Berdoulat shares its name with an 18th century farm house in South West France, the childhood home of its founder Patrick Williams. His parents bought the house as a ruin when he was in the womb and gradually restored it over twenty years. All members of the family worked on the place together, and as young children Patrick and his siblings earned their pocket money applying lime render, or cleaning floor tiles salvaged from nearby demolition sites in the nick of time - stacked in to an old Peugeot the night before bulldozers arrived. The cement mixer was their 5am alarm clock, and often when they meet for a family gathering impersonations of the mixer ensue.
The thought and process involved in this venture rubbed off on Patrick who gained a passion for buildings, furniture, objects and decoration. He graduated with a BA Hons in Fine Art from Oxford University in 2003 and has since then dedicated his time to this business. He is on The SPAB Committee for Bath & Bristol, a member of The Georgian Group and The Victorian Society, and Berdoulat is proud to feature in the The House & Garden Top 100 Interior Designers list.
Neri was born in Bulgaria, and moved to Istanbul aged four, where like her husband, she too grew up amid her parents' home-building antics, and was equally involved in the process. In her early twenties she moved to London to study Fine Art Photography at London College of Communication, developing all the while a keen eye for detail, observing beauty in the unexpected.
Their eldest, Wren (photo: Paul Whitbread)
Their youngest, Bonnie (photo: Paul Whitbread)
On meeting, they realised they shared an appreciation for a way of life with simplicity at its core, and had a common dream of one day living above their own shop, selling beautiful things. Over the last few years, together they have developed a collection of furniture, kitchenwares, tablewares, and decorative items. Spring 2021 saw the launch of the physical Berdoulat shop, following the completion of a four year long restoration by Berdoulat of a magnificent building in central Bath, which also houses their studio, and is now home to them, along with daughters Wren and Bonnie, and doggy Elizabeth.
Each product in the collection is unique to Berdoulat: a collaboration with local artisans, the vast majority of whom are based within an hour's drive of the studio. Most take inspiration from historic kitchens and traditions from the 18th & 19th century, sometimes with twists of France and Turkey. Patrick and Neri are passionate about each and every item, taking delight in meeting the makers, seeing the often magical spaces where they make their work, and relishing in the opportunity to learn about the various making processes.
For them, sourcing and manufacturing all of their products locally, and the use of natural and renewable materials wherever possible is of the utmost importance. With fifteen years of experience working on period buildings, and a life-long appreciation of historic fabric and design tradition, Berdoulat has a deep rooted belief in good design and quality in its execution resulting in heirloom pieces that stand the test of time, and will be passed down through generations.