Charlie Smallbone's Ledbury Studio showroom has had a complete revamp – he talks us through some of the details of the new display, and reveals the elements of his portfolio he most wants to highlight to customers.
Tucked away in a charming mews in London' Notting Hill, the Ledbury Studio showroom has been specially designed to showcase the unique bespoke kitchen furniture portfolio of founder Charlie Smallbone. So why did he redesign it, and what are the new displays intended to get across to customers?
"Ever since opening our showroom in the heart of Notting Hill in 2019, we've continued to explore new ways to use metal in the kitchen," says Smallbone. "Increasingly, we've combined it with other materials to broaden its application and appeal. One of my aspirations when founding Ledbury Studio was to explore the possibilities of using solid metals in kitchen furniture, and I've used copper, pewter, zinc and stainless steel to great effect in my designs. Solid metals are still very much central to Ledbury Studio designs, and this is what continues to set us apart."
The new showroom highlights Smallbone's interest in metals, with details such as patinated zinc elements of the tall cupboards on the wall run to highlight this aspect of Ledbury's portfolio. Other natural materials such as marble also feature, while wood is a particular focus.
"Timber features in no fewer than five incarnations in the new kitchen in our refurbished showroom," says Smallbone. "In addition to the pale oak on the wall run (rubbed back to expose the grain and finished with a pigmented pale wash), stained oak features on the back of the island, fluted oak creates interest under the breakfast bar, while wild walnut makes a feature of the drawers on the front of the island."
One of Ledbury Studio's unique style elements is the Choppy Waters pattern, which is devised to create a focal point or an accent on the front of island units or cabinetry, and is showcased to great effect in the new showroom.
"The island in our newly redesigned showroom is a favourite of mine. The top features a fabulous fior di bosco marble work surface and sink that are illuminated from above by LED lighting concealed in the aged brass hanging rack. The base is a blend of wild walnut (featured on the drawer fronts), whitewashed fluted oak that defines the breakfast bar, and my signature Choppy Water pattern is hand-carved into the solid oak end panel of the island and stained dark. The resulting texture adds visual interest and a unique look to the kitchen. For practicality, the surface is coated in a sheen lacquer to preserve its luxurious look," Smallbone explains.
Other notable features on view include an over-island hanging rack, which allows for display and storage, and on-trend fluted glass doors on a dropped-height cupboard. Both include integrated LED lighting, which is also installed under the breakfast bar adding practical task lighting that can also be used to create atmosphere, highlighting just some of the beautiful features of the kitchen.