Our Story

We are extremely proud and confident in our products which we believe will provide our customers with years of pleasure and creating value to their homes

Guildford Trading Company or GTC as locals prefer to refer to it, emerged after Mark and Caroline Smith saw an opportunity to source quality hand-crafted outdoor door lifestyle products from their native Cape Town on the southern tip of Africa.

“There are some amazingly talented people in Cape Town and surrounds”, says Mark who grew up in Cape Town and what better way to share that creativity with discerning customers in their new home of Australia.

Australia has a wonderful connection with the Cape Province being so similar in natural beauty, weather and lifestyle.

The first outdoor product line that GTC is focusing on is a range of traditional early 20th Century French country inspired and contemporary steel and hardwood functional and long lasting quality outdoor furniture.

A small team of skilled metal workers produce the components and assemble them in the traditional method with rivets, hammers and the smiths’ trademark anvil in Cape Town, South Africa.

We have also introduced the 3 range which displays traditional constructional detail with a decidedly lean Scandinavian character.

They are quiet and purposeful, the proportions humanly considered. The asymmetrical stance of the stools and round tables create an unusual visual tension that elicits a second (or is it a 3rd?) look.

Our 3 range is a perfect choice to furnish the outdoor areas of homes, apartments and terraces with limited space. The seating components, when not in use can be nested under the tables.

Traditional Range

Our traditional collection is based on a collection of original pieces from the turn of the 20th century, made in the traditional method from timber, stone and iron.

Natural Rust

The rust finish is achieved by acid-dipping the forged iron components which are then left to oxidise (“rust”). The process is then completed by brushing down the frames and coated with a wax sealer to prevent rust brush off.

note: Although it can be used in coastal conditions, the rust finish options are not recommended as the frame legs may leave rust marks on paving, stone or tile outdoor flooring and decks.

Galvanised

The galvanised finish is achieved by hot dipping the components which provides a bright silver tone on the frames when new.The zinc rich application of the galvanizing process can prevent corrosion for approx. 20 – 25 years, depending on the proximity to the sea With time the frames will assume a soft lead grey colour as they age.

note: This finish is recommended for furniture in close proximity to the sea.

Painted

We also offer a painted finish for all our iron and wood combination products.

Metal frames are galvanized, washed, primed with etch primer and hand painted with an oil based enamel paint.

Current standard colours available are: swedish red, yellow, pond green, french grey and building blue. Please contact us for further info.

Timber finishes

The eucalyptus, commonly referred to as ‘gum trees’, have long been associated with Australian landscapes. Indigenous to western Australia and Tasmania, the eucalyptus family has hundreds of species. A few of them were successfully forested in South Africa  and used extensively as sleepers for the first railway lines in the country and as tunnel props in the mines.

They have a great propensity for use outdoors and will deliver a long period of service if maintained.

GTC uses 2 of these eucalyptus species to manufacture the traditional and contemporary range of outdoor furniture and products namely, Karri and Jarrah

Natural

‘natural’ in our vocabulary is – ‘as from nature’… not oiled, not varnished …not sealed in any way. Timber surfaces have only been scrubbed with a natural plant soap a hand friendly saponified formula of linseed oil and potassium

the natural colour of new wood will gradually mellow to an attractive silver-grey ONLY if  exposed to the weather. Characteristic hairline cracks will develop on the surface and especially on the end grain as the timber ages.

Table planks are attached directly to the metal frame, with a 3mm gap between planks. In moist climates this gap will disappear as the planks swell and can increase in size up to 7-10mm in very dry conditions.

Marginal cupping (over the width of each plank) of the planks can be anticipated.

note: the performance of various finishes will differ according to the climate that the furniture is exposed to

Oiled

We offer an optional oiled finish on the traditional range and many types of finishes are achievable with oils. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Painted

First primed with an oil rich primer and then hand-painted with two coats of oil based enamel with paint-brush strokes subtly evident.

Products are hand-painted with enamel paints that are easily obtained from hardware stores.

The high oil content of the paint provides flexibility to accommodate the natural expansion and contraction of timber exposed to outdoor conditions.

Paint deterioration on the end grain is unpredictable and will require attention when it occurs. Paint will also cloud with time as a result of exposure to the uv. Painted finishes are not recommended for coastal homes

Current standard colours available are: swedish red, yellow, pond green, french grey and building blue. Please contact us for further information on colour selection.

Contemporary Range

Guildford Trading Co. is proud to be the exclusive Australian distributor and partner for Hope Garden Furniture South Africa.

'3' - a hope for the next generation, which speaks to our values of quality, integrity, sustainability and innovation

After 25 years of manufacturing a range of early 20th century garden furniture, hope has introduced ‘3’ – a line of contemporary outdoor furniture to complement the traditional stalwarts we are renowned for.

Designed by Adrian Hope, 3, recently revised and refined, seeks to realize a modern aesthetic of design using traditional artisanal skills. The inclusion of forged features gives the new furniture an unmistakable link to its ‘smithed’ relations in the traditional range hand-crafted by the same team responsible for the Traditional range.

Influenced by mid-century functional design, 3 strives to embody the finish of  mid century architect alvar aalto’s adage.

“beauty is the harmony of purpose and form”

The products display apparent constructional detail with a decidedly lean scandinavian character.

They are quiet and purposeful, the proportions humanly considered. The asymmetrical stance of the stool and round tables create an unusual visual tension that elicits a second (or is it a 3rd?) look.

3 is intended to furnish the outdoor areas of homes, apartments and terraces with limited space. The seating components, when not in use they can be nested under the tables.

Steel Frame Finishes

Power Coated

Metal components are hot dip galvanised and powder coated with a sandpaper texture, in a selection of 4 colours.

Galvanised

Metal components are hot dip galvanised, but unpainted. They are bright and silver when new, but soon assume a soft lead grey colour as they age. This finish is recommended for furniture in close proximity to the sea.

Timber Finishes

2 timber finishes are offered on our Contemporary Range:

Outdoors - Jarrah

The timber surface is made with separate slat. An FCS forested Australian timber which is a highly regarded hardwood, renowned for its use in extreme outdoor conditions.

Extremely stable and naturally resistant to boring insects. Dark reddish brown to light brown and pink in colour, jarrah will assume a silver grey colour similar to that of teak in approx. 12 months, when left untreated and exposed to the elements.

The jarrah used to manufacture our outdoor products are 100% AFS and PEFC certified timber.

Indoors / covered areas – ash

The surface is made with joined slats. Ash is a sustainably grown timber from North America and Europe, renowned for its strength and flexibility is an open grain wood, unsuitable for outdoors

Surfaces are sealed with water based sealant.

Oiled

We offer an optional oiled finish on the 3-range.  Please contact us for further information.

note: configuration of planks will vary according to timber availability.

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