It may have spent the past 40 years creating the most elaborate children's furniture for the most exclusive clients (Princes William and Harry and Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice have all slept in the company's nurseries), but Dragons of Walton Street readily admits that its "most technical venture to date" started life as a bespoke commission from a client in Dubai.
The Helicopter Bed is sculpted from steel and high-density resin by British master carpenters in London, and hand-painted in West Sussex. It also marks the first time the manufacturer has worked with fibreglass, which it used to create the piece’s smooth curves and high-polished finish. The bed is designed to include both a tail rotor and rotary wing, while integrated LED bulbs light up the tail lights, roof and control panel on the dashboard. The latter can be further personalised with a joystick, in-built USB ports, walkie-talkies and speakers.
The bed also comes with an optional top-deck desk, should young flyers take it upon themselves to steer the craft upon waking. “We relish the challenge of making any child’s dream a reality when it comes to beds,” says Lucinda Croft, creative director and daughter of Dragons’ founder Rosie Fisher.
“The Helicopter Bed is so much more than just a place for aspiring pilots to rest their heads. It unlocks a whole world of imagination.” Other beds include a James Bond-inspired vintage car and a Cinderella-style carriage bed, each a bespoke commission that is now available to buy for up to Dh264,000.
Customisation and bespoke creations lie at the heart of Dragons' oeuvre. From one-off beds, chairs and bookcases to colourful toy boxes, rocking horses and hand-painted artwork, the manufacturer will work with any spec, design and material, and handcrafts its products in-house from start to finish. The delight lies in the details, as you can choose the upholstery of the leather, colours of the carpet, personalised text, plaques and flags, and even the tiles on the floor and trim of the curtains in the case of Dragons' detailed doll's houses.
The company’s latest products include the My Feelings Alphabet framed print, a visual tool to help children understand and articulate emotion (think A for adventurous, B for brave, C for curious, D for driven and the like), and the Blossom Tree collection created in collaboration with luxury wallpaper designer Juliet Travers.
Croft says that the UAE is one of Dragons of Walton Street’s biggest markets, with more than 30 per cent of its annual revenue coming from clients in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “Dragons is lucky enough to have had Arab clients from the very beginning and has established a long-standing trust with these families, which has in turn led to personal recommendations to friends and family,” she says.
In addition to shipping to the UAE, a selection of Dragons’ products are available from Nest for Kids in Abu Dhabi Mall and there is talk of opening a showroom in Dubai in the future.