Our History

As we approach our 30th year it is a source of great pride to all of us here at Gaze Burvill, that in these past three decades we have given so much pleasure to so many people not just here in Britain but around the world.

In 1992 Christian and Simon set out to create the finest outdoor furniture through an honest commitment to design integrity, comfort and craftsmanship, while holding true to our values for respecting and not harming the environment.

We continue to do this, embracing the best of both cutting edge technologies and fine furniture making traditions, and our sustained growth bears testimony to the appeal of this uncompromising approach.

gaze Burvill timeline

1992

Christian Gaze and Simon Burvill met while studying with John Makepeace in Dorset, at which time Christian designed the ‘Court Seat’, a truly innovative piece that combines flared steam bent curves and fine craftsmanship.

1993

In February 1993, Gaze Burvill officially formed as a business with the two founders as the sole employees, based in a small workshop at Plain Farm Old Dairy, just 2 miles from the company’s current location, in East Tisted, Hampshire.

The Court Seat formed the nucleus of a new collection launched at the Country Living Fair and then Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. Both embodied the successful new design by combining the manipulation of oak through steam bending along with other skilled furniture making techniques, to create timeless designs with exceptionally high levels of comfort.

1994

1994 saw Gaze Burvill’s first appearance at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The company had just six products to display on a small stand in front of the old RHS Marquee, but the show was a great success. Chelsea has continued to be the number one event on the Gaze Burvill show calendar.

1996

In 1996, Jim Gardiner, at the time Curator for the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley, asked us to design a 25 foot long seat for the end of Wisley’s Broadwalk, at the foot of Battleston Hill.

It was two years before we could begin work on this prestigious commission as we did not have enough space to build such a large piece.

1997

By 1997 the business had outgrown the small workshop
at Plain Farm, and in 1998 the company with eight employees moved a mile away to a converted farm shed four times the size of our previous space, Newtonwood Workshop. We rapidly began to fill what had initially seemed a cavernous space, with craftsmen, apprentices, work benches, machinery and of course, oak.

1998

In 1998 Simon selected a young British designer, Tim Royall, to work on the first Broadwalk Seat, which was installed the same year. This first piece spawned a series of modular seats, featuring a vast range of precise steam bent curves, to form the Broadwalk Collection, which now graces some of the country’s finest gardens from Stourhead to Eaton Square.

2000

The Millennium saw the advent of design work on two iconic collections. Splash, designed by Christian, launched in 2002, introduced ‘Chesterfield’ inspired sumptuous outdoor sofas and armchairs – offering ‘indoor’ comfort for the terrace in this new supremely elegant oak outdoor furniture collection.

2004

In 2004, the ‘Bowline’ collection was launched, on the ‘Maltese Falcon’, (the largest private sailing yacht in the world) and designed to meet the rigours of the Superyacht industry. The Bowline Lounger won the prestigious ‘Best Outdoor Product’ at the Design & Decoration Awards in its launch year. Bowline furniture has now been exported around the world from Italy to Asia, Australia to the USA.

2005

In 2005, our eleventh year at the Flower Show, Gaze Burvill moved to RHS Chelsea’s prestigious Main Avenue, the premier location among the Show Gardens at this, the world’s greatest flower show and where we have been positioned ever since, each year winning the coveted 5 gold stars RHS presentation award.

A design and manufacturing revolution also happened in this year at the Newtonwood workshop with the exciting purchase of our first computer controlled (CNC) 4-axis machining centre.

The design and workshop teams both benefited, and their capabilities were enhanced by this new facility, which significantly streamlined the making of the furniture, invaluable for the development of bespoke and custom pieces.

2012

2012 the Lizard Lounger, designed by Simon, with its sleek subtle curves and complex jointing, was the first piece to take advantage of this precision machine for its manufacture, and it was rewarded with a Design Guild Mark by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers at its launch.

Also in 2012 the Jubilee Spiral Bench was shortlisted for the RHS Chelsea Product of the Year 2012, and was chosen for a “Summer Garden” designed by Jayne Thomas entitled ‘Celebration and Jubilation’ at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, featuring widely in the national press.

2013

In 2013, our ‘A la Carte’ outdoor kitchens were launched and this carefully studied modular kitchen system has been gaining a strong position as a leader in the outdoor lifestyle market with installations not only in the UK but in the USA, on the Continent, and now India.

2014

2014 saw the most exciting expansion yet, moving the now 20 strong workforce another mile away to Lodge Farm, East Tisted.

A collection of converted and restored barns of varying ages and sizes surrounds a charming courtyard display area, tripling the workspace which we left behind at Newtonwood. Heating throughout the site is provided by a modern biomass boiler fuelled by the company’s waste, and electricity is supplemented by a 40kw solar array on the main workshop roof. These state of the art premises, equipped with the very latest in 5 axis machining technology, are enabling the company to develop in new ways, exploring new materials and techniques, while providing magnificent facilities for the experienced team of expert craftsmen, designers and office staff.

2016

The 2016 launch of the Reedback collection with its twisting back slats, reminiscent of reeds swaying in the breeze, is just the beginning of the new 3D design revolution. Gaze Burvill’s mastery of this technology, coupled with 24 years’ experience in designing and making fine furniture for the outdoors, has led to a soaring of custom and bespoke orders, which in 2016 accounted for almost 40% of our business.

Our award-winning furniture has famous admirers the world over, and in the Summer of 2016, we were delighted when HRH Queen Elizabeth II sat on a Moat Bench for her portrait on the cover of Vanity Fair magazine.

2021

In a unique September RHS Chelsea Flower Show – the first time ever in its 100+ years it has not happened in May – our beautiful garden display, created by Ann-Marie Powell, won a 5-Star certificate, Best Trade Stand Award, and best of all, the RHS Director General Award – a rare prize!

The show saw the launch of the extremely popular Curved Splash Lounge, the latest addition to our outdoor lounge furniture collection.

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