Solo craftsman helps to revamp theatre foyer
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Southampton furniture maker Stuart Galpin took up the daunting job of providing fittings for The Point’s refurbished bar and foyer single-handedly; a task made more difficult as all of it has been upcycled from reclaimed materials.

The results, however, speak for themselves, as Stuart’s superb work in renovating waste wood destined for the landfill into dining tables, a waiters’ station and display boxes for the Eastleigh theatre has impressed everyone that has used them since the refurbishment was completed.

The Southampton-based craftsman mostly used recycled scaffold boards supplied by the Southampton Wood Recycling Project to add to the warm and inviting atmosphere in The Point’s striking new look.

Spearheaded by top London interior designer, Naomi Doran, who has previously transformed cafes and bars in the capital with her company Relic Interiors, the foyer refurbishment is the final phase in a series of improvements funded by Eastleigh Borough Council and Arts Council England.

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The recycled furniture is just one of many environmentally-friendly updates that have taken place at The Point over the last 18 months, including replacing all single-glazed windows with double-glazing and the fitting of energy and money-saving LED lighting.

Working from the confines of his basement, former graphic designer Stuart hand-crafted all of the bespoke furniture for the foyer in just six weeks.

He said:

“I primarily use reclaimed materials because there’s plenty of it out there going to waste, and it already has character, but it is more challenging because you are using something that hasn’t just come off the shelf, and you have to work around the warps and twists that occur naturally over time.

“Space was the biggest challenge, as I’m used to working on one piece at a time, and the basement quickly became very cramped, but the end results have been well worth it and have made me realise that I would like to expand my business to more commercial clients and move to a larger premises.

“I was already familiar with Naomi’s work as a designer, and when I first became involved in furniture design, I used her company as an inspiration, so I am very glad that we’ve crossed paths in this way.

“I love what she has done with the foyer, and I could tell even from early on in the process that it was going to be impressive. The way that she has brought out the architecture of the space is very bold, but it still has a real warmth to it.”

The ambitious makeover is part of The Point’s 20th-anniversary celebrations which will be taking place throughout this year, with a variety of exciting events planned.