We take broken, unloved and unused drum kits and transform them into furniture, clocks and lighting. Based in Mid-Wales, Rock Terrace was informally founded in 2012, in the music room of musician, fabric shop owner and keen "up-cycyler", Sam Wheeler.
While we've never done any official market research on the topic of storage, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that about 50% of our customers ask us if their Rock Terrace piece can be used to keep stuff in! Usually, yes. Unless, you know, you're buying a clock or something.
For instance, our floor Tom storage table can be used as a night stand or end table. It is one of our most popular designs, and we're sure it's no coincidence that it has a great big storage chamber in the middle. We've also recently been experimenting with adding storage space to our bass drum coffee tables. So far, this has always been in the form of a cupboard door, or making an open-sided table, with a shelf underneath.
A selection of our favourite storage pieces - click the pictures for more info.
Our latest design is a bit different. We kept the overall design of the bass drum table the same, but have added a chunky drawer within the side of the drum. It's just the right size for remote controls, cables, coasters and chargers.
Sam re-purposed the original steel hardware to make a handle for the drawer
The drawer is ideal for hiding living room clutter
You can order your own bass drum drawer table here. We can re-create the style in these pictures, or you can choose your own colour. We'll even use your favourite paint by Farrow and Ball, Little Greene and many more.
We were thrilled to be approached recently by the people behind Rust Oleum's fantastic Lifestyle series. Each month, they focus on a different creative business, picking the brains of artists, designers, upcyclers and editors.
Firstly, Happy New Year, Rock Stars! After some pretty extreme relaxation (and eating at least once every 45 minutes), we're back at it. Sam is very much back in the workshop and not wasting any time in creating our 2017 collection. We've got some classic designs, plus a few new ideas. I'm sure he must have a couple of left over Christmas elves helping him up there; I'm photographing everything he makes and can hardly keep up. We've got clocks, wine racks, seats.....and we're only four days into January. Photos and listings will follow very soon.
His enthusiasm is exhausting. Luckily, in the meantime, we've got a great excuse for a coffee break - our feature in the latest issue of Reloved. As bigs fans of this fantastic magazine dedicated to upcycling, thrifting and salvage, we were thrilled to be approached last year for an article in their January copy. Each month, Reloved features at least 25 upcycling projects and turorials for for readers to complete at home, as well as gift and interior design ideas, book recommendations, interviews, a 'What's On' diary and monthly upcycling challenges with Max McMurdo, in their new #ChallengeMax feature.
Our feature can be found on page 10 of issue 38. Reloved Magazine is available at selected branches of WH Smith, Tesco, Sainsbury's and Costco, and at a range of independent newsagents. Click here for details of how to download a digital copy, buy individual magazines online or subscribe to Reloved.
One of our most popular pieces - and the one most likely to make people laugh out loud - is our Tom Tom wine rack. It was one of Sam's earlier designs and continues to be a hit today. We've since introduced a new snare drum wine rack, which is just as eye-catching but takes up a little less space. The Tom Tom though, with it's adjustable metal stand, remains the real showstopper of the Rock Terrace family.
I think a lot of the appeal is in the scope for customisation. We can paint the drum and rack in any colour, meaning our customers can have plenty or creative input and end up with something utterly individual. The drum itself can either have the original vinyl wrap left on, or this can be removed and the wooden body of the drum painted in a matching or contrasting colour to the rack, or "face".
We were recently approached by a customer who wanted not only a customised Tom Tom wine rack, but also a matching Floor Tom Stool. Her chosen colour was a first for us; Oval Room Blue by Farrow and Ball, and she chose a vintage style tan leather for the upholstery.
We absolutely love the end result. We had never used such a pale blue, but it looked perfect with the metal drum hardware. The face of the wine rack was left unpainted and lightly waxed. Scroll down for some photos of the pair looking pretty festive (well, it is December!), and details on how to order your own customised wine rack or drum stool.
And here it is! We couldn't resist using the Christmas tree as a backdrop.
The matching Floor Tom Stool
Details: We love the metal drum hardware against the soft, chalky blue.
Farrow and Ball's Oval Room Blue with tan leather, metal and waxed natural wood.
If you would like your own Floor Tom Stool or Tom Tom Wine Rack, you can either choose from the selection on our website, or we can make them to order. Wine racks start ar £85, Floor Tom Stools start at £95. Just drop us a message using the contact form, or call 07852 266223 to discuss your colour choices and upholstery options.
Are you on Pinterest? We are. You'll lose hours to it, but it's wonderful. The made-to-order floor tom night stand opposite is on there and has been our most pinned post ever. It is shared, liked or pinned every day, at least once. We're often asked to reproduce this table in various colours and finishes, and we're convinced Pinterest has been partly responsible for that. It is essentially a floor tom table, but the removable wooden lid allows the hollow chamber within the drum to be used for storage. The legs are adjustable, meaning the table can be used at different heights. They can even be removed altogether; a couple of our customers have used these tables legless as laundry baskets. Genius!
So, this is one of our favourite and most popular designs. In fact, this image was once pinched and used by a rogue Instagram account, but that’s another story! Imitation is the highest form of flattery, yes?
We've recently made a version of this table from a black drum, keeping its original vinyl coating (see our last post) and one with our World Map coating (pictures coming soon). A new customer has now asked us to make a matching wooden pair, with a dark stain and matte finish on the drums. We're so happy with the results, it's going to be hard to let these two go.
Sam has stripped the drum back to its original wooden body, by carefully removing the shiny vinyl coating. The wood has then been stained dark, and the original chrome hardware replaced.
We love the look of the metal rims, legs and lugs against the dark wood.
Each lid has a pair of discreet tan leather tabs, which allow the lid to easily be removed without interfering with the sleek look of the table top.
And here's the pair together. No two Rock Terrace pieces are ever identical - and we love that - but I think these two, with their matching lids, legs, tabs and the same woodstain, will look absolutely fantastic either side of a double bed.
If you're interested in having your own Rock Terrace bedside table made to order, you can drop us a message. If you know exactly what you want, then great! If not, we'd be happy to work through some design options with you. It's easy, and no more expensive than buying an item that is already in stock. These tables were £110 each and item specifics can be found in the Past Projects section of our online shop.
Following straight on from our Atlas drum commission a couple of weeks ago, we have just completed another made-to-order project; these three shiny black pieces. The seat is made from a small floor tom stool, to which we have added chrome legs and a piqued black leather seat. The lamp is a reclaimed snare drum, mounted on a metal stand with a vintage style bulb and twisted flex. The table is a black floor tom drum, with a removable lid which allows for the large void within the drum to be used for storage. All three pieces have the original black enamel wraps, meaning they retain their shiny, reflective finish.
The unusual little black seat had been available online for a month or so before it caught the eye of its new owner. However, like many of our customers, they loved our storage pieces and wondered if we could somehow incorporate a storage chamber. Sam got to work, removing the leather seat and lining the interior of the drum body. It now has a detachable, upholstered lid meaning it now doubles up as a toy box (or clutter hider, laundry basket etc).
We think it looks great with the matching snare drum floor lamp and floor tom side table, alongside Sam's black guitar.
To discuss made-to-order items, get in touch using the contact form. We can make lamps, seating, storage and clocks in your choice of colour.
Our world map drums always seem to be popular, no matter what we make with them. You have asked us for seating, tables, lights, clocks and wine racks coated with this vintage style atlas print. There's just something really appealing about he muted pastel colours of the map as a backdrop for the chunky old (and even occasionally rusty) metal drum hardware. It just works.
A couple of weeks ago, a customer asked us to make a few alterations to the above atlas storage bins. They both originally had plain wooden tops. We pinched the lid from an existing box and put it on the smaller unit above (left), then Sam added corresponding rope handles to the lid of the larger one. This was the customer's idea and I have to admit, they actually look better now......but don't tell Sam.
The customer in question had also fallen for a black tom tom lamp, but wanted it to match the other two pieces. Sam removed the drum's shiny outer wrap and replaced it with the atlas fabric. It looks great. Scroll down to the bottom for a picture of all three pieces set up together.
This trio is obviously spoken for, but if you'd like your own atlas piece, just get in touch and let us know what you would like. Alternatively, check out the current atlas pieces listed on our website here.
If you follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, you’ll know that we took Rock Terrace to Glastonbury. If you have spoken to us at any point in the last month, you’ll know that we took Rock Terrace to Glastonbury. If you’ve visited our website this summer……..you get the idea. We took Rock Terrace to Glastonbury and haven’t stopped going on about it since.
You can hardly blame us though. Have you been? We hadn’t. Firstly, it’s huge. I mean, indescribably enormous. It’s also the most colourful, noisy, muddy, exhausting place I’ve ever been. I’m sure there are better ways to describe it, but it looked a bit as though Camden had been plonked in a Somerset field. Last year, we drove up a nearby hill during the festival and just couldn’t believe what we were seeing (it helped that we happened to be on our sad hillside when Arcadia was in full swing, flames and all). I want nothing less than to sound like a smug “you just have to see it to belieeeeeeve it” Glastonberry (learnt that word in June), but you really do. And I guess I sort of am one now. Sorry.
So, why were we there? We had looked into applying for a Rock Terrace trade stand, but never having been to the festival, we weren’t too sure how it all worked, and whether attendees would actually want to buy clocks and furniture. We decided against it for 2016 and that was that. In early Spring though, we were asked if we would supply some clocks and furniture to be used in a few backstage areas, including some artist dressing rooms. Well, yes! Yes we would. We liaised with our contact, Lou, and agreed that we would lend the festival several bass drum coffee tables, each with matching (or rather, “corresponding”, as we don’t really do “matching” at Rock Terrace) floor tom and doubletom upholstered stools, as well as cymbal and snare drum clocks, all to be used in dressing rooms and in the Artist Liaison tent at Silver Hayes. Silver Hayes, in case you didn’t know (because I certainly didn’t) is a fantastic zone within the festival site, just to the west of the Pyramid Stage. It incorporates several stages including the BBC Introducing Tent, Sonic Stage and The Blues. You can find out more about Silver Hayes here.
The next month was a blur of sourcing drums, cleaning cymbals, making furniture (Sam), labelling, inventory, creating QR codes, taking photos and listing our Glastonbury pieces online (me). The workshop is always full, but by mid-June it was hard to fit through the door. Even Bo, who spends so much of her life on the workshop floor that you'd be forgiven for thinking we had a dog-skin rug, was temporarily banished.
We delivered everything to Worthy Farm at the beginning of the week, a few days before the festival opened. We had rather naively assumed that delivery would involve whizzing in with the van, parking wherever was convenient and waltzing in with our stock. Oh, and that everywhere would be sunny and dry. Nope and huge nope. In hindsight, I think I’d just been looking at too much Coachella on Instagram. By the time we got as far as Silver Hayes, we had mud on every limb, had been through a safety briefing, were wearing wristbands, clutching two different types of ticket, with about five very important bits of paper stuck to the inside of our windscreen. We even had the van searched. Twice. In the rain. The whole thing seems terribly complicated and serious, but boy does the system work. It really is a well-oiled machine. We were advised before arriving to just follow the instructions from the stewards. If you’re ever there, please do the same! They really know their stuff.
Glastonbury stock ready for delivery, with Bo the reluctant model.
Once everything was set up at Silver Hayes, we were free to enjoy the music, food and mud. Given that we only live a few miles up the road from Pilton, we cheated a bit and went home each night, rather than camping in the quagmire. We had a fantastic time, but rather than bore you with the details we've put together a gallery of pictures from our week. Scroll down to have a look.
Everything we lent to Glastonbury was available to buy. Most of it sold in the days after the festival finished, but there are still one or two pieces available. Plus, if you like the look of any of the sold items, Sam can re-make them for you. You can see all of our Glastonbury pieces - both sold and still available - here. Much to the horror of a couple of our hardcore Glasto going customers, we cleaned the mud off each piece(!), but we have left all the festival labels and tags attached.
Find out more about Glastonbury Festival, including how to register for tickets, here. As always, you can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for up-to-date Rock Terrace news and photos.
Catherine Harrison, July '16
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