Home Without Boundaries Case Study

Family values

With the World Cup such a recent memory, our own heritage has been very much at the forefront of our thoughts. Nicholas Anthony is, at its core, a family business, the brainchild of Tony Nicholas Sr., who was a professional footballer in the 1950s.

Playing for Chelsea FC, Brighton & Hove Albion and Leyton Orient and not being paid the sums that professional footballers make today, he decided to train as a cabinet maker alongside playing football. He set up his first showroom in the form of a DIY store in nearby Chelmsford in 1963.

Today, the eponymous company is run by his son, also Tony Nicholas, who continued the footballing family tradition, playing for West Ham and Essex as a teenager and becoming top goal scorer in the youth team. He then returned to the business, where he shared another family passion and talent, in technical drawing and art.

Read more about historic Wigmore Street

Connecting stories

Since then, Tony has continued to lead our mission to grow and evolve, with four studios across the UK, each drawing on a combination of collective brand values alongside regional, community inspiration and involvement. With the family’s roots in Colchester and the surrounding area however, there is a particular synergy with this part of the country.

Tony Nicholas Portrait

This is the fundamental truth of design as we see it – it’s not simply a collection of cabinets and appliances – it’s a story. The spaces that we live in are the framework for our lives – they’re the set for a story to be told, and the passion with which they’re created is forged, in part, by the designers’ own tale.

Colchester has many tales to tell, from Celtic tribes to Queen Boudicca, Mediaeval markets to commercial charters. Our own story is just one in a web of interconnectivity, but that single narrative, woven in Colchester, is the central thread in an ever-growing fabric that makes us who we are today.

Start the next chapter of your story and plan your visit.

Visit our Colchester Studio

Visit our Flagship Mayfair Studio

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