The Magical Allure of Black Textured Oak

Jax Graham

The Magical Allure of Black Textured Oak

Hello! We're excited to share one of our favourite sources of inspiration with you in this journal post. Inspiration can stem from a variety of things but discovering that one source that truly resonates with us can completely change our outlook. So, we want to share what has personally and professionally inspired us - the old fishing huts of Hastings and Derek Jarman’s house in Dungeness. These special places have had a positive impact on many individuals. What magical locations surround you?

Along the South Coast of England, in the seaside town of Hastings, stand several imposing fishing huts. Unapologetic in their status and firmly rooted in their history. The fishing huts in Hastings are a historic feature of the town and have been a part of the local fishing industry for centuries. The huts, also known as net shops, are small, weathered wooden structures that were used by fishermen to store their equipment and fishing nets when they were not in use.

In the past, Hastings was a bustling fishing port, and the huts were integral to the livelihoods of local fishermen. The huts were also used to dry and repair nets, as well as to prepare fish before sending them to market.

Picture of a single fishing hut in Hastings, East Sussex
Image courtesy Sarah Lou / / @wildblumeimagery


Many of the huts have now been refurbished and are still in use by local fishermen. Visitors can often see fishermen mending their nets, preparing their boats for a day at sea, or selling freshly caught fish directly from their huts. The huts are surrounded by shops, galleries, and cafes, adding a unique charm to the town's seafront.

The fishing huts are a popular attraction for visitors to Hastings, as they offer a glimpse into the town's rich fishing history and provide a picturesque backdrop for photos. They are also featured in several local festivals and events throughout the year, such as the annual Hastings Seafood and Wine Festival, as foodies it’s another good reason to visit.

The stark contrast and rich tones of black textured oak are truly a statement in the landscape, an enigmatic beauty.

The statement in the landscape is also present in Dungeness at Derek Jarman’s house, an old Fisherman's cabin called “Prospect Place”. Jarman's house in Dungeness is special because it is an artist's retreat and a unique example of postmodern architecture.

Jarman was a filmmaker, artist, and activist, and he purchased the house in 1986 as a place to escape from the city and focus on his work. The house is located in Dungeness, a stark and remote but beautiful landscape (again, along the southeast coast of England), surrounded by a shingle beach and a nature reserve. The house itself is a one-story building made of corrugated metal and timber. It has a flat roof and large windows that provide a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. The interior of the house is designed to be simple and functional, with an open-plan living area and a small kitchen. The house is also famous for its garden, which Jarman created from the barren shingle landscape around the house. The garden includes a wide variety of plants, sculptures, and found objects and has a poem by John Donne written on the exterior. It has become a popular destination for visitors. Today, the house is owned by the Art Fund and is open to the public as a museum.

Prospect Place. Derek Jarman's home. one-story building made of corrugated metal and timber.

Image courtesy Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash 

With so much history and feeling inspired, we looked at how we could recreate the look and texture of this finish to infuse our kitchens with a sense of grandeur, elegance and sophistication while also creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. This gorgeous material has become one of our firm favourites, with more and more people discovering its beauty and durability.

The unique texture of black oak, characterised by its deep rough-sawn texture and deep huge, adds a sense of depth and character to any space and resonates with the poetic charm of the Hastings coastline  and Jarman’s haven. Embodying the serenity and simplicity of coastal living. With their weathered facade, these humble shacks are a statement in the landscape. The juxtaposition of the material against the ever-changing landscape brings balance and harmony to the space. So, if you're looking to add character to a new project, black textured oak is sure to leave an impression and make a statement in any interior landscape.

It's a bold choice, but its aesthetic cannot be ignored and adds a touch of sophistication to your space. By choosing black textured oak, you'll be making a statement in your home that is both timeless, with a respectful nod to the past yet modern.

In conclusion
When designing your space, it's sometimes worthwhile thinking about our sources of influence. Maybe you can consider the following:

What places inspire you? How do you feel when you think about this place? How can I pay homage to this place? 

Take a photo of your favourite place, post it on your Insta and tag us. We'd love to see the places that inspire you.
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