Faber Design

Leading interior design and architecture business unveils exciting new phase in its success story

If you’re into your Latin you’ll know that ‘faber’ is a craftsman or maker. It’s also the new name for Birmingham’s leading interior design and architecture company which up until this point was called Heterarchy. Confused? There’s no need to be because according to the boss Tony Matters the change actual makes things far simpler as the business looks to build on an amazing success story which has seen revenue grow by more than 400 per cent in a year. “We have rebranded the company Faber because it better says where we are at right now. We are a design business that makes things, and that is very important and differentiates what we do. So Faber is perfect as we move forward.”


The business was founded in Leicester in 2003 by Tony and his wife Rosemarie after both graduated from London’s Ravensbourne design college. “When we first started a lot of the work was residential design and build projects,” said Tony. “Then four or five years ago we decided we wanted to refocus on more commercial interiors and began building up a portfolio of work.” The early projects mostly came from restaurants. Then just over two years ago came a big break when they were asked to redesign the Michelin-starred Adam’s Restaurant in Birmingham. “We were still very much based in our home city of Leicester,” Tony explained. “But I got the feeling that Birmingham was emerging as a great centre for the hospitality business. We decided to set up a small office – just me and a designer – in the Custard Factory to see how things would go. On day one of being there we had a huge business enquiry and it’s been non-stop ever since.”

Today, clients come from many fields, including restaurants, hotels, retailers, global brands, local independent businesses – and even a new Hindu temple. Tony and his team recently completed the new Marmalade restaurant in the Rep and are planning the design and build of a new Adam’s Restaurant in the heart of the city centre for the owners Adam and Nastasha Stokes. They also designed the interiors of the Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge which has been submitted to the national Restaurant Bar and Design Awards. Among global clients is Honda F1 who re-entered the sport this season with the McLaren team. Based in Milton Keynes, the outfit asked Tony to pitch for the refurb of their state of the art facility which prepares the race engines when they arrive from Japan. “The project was a very high-end design and build and meant we had to put together a team of tradesmen, most of whom were from the Birmingham area,” said Tony. “The diversity of our portfolio is crucial, variety is important. People see our work published in leading design magazines, journals and online and that gets us talked about. Coming to Birmingham seems to have coincided with a time when the city and our business were both really ready to fly.


Despite the huge growth in work, Tony is still involved in every project. “While I may not do the actual design work myself now, I still keep my hand in and our clients are aware of that.” His day starts with a 6am commute to Birmingham from home – a 3,000sq ft converted 1920s factory which he describes as “like a New York loft apartment but in Leicester”. Rosemarie, while still a director plays a less significant role in the day-to-day business, being heavily committed to education – she is currently rewriting graduate design courses at De Montfort University. Having completed more than 100 projects to date, Tony says that newly renamed Faber will continue to develop its design-and-make philosophy, branching out into other areas of craftsmanship such as developing furniture ranges. Exciting times ahead indeed! Optional boxout (can be dropped if not needed designwise)


Tony and his team have:

  • Completed 100-plus projects
  • Consumed a total of 36,120 cups of tea and coffee in the process
  • And munched through 1,040 packets of biscuits
  • Enjoyed 11 Christmas parties