We invite you to delve into the captivating world of bespoke luxury brassware with Paolo Francone, the visionary founder behind Francone Bespoke Taps. With a keen eye for blending the rich heritage of Italian craftsmanship with the timeless elegance of British design, Paolo shares the remarkable journey that led to the establishment of his esteemed brand.

From his childhood spent amidst the artisan workshops of Piedmont, Italy, to the bustling streets of London, where he honed his appreciation for traditional British style, Paolo’s narrative is one of passion, determination, and unwavering commitment to quality. Through captivating anecdotes and insightful reflections, readers are transported into the heart of Francone Bespoke Taps, where each piece is meticulously crafted to embody the perfect fusion of heritage and modernity.

Join House of Coco as they sit down with Paolo Francone to explore the inspirations, challenges, and triumphs that have shaped his entrepreneurial journey, offering readers a glimpse into the world of luxury brassware redefined…

Can you share a pivotal moment in your life that led you to establish Francone Bespoke Taps, merging Italian craftsmanship with British design?

After several years of working in marketing and sales in the UK, including for some of the best large corporates, I wasn’t completely satisfied with my role. As a self-disciplined person, I felt a persistent desire to build my own business. I wanted to combine everything I had learned in the UK with what my native area of Piedmont, Italy, could offer. It’s an area dominated by two industries – fabrics, with brands such as Zegna and Loro Piana, and brassware – particularly bathroom and kitchen fixtures.

I aimed to develop an online business and initially thought it would be challenging to convey the quality of fabrics and the tactile experience of materials online. However, with brassware fixtures, I immediately saw an opportunity to blend the style of UK designs with the skill and beauty of Italian craftsmanship into an online brand.

Growing up in Piedmont, Italy, you were surrounded by artisan workshops. How did this childhood exposure influence your passion for craftsmanship and bespoke design?

Coming from a small town in this region greatly influenced me. My father was a building constructor, and from time to time, I would accompany him on visits to local artisans to have things made. It could be anything from gates to wooden doors, windows, and more. I found the world of workshops and craftsmanship fascinating from the very beginning. I appreciated the relationships built with all the various artisans and admired and respected their skills and approach.

Moving from Italy to London seems like a significant transition. How did your appreciation for traditional British style evolve during this time, and how does it manifest in Francone Bespoke Taps?

I love the simple elegance of British design. The focus on details and timeless style in British interiors aligns with my preference for a sophisticated yet subtle atmosphere.

Moving from Italy to London brought about a profound shift in my appreciation for traditional British style. This transition influenced our brand of brassware fixtures, emphasizing timeless elegance and a commitment to craftsmanship.

At Francone Bespoke Taps, we embrace solid brass in crafting our products. The finishes, ranging from polished nickel to bronze and different variations of brass, are all living finishes that age beautifully over time, reminiscent of returning to traditions.

Sarah Griggs Photography

Francone Bespoke Taps is a blend of Italian heritage and British design. How do you balance these two influences in your products, and what challenges or rewards does it bring?

By blending Italian craftsmanship with British aesthetics, we create fixtures that balance heritage and design. We meticulously integrate the internal parts with mechanisms made in Italy with high-quality materials and draw inspiration from traditional British design. The challenge lies in harmonizing these diverse styles to create cohesive and unique products.

In your journey, working closely with craftsmen and using traditional methods has been a priority. Can you share a memorable experience where this approach resulted in something truly exceptional?

Our approach involves customizing designs based on customers’ preferences and design needs, then collaborating with artisans to turn them into unique products. This approach was evident in the first of many projects we completed with the high-end gym group, Barry’s UK. We were asked for a very specific finish, which we tailored for them after sharing a few samples. It was akin to creating a culinary dish that required a combination of specific ingredients to produce a unique and memorable taste! The finish comprised a brass material base, a nickel layer, some copper, and a slightly brushed dark bronze. The result was an exceptional tone of finish that delighted the client.

Your commitment to superior quality is evident. If you could go back and do one thing differently in establishing Francone Bespoke Taps, what would it be, and why?

From day one, each step has been carefully considered and thoughtfully executed. I started off with a budget of zero, so initially, it was challenging. But at the same time, the constraints added more significance to each decision I made – from product development to branding. Handling customer support, overseeing branding, product development, and managing the website independently allowed me to gain insights into various aspects that could be improved and identify opportunities. Managing everything by myself served as a valuable starting point, providing insights into areas for development and uncovering potential opportunities.

 Scarlett Craven Interiors, Penguin Egg Photography

Is there a specific quote or mantra that inspires you personally and guides the ethos of Francone Bespoke Taps?

The first artisan I started to work with used to say, “Everything can be done.” This is our guiding principle, and we always explore all avenues when faced with special requests. We avoid saying, “We can’t do it.”

As the driving force behind design innovation, how do you ensure that each piece honours its heritage while remaining true to contemporary design methods and ingenuity?

Essentially, we keep the design traditional while incorporating innovation and modern technologies, particularly in terms of mechanisms and materials. However, for some aspects, the old ways are still the best.

Francone Bespoke Taps serves a diverse range of clients. Can you share a project or collaboration that was particularly challenging but immensely rewarding?

Francone Bespoke Taps recently embarked on an exciting custom project for a client in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The client sought a unique indoor vanity area along with three outdoor stone sinks. With a reputation for fully customizable solutions, Francone Bespoke Taps was prepared to bring the client’s vision to reality. Designing touch control taps, huge custom mirror frames, and outdoor taps for the large stone sinks posed unprecedented challenges. Yet, through meticulous planning, precise measurements, and innovative problem-solving, the team successfully delivered. The project was shortlisted for the Society of British Interior Design Awards for its seamless blend of modern technology and timeless design to bring the client’s vision to life.

Paolo, you offer a wide range of materials, finishes, and styles. What advice would you offer someone looking to create a truly unique and personalized bathroom fixture?

In terms of finishes, I am a big fan of unlacquered brass. Whether polished, satin, or tumbled, the effect is outstanding from day one until the patina develops, if desired. When it comes to designs, I would likely choose the Art Deco style. It’s increasingly appreciated, and I believe incorporating some brass Art Deco elements can make a bathroom truly unique. At Francone Bespoke Taps, we are currently working on creating a new collection incorporating the Art Deco style.

Torn Cotton (design), Sarah Griggs (photographer)

Can you share a memorable client story where Francone Bespoke Taps played a significant role in enhancing the aesthetic of a space?

Francone Bespoke Taps is fortunate to have clients who choose our products for their beautiful properties, one of which is Tythe, a unique wedding venue nestled in the picturesque Oxfordshire countryside. Tythe is popular with couples seeking a perfect blend of rustic charm and timeless elegance for their special day. When renovating the property, the owner was very clear about the look she wanted and did extensive research – both online and offline.

She desired a gorgeous brass tap that would age beautifully and endure the test of time as well as repeated use from guests. She came across an image of a brass shower head by Francone Bespoke Taps online and knew almost immediately that she had found her supplier. In addition to their aesthetic appeal, she knew our products would age gracefully and fit perfectly with her vision for the 17th Century house.

Designing made-to-order products involves a collaborative process. How do you and your team ensure that clients’ unique visions are realized while maintaining the integrity of the brand?

The journey begins on our website, where clients can browse existing designs or create their own. We offer bespoke, completely customized, beautifully finished products – clients simply convey their desires, and we handle the rest.

While keeping our core product elements, we can adjust size, finish, and design to meet specific requirements while maintaining our style, materials, and brand.

If you had to describe the essence of Francone Bespoke Taps in three words, what would they be, and why?

Probably our slogan “Traditional fixtures, elevated.” This truly encapsulates our ethos. With tradition in mind, we elevate with modern technologies and features, not only in terms of products but also in customer experience. This extends from our website to social media and customer service, ensuring clients thoroughly enjoy their interactions with us.

As a leader, how do you foster creativity and innovation within your team to keep pushing the boundaries of design?

I promote creativity by encouraging open communication, valuing diverse perspectives, and fostering a culture of experimentation. This applies not only to new products requested by clients but also to other aspects of our operations, such as customer support or packaging details. I encourage team members to propose new ideas.

You’ve mentioned the importance of Francone Bespoke Taps serving generations to come. How do you envision the legacy of your brand in the long term?

I envision Francone Bespoke Taps as a timeless brand known for exceptional craftsmanship, innovative design, and quality. I aspire for it to become synonymous with heritage, sophistication, and reliability, leaving a lasting imprint in luxury brassware.

Your dream destination to travel to is often a source of inspiration. Where is that destination, and how does it influence your creative process?

In general, exploring cities, especially capitals, can be a rich source of inspiration. However, when selecting a dream destination, I find Rome particularly captivating due to its unparalleled richness in history.

Balancing heritage and modernity is an art. Are there specific design principles or philosophies that you adhere to in achieving this delicate balance?

I admire designs that respect traditions, use innovative quality, prioritize simplicity for practicality, have timeless appeal, and follow a sustainable approach. My goal is to create products that meet users’ immediate needs and contribute positively to culture and the environment.

Scarlett Craven Interiors, Penguin Egg Photography

In the process of creating bespoke designs, what role does the client play, and how do you ensure their vision is translated into the final product?

In the realm of bespoke designs, some products are born out of specific requests from clients. Balancing design aesthetics with practicality becomes crucial, and simplicity often emerges as the optimal solution that satisfies both aspects. It’s important to note that in the design process, compromises are not only made with manufacturing considerations but also with the goal of ensuring the easiest installation possible.

As someone deeply involved in the creative process, what advice would you offer to aspiring designers looking to make their mark in the industry?

Simplicity and being observant are key. Embrace the power of simplicity in your designs. Strive for clarity, functionality, and elegance, as simplicity often leads to timeless and impactful creations. Also, inspiration is all around us. Stay observant in your daily life, paying attention to details, patterns, and interactions. You never know where the next great idea might come from.

Lastly, how can people stay connected with you and follow the journey of Francone Bespoke Taps? Where can they find more information about your designs and the brand?

We are very active on most social media channels and have numerous guides and inspirations on our website, along with our full range of products. We are also featured in magazines such as Vogue and House & Garden, and we’re represented on several industry platforms (Archello, the Society for British Interior Designers, Sleepifier, and the World of Hospitality directories). Most importantly, we are always available to speak with customers and advise them accordingly. Give us a call or email us at hello@bespoketaps.com.


Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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