Knob Snobs was founded in 2000 by 3-D designer Paul Josef Narloch and has risen to become a primary source for interesting and uncommon architectural hardware.
Paul Josef Narloch, born in the historic town of Stirling, grew up in a former mining village surrounded by the picturesque Ochil mountains. Like many of his peers, he was quickly thrust into a Y.T.S (youth training scheme) and dabbled with the idea of joining the army. Indeed he even sat the preliminary tests and physical then found himself ‘dumped’ into the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. However he had other ideas and A jail sentence for A.W.O.L was on the horizon had he not chosen a more suitable role in further education. A wise, life altering decision, but a difficult one to make in the trappings of an area where many people either lack or deprived of aspiration. His education began at the Falkirk College of Technology where he studied Spatial design under the watchful eye of ‘Pa’ – Richard Haigh, to whom he owes a great deal of gratitude. He furthered his education at the De Montfort school of design and manufacturing where he studied 3D design, majoring in Interior Architecture under the guidance and appreciated encouragement of David Hartwell.
In 2000, he began working for Patrick Baty who runs Papers and Paints ltd www.papers-paints.co.uk
a well known company specialising in all aspects of house paint and architectural colour based in Park Walk, Chelsea. An eye opening experience that gave him the the opportunity to learn the inner workings of a tin of paint!, the infrastructure of a business, the expectations of a client but furthermore the platform on which to model his own business.
Then in 2003 he began working for Danny Vara, managing director of Farmer Brothers on the Fulham Rd and J.D Beardmore www.beardmore.co.uk
: exciting times lay ahead! He joined Beardmore’s at a time when they were re-branding. He found himself selling Ironmongery and decorative accessories by day and refurbishing the showrooms by night.
In 2005, he went solo with the invaluable knowledge gained from his previous employees. This included setting up stalls in both Camden lock and Greenwich markets trading in decorative hardware of his own designs as well as dealing in antique and salvaged ironmongery under the name of Knob Snobs ‘Creative Hardware Forged By Spirit’.
Also, at this time, he developed his painting skills trading under Bizarrt Workshops where works carried out took him to France, Switzerland, Iceland and Northern Ireland. These projects included shop fronts, residential properties, chalets, artwork, furniture restoration, art galleries and more notably the 2 year restoration of a French Chateau where he led a small team producing paint effects throughout for Candia Lutyens and Paul Peterson: www.lutyens-furniture.com
. Before embarking on this project, he was always wary of clients mentioning the words ‘blank canvas’. Both Paul and Candia and their site manager, ‘Cockney Dave’, have since altered his view and he regards it as a cherished experience, as creative building sites are very difficult to find.
What’s next for Knob Snobs? In an ideal world, they would like a showroom with an exclusive London address but for now, they are content with their office location in Chelsea. Most of their orders come via the Internet and they are hoping to produce a brochure before the end of the year as well as looking into antique fairs, so expect to see them on the road in the near future.
What services do Knob Snobs offer?, well, apart from selling door knobs and decorative hardware, they also have their own range of bathroom accessories. Some of their knob collections are produced in a variety of colours an even have matching wall and floor tiles. Knob Snobs are keen to listen to customers and are even able to design products specifically for you and will most certainly be able to outsource products with a view to matching a current fitting that you may have and also offer an electroplating service and can produce brass-ware in any metallic finish.
I can’t recommend their products more highly and urge you to check out their website below for more details and help encourage and support Joseph Narloch’s creative energy!