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SIMON PARSONS - FURNITURE DESIGNER / MAKER, Fremantle / O'Connor - Perth, Western Australia

Woodwork is in Simon Parsons' blood. Since he was 6 years old, his grandfather, William Oakley, the head carpenter at Windsor Castle till the early 1980's, made sure Simon had access to a steady stream of timber off-cuts to work at with his simple set of cut down tools. The enthusiasm for fashioning usable objects from scraps of wood never left him and Simon went on to study furniture design and craftsmanship.

He attended Buckinghamshire College, located in High Wycombe, which is in the heart of the English furniture industry. Here, Simon gained respect for the furniture craftsmanship of old, but it was the contemporary work of the furniture designers that emerged from the modern Arts and Crafts movement to present day designers that steered him on a path towards design. Simon finished his degree in 1992 and emerged with a signature style, culminating with his involvement in a joint exhibition entitled ‘The Gallery' in Mayfair, London.

Simon travelled to Australia in 1994, finally landing in Perth, Western Australia. Simon found the place refreshing in all aspects, the way of life, its newness and and saw the opportunities a young country like Australia offers to a likely lad. He soon discovered the plethora of beautiful, local hardwoods that were unknown to the furniture makers back in the UK.

Simon felt that here he had a chance to start his own furniture business where he could continue down the journey in contemporary furniture design that he had begun in college and where he Simon felt a freedom here to explore his ideas in furniture in a market that seemed less interested in traditional or reproduction furniture than in the UK. He found that clients in Western Australia were keen to use the local timbers in the feature pieces he designed for them which gave them a unique identity. In 1997, Simon started sp.FURNITURE and soon had work featured in publications such as Homes and Living, Vogue Living, SCOOP, Australian Wood Review, The West Australian and Sunday Times lifestyle and design sections. His work has also been displayed at Fremantle Arts Centre, Margaret River Art Gallery, The Old Mill Gallery in York, Bungendore Woodworks Gallery in NSW.

In 2009, Simon's ‘Backlam' dining chair won a place in Australia Wood Review's REMADE-Recycled timber furniture competition. In 2010, 'Span' hall table won an Excellence award in Australian Wood Review's MAXIMISE competition.

The majority of Simon's work are private commissions but some notable corporate commissions include :


  • Government House - bedroom suite for chief guest quarters, mobile bar
  • Saracen Estates - wine tasting area including tasting bar and display cabinets (in conjunction with Bollig design)
  • Woodside Petroleum - display unit
  • Precious Metals Australia - display unit