Since its founding in 1978, purveyor of bespoke hand-made fitted furniture Smallbone of Devizes has garnered a reputation for many pioneering traits: among them, exemplary deployment of artisanal crafts such as joinery and cabinetry and meticulous, personalised service. Now, though, the British heritage brand is at the vanguard when it comes to rethinking the retail space, thanks to its new 15,000 sq ft, four-storey multi-sensory space in Brompton Gate, Knightsbridge.
Visitors will, the design philosophy goes, enjoy both time and space – in abundance – as they peruse Smallbone’s latest collections alongside (and in one case via) offerings from other prestigious brands: Samsung’s six-metre-wide screen, ‘The Wall’, will offer immersive cinematic experiences; Senso’s seamless recyclable natural flooring features in various finishes throughout; while stunning floral installations from McQueens Flowers will sit alongside world class contemporary artworks. Expect, also, complimentary valet parking, dedicated concierges and a bar serving coffee, wine, champagne and spirits.
Entering the ground floor, the eye is drawn instantly to the Icarus collection (see main picture), whose parabolic curves call to mind the wings of the eponymous Greek mythical character. Composed of grey cerused oak with a white bronze treatment, its kitchen islands juxtaposing elegantly with standing furniture, its hidden rebate handles lending ergonomic ease to the curved doors while the collection’s elevated glass cabinet – whose arcs were achieved using ‘slumping’ techniques that date back to Roman engineering – makes a fitting focal point.
Smallbone’s other ongoing projects include Central Park Tower, New York and the historic Amberwood House, also in Knightsbridge. The Icarus Collection and the new Brompton Gate space, though, demonstrate that, while Icarus may have flown too close to the sun, Smallbone is soaring higher than ever.
“Our new showroom experience at Brompton Gate has been designed with today’s high end luxury consumer at the forefront of our minds,” says Ron Shemesh, Chief Value Creation Officer at Lux Group Holdings Limited, which acquired Smallbone of Devizes in 2018. “Our innovative design and exquisite craftsmanship will be showcased in an environment where every luxury is considered, from the luxury of space to the luxury of privacy, and the luxury of experiencing personalised hospitality. Everything you touch and feel is considered, and everything you see will be something to acquire.”
Indeed, it’s a space that very much caters for luxury consumers who are responding to a world which has changed, profoundly, in the earliest months of our new decade. “Smallbone invites you to create beautiful bespoke furniture that meets and exceeds your needs and desires for every living space,” adds Shemesh. “As we all spend more time in our homes we are even more attuned to the importance of creating rooms that are personal and perfect for our clients. Our new Brompton Gate experience will allow our clients time, space and the ultimate comfort in which to be inspired, and to imagine their perfect home.”