Free Range Designs Blog

Handmade Furniture

  • Owl Storytelling Chair

    A wise old owl lived in an oak

    The more he saw the less he spoke

    The less he spoke the more he heard

    Why can't we all be like that wise old bird?

    Animals are an intrinsic part of storytelling and the wise old owl has long been an emblem for knowledge and reading. The Owl Reading Chair is the latest addition to our range of storytelling chairs, featuring a beautiful hand carved owl perching in an oak tree, the perfect back drop to school storytelling sessions.

    Capture children's imaginations with an eye catching centre piece for group reading sessions and instil a love of books and reading from an early age.

    This chair was commissioned by Victoria Primary School in the Vale of Glamorgan with matching Storytelling Log Seats. 

    Also check out the Owl Reading Bench, with two carved owls deep in council.

    oak owl story chair
  • Custom-made Wooden Furniture Set

    Here are some lovely photos we've received from a very happy client who we made a whole set of custom-made furniture for. Rosie initially commissioned the dramatic Flame Bed, Bedside Tables and Rustic Chest of Drawers for her bedroom, and then came back for a matching set of wooden Coffee Tables for her living room.


    "Hello Suzanne. It all looks wonderful so I must say a huge thanks for making all the furniture so beautiful for us. We are moving hopefully on the 18th and I'm sure they will make our new house look amazing. I may be looking for other pieces later!"

    Thanks again


    We love making bespoke furniture and many of our designs have evolved from customers asking for new variations on an existing product - elements of one piece combined with another; a specific size for an unusual space; a fantasy project made real.

    Let us know your ideas, however quirky - we can normally find a way to make it happen!

  • The Story of the Rabbit and the Chair

    rabbit reading chairBeatrix Potter published The Tale of Peter Rabbit on 16 December 1901.  Over one hundred years later the book is a children’s classic and Peter Rabbit one of the most famous bunnies in literature. She was right to suspect she was on to something good.

    This got us thinking about the remarkable popularity of hare and rabbit characters in fiction and their ability to burrow their way into the heart of literary classics. In honour of the anniversary of Beatrix Potter creating a rabbit icon, we’ve made rabbit chair for reading rabiit stories.

    Here are some of the ones that hopped off the page that you could read to kids on our new rabbit reading chair

    1. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter

    2. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

    3. Miffy , Dick Bruna

    4. I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen

    5. The Tortoise and the Hare, Aesop’s Fables

    6. Watership Down, Richard Adams

    7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll

    8. Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne

    9. We3, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

    10. Captain Bucky O’Hare, Larry Hama and Michael Golden


    rabbit reading chair
  • Owl Bench for School Playground

    owl friendship bench_2 friendship benchWe are please to release a brand new friendship bench from our workshop. The owl friendship bench was made for a school playground which liked our single owl storytelling chair but wanted a two person version. Made from 100% British oak this garden bench is designed to sit outside year in year out.

    Have a look at more of our friendship benches here

    owl oak school friendship bench owl garden bench
  • Peak Compost Toilet Season

    If ever there was a peak compost toilet season this would be it. We have been very busy over the last two months finishing some of our wooden compost toilets off for clients that include schools, campsites, fishing lakes and forest schools.

    Here are some of the photos of the compost toilet in there final resting places.

  • Compost Toilet for Campsite

    Here is an example of a compost loo that has been built using our plans to build your own compost toilet. The toilet is based around our wheelie bin method and is going to be installed at a campsite without water or electricity in South Africa. We love the lovely touches on the door. Have a look at more of our plans to build your own compost toilet here. campsite toilet

  • Stunning new four poster bed finds its home in Edinburgh

    Another happy customer, another stunning super king size four poster bed.

    Have a look at some of our other  handmade wooden beds

    four poster super king size bed
  • Best Beds of 2016 Calendar

    Which month is your favourite?

    From the majestic elegance of bespoke wedding beds, to the natural simplicity of oak four posters, here is our pick of the best beds from 2016, with one for each month. Which one would you choose?


    Whether your favourite is March's Beech Driftwood Bed, November's Rustic Oak Four Poster Tree Bed, or the fiery Flame Bed of August,  you can transform your bedroom and get a great night's sleep in a bed made especially to suit your space,  and experience the luxury of sleeping in comfort and style all year round.

    We offer a huge variety of original and unique beds to compliment any interior design style; from traditional to contemporary, rustic to elaborate, we have beds that suit all bedroom décors.

    See the full range of our beds here.

    It has long been recognised that getting a good night's sleep is a vital part of a healthy life, promoting both physical and mental well-being.

    Blow away the January blues, perk up your February mornings and greet the spring sunshine from the unique bed of your choice. Whatever the time of year, you can relax, wake up and benefit from the most comfortable sleep you have ever enjoyed in your very own delicately crafted handmade wooden bed.

  • Happy Customers with their new Driftwood Bed

    handmade-driftwood-bed handmade-driftwood-bed_4"We have managed to somehow get the bed to the first floor : its absolutely stunning.

    I must say the pictures you sent didn't do it justice and I was a bit worried as it looked like the wood frame was different to the headboard.

    Although it was expected, I just didn't realise how heavy the whole bed is, not to mention the spectacular yet simple bed side tables which I believe slightly crippled my poor Dave :) I actually tried to lift one of them and failed miserably.

    The whole set is a true masterpiece, any bed frame would pale next to your design. Thank you very much for your effort and amazing work. Dave and I adore our bed and we look forward to our first night in it. It has been an absolute pleasure dealing with your company, worth every penny.

    Many thanks, have a great week end.

    Dave and Isa

  • Glamping Compost Loos

    glampingSo you have the perfect wild location that you are planning to run a Glamping site from, and are now thinking about toilet facilities? You have no water or electricity? Perfect!

    Yes, perfect for compost toilets. Compost toilets are waterless toilets that need no power or running water and, managed well, create no smells and lovely compost to boot.

    Here at Free Range Designs we have been making wooden composting toilets for camp sites, glamp sites, allotments and gardens since 2004. Our first compost toilet was built for a glamping site in Hay-on-Wye and since then we have designed and built over fifty toilets now installed all around the country.

    Having a compost loo for your camping / glamping site is one of the bare necessities. Composting toilets offer a neat green solution,  encouraging campers to not only enjoy themselves, but help the environment at the same time – wonderful for the feel-good factor!

    Some yurts and cabins are big enough for our toilets to be incorporated within the accommodation and here the lack of smells from the toilet and ease of turn-around between customers score highly as well.

    Choosing the right compost toilet for you depends a lot on how many pitches you have and the type of guests you expect to host. We  generally recommend having one toilet per six people, but this all depends on the location of the pitches and the level of facilities required. With luxury glamping sites you will most likely want to have the toilet and shower facilities adjacent to the accommodation, and this is when it becomes extra important that the toilet building is aesthetically pleasing and fits in well with the surrounding natural environment.

    Sometimes it will be necessary to have full-access toilet facilities. Our Disabled Access Compost Toilet has been installed on a wide range of off-mains locations, including campsites, riding stables, fishing lakes, allotments and church grounds, and comes complete with access ramp and grab rails, conforming to government legislation for its internal dimensions and ramp gradient.

    See the full range of  composting toilet options for your glamping site here.


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