Sunday, 24 August 2014



This image is a Combination Leather Tube Split Stitch-In Long Pull Handle, made by Turnstile Designs. At a guess, I would say that there is probably no European hotel built or refurbished in the last five years that does not have this handle in the Lobby and quite possibly, along every Corridor.
We met the owner of Turnstile a few times. Can’t remember his name now, sorry, Steve Roberts, he is called. He had a stand at an exhibition in London back in the mid-nineties where we were three stands up from him. We were all just starting out then and it was probably as big a risk for him as it was for us. Pleasant enough guy, ex-Public School with an interest in Art and Interior design. We really thought he was way off beam trying to sell his leather handles to the construction market. Kitchens and Homes & Gardens weirdos maybe but major building projects? You need a complete range of products for architects, hinges and locks and everything in between. And what happens to the leather when you use it externally?
We met him again a couple of years later, where we both had larger stands and he had begun to get the measure of his market. He had a wider range, not just leather but ceramics . . . still the same idiosyncratic designs . . . but there was the beginning of a comprehensive, across the board product family there now.
I haven’t seen him since those early days but I see from his website that he has a very successful company now, not least I should imagine, because his products are un-copyable by the Chinese. I hope he continues to prosper.

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