After a year in which cinemas have remained largely closed – and our only exposure to the industry’s newest films has been via the unsatisfying options of TV or laptop – a six-metre-wide screen packs a sizeable punch. Especially given that this photographic quality screen is one you can order to enjoy from the comfort of your own sofa.
The Smallbone flagship is home to the world’s largest 8K screen; this Samsung marvel of technology, reasonably known as ‘The Wall’, stretches from floor to ceiling and visitors to the new showroom have the exclusive chance to experience it. If this immersive, cinematic screen is just what your media room needs, choose one ranging from 85 inches (2.15m) to a remarkable 292 inches (7.4m) wide.
You might associate Smallbone with kitchens before tech wizardry, and with good reason; the British brand, founded 43 years ago, is known globally for its bespoke cabinetry, which is hand-made in Wiltshire to this day. Lux Group Holdings acquired Smallbone in 2018 and, because the craftsmanship inherent in its kitchens extends to designs for the rest of the home, this is to where the company’s designers and craftsmen have turned their attention.
“Seamless living now extends far beyond the kitchen,” explains Smallbone’s Ideation Director Iain O’Mahony. “It’s natural that handcrafted kitchen cabinetry might be complemented by an impactful floor-to-ceiling media console, or that bespoke dressing room storage can subtly lead the eye toward a marble-encased bathroom vanity. The result is personalised design underpinned by a consistent, creative signature.”
Every inch of Smallbone’s new showroom – all 15,000 sq ft of it – has been designed with a high-end retail experience in mind. Each of the four floors is dedicated to showcasing the potential of our homes, from personalised, hand-made fittings and furniture, to the many benefits of integrated technology.
Customers who visit can browse installations of iconic Smallbone designs as well as brand new collections, for every space from wardrobes, work stations and wine rooms to bathrooms, home cinemas and, of course, kitchens. On the first floor there’s an area within a showcase of Smallbone’s most recognisable kitchens that has been designed for special events, and there’s a spectacular bar, too.
If you find yourself admiring the seamless flooring in various finishes as you wander, you’ll be pleased to know you too can have natural, recyclable resin Senso flooring in your home. Smallbone has teamed up with a number of luxury partners to create a completely shoppable experience. Samsung’s AirDresser, the star of Smallbone’s Icarus walk-in wardrobe, can sanitise clothes and coax out wrinkles at the touch of a button. And yes, it can be remotely controlled by the clever Samsung SmartThings app – I have my washing machine and dryer hooked up to it, and it’s brilliant.
The hand-knotted rugs and seriously smart kitchen fittings you’ll spot are by Rivere and Officine Gullo, respectively, and you can buy them all. Lighting comes courtesy of KAIA; all of its products, from sculptural brass chandeliers to distinctive clear glass spheres, are handmade in Vienna. McQueens – founded in London 20 years ago – is Smallbone’s florist partner of choice and will be providing weekly-changing floral displays and installations for the showroom
Realising that home offices have become far more important to us all over the past year, and that WFH will, for many, continue to be part of our lives, the Smallbone team has turned its attention to our studies. The company’s integrated work space offerings are imbued with as much creativity as they are functionality; yes, we do want screens and smart lighting and neat storage for paperwork but we also want to be working in an environment that feels like part of our home, not somewhere to which we’d commute. Natural timber is stained for impact and durability; printers and folders and all those miscellaneous cables are squirrelled away in bespoke cabinetry; desks, often in oak or walnut, are given pride of place.
Despite the showroom’s size – there’s even a penthouse-style apartment in the basement – and potential as a fantastic event space, it’s quietly luxurious, especially the range of stealthy storage solutions. O’Mahony and his design team particularly love bespoke pieces, which “allow the imagination to take flight”. The more challenging the better; if you have a tricky under-stair space, it can be transformed into a wine store and if your bedroom layout presents challenges, enjoy tailor-made bedside tables.
The pride in their new showroom is evident across the whole company. Ron Shemesh, President of Lux Group Holdings, is delighted that clients will have the opportunity “to see and experience Smallbone collections in a whole new format. They will embark on a multi-sensory experience, customising their lifestyle through a culmination of traditional craftsmanship, innovative design and cutting-edge technology. We look forward to welcoming our clients into our new home.”