If there were such a thing as an “It” kitchen (alongside “It” bags and girls), UK-based Smallbone of Devizes – which is helping to pioneer a new approach to kitchen design within the international property sector – would produce it.
Smallbone’s US design director Hugh Owens says the company’s global success is all down to synergy. “The best kitchens have a tremendous synergy with the building. If someone is drawn to a building for its architecture and style, by virtue they’re also going to like their kitchen if it follows suit.”
One of the many international locations where this is evident is in the Walker Tower in New York, where the art deco architecture of the former 1929 telecommunications building (designed by Ralph Thomas Walker), combined with the strong, dark-framed windows became leitmotifs for the kitchen design. The result was a robust, dark, handcrafted wooden kitchen (second picture) with walnut edging, deco-style hardware and choices of cabinet finish.
And at another property, the predominantly glass building meant that wall space was limited, necessitating clean lines and clever storage solutions. The Smallbone team added bespoke details such as macassar or white-painted cabinetry set back into the walls and an island with concealed pull-out leather-topped seating disguised as drawers; innovations that it has since used elsewhere in projects in London and Dubai.
All designs are handcrafted at Smallbone’s HQ in Devizes, Wiltshire, and shipped across the world, where its fitters and hand-painters take charge. The whole bespoke process usually takes 14 weeks, from design sign-off to installation. For fall-in-love-with kitchens, it’s but a heartbeat away.