Made in Islington: Leonard Villa frame makers, Caledonian Road

Leonard Villa in his Caledonian Road workshop with framers Patrick and Sean Murphy. Picture: Polly H

Leonard Villa in his Caledonian Road workshop with framers Patrick and Sean Murphy. Picture: Polly Hancock - Credit: Archant

Every week, we take to the streets to unearth something being manufactured right here in Islington. This week, we found a workshop in the Cally that has been making frames for London’s major museums and galleries for 34 years.

Behind every picture lies a story. Or, in the case of Villa Framing, a hand-made bespoke frame.

Villa Framing opened in Caledonian Road in 1982. Since then, founder Lenny Villa has manufactured frames for London’s major museums, galleries and exhibitions.

Among his clients are the Museum of London, Tate Modern and Christie’s.

The production process in his workshop can take between three and six months. Once designed, the frame is assembled from elements and goes through the long process of hand crafting and painting.


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“If it’s a period frame, we also do restorations and repairs,” Mr Villa said. “We also do modern contemporary stuff.”

Leonard Villa, 316 Caledonian Road. Visit villaframing.co.uk

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