My Working Day – Derek Jones

Wednesday 11 July 2018

You will most likely know Derek Jones best as the Editor of Furniture & Cabinetmaking magazine. Derek steers the F&C ship to its monthly destination; choosing the content, writing and commissioning articles, testing kit and much more, all while keeping his finger on the pulse of furniture and design. Put simply, he knows his stuff – so much so you will have noticed us enlisting his skills and expertise in WPP on many occasions. Of course Derek didn't learn all he knows by making magazines, and when he's not busy juggling the many duties of publishing, Derek is still an active and hardworking tradesman.

When he's off the GMC clock, Derek manages woodworking projects for customers which can range from a single wardrobe right up to the complete re-fitting of a five storey house. A project will begin with a visit to the client, often at the site, where Derek will discuss the requirements before he makes a provisional design and then, keeping the customer informed throughout, oversees the project through to its completion.

Currently, Derek is furnishing a listed Victorian building once owned by the BBC and now a residential property. The facade and interior specifications have to be sympathetic to the style of the building at the time it was listed, so Derek used the existing features as an influence for the project: “This line of work doesn't suit everyone, but it's a reminder of a time when all furniture was made to measure,” he says.

Derek's Golden Rule:

“Communication, communication, communication! You can make mistakes and even be late for appointments, as long as you communicate well with your customers. Some people can be so focused on getting new customers, they forget about the ones they already have.”


“I enjoy all of it work-wise and couldn't pick a favourite part. I like to have a good relationship with customers and so meeting people is a nice part of my work.”


“Not having enough time, especially for experimentation – people are more and more design-savvy now and they usually know what they want down to the smallest details, which is great, but I do enjoy the indulgence of making things for myself and having a completely free rein!”

Pick up your copy of Derek's book French Polishing here