With the air of a romantic hero, Todd Knights comes to the rescue of a different sort of damsel (or gent) in distress: those in need of bespoke finials to top off their curtain poles. Headed by South African-born Darren Knights (Todd is his middle name), the company produces all its contemporary-classic takes on natural themes in England, with individually designed orders representing about 70 per cent of the business.
The finials (from £47) are largely interpretations of archival flora and fauna (second and third pictures). One recent example was a gilded shell version for the Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados (reflecting the resort’s motif). For a private client in Wimbledon, Knights made textured ball- and decorative-urn-shaped finials for curtains throughout the house. Meanwhile, at Henbury Hall, a country house in Cheshire, the owners wanted to recreate a number of design elements from their Venetian home. The resulting large-scale finials – mounted on red and white barber-shop-style poles – were hand-painted in blue and gold leaf (fourth picture) and decorate the estate’s gardens.
Other requests have included customers asking for their finials to resemble their dogs. “We can do it all,” says Knights.
Initial drawings are approved by the client, then hand-sculpted in clay, and the maquette used to create a mould for the finials. These are cast in resin and delivered approximately six weeks later.
Commissions have often also led to requests for matching curtain poles (from £47), which Todd Knights can create in a number of finishes, from hand-stitched leather to über-contemporary Perspex (fifth picture).
A lighting line is in the works, too. “My desk is just covered in drawings, ready for the next stage,” says Knights happily.