Following the launch of Omega PLC's new Novus kitchen, the company has opened up its redesigned showroom – creative lead design manager Ben Jones gives Emma Hedges a tour of the revamped space.
The launch of Omega PLC's Novus brand in May last year signalled a new departure for the company. The addition of the handleless door with a recessed rail system has strengthened Omega's portfolio, and its versatility presents retailers and designers with a considerable amount of choice when designing a space.
To do the launch justice, Omega's vast showroom has undergone a complete refresh. Visitors get to see 60 different kitchen displays over two floors and 13,000sq ft, and the experience begins as soon as they arrive in reception – a glass wall looks onto the first showroom display, which showcases Novus.
The new showroom design is the brainchild of creative lead Ben Jones, whose focus was to demonstrate to visitors just how versatile the new Novus brand can be. "We've layered textures and finishes together to give a real sense of how you could piece a kitchen together, so depending on how you want to work the design through, you've got lots of elements to play with," he explains.
Inspiration for Novus came from careful research into how trends are developing globally, and the result has given the company a hugely commercial product. "We went to various different shows and exhibitions – we went to Milan to EuroCucina – to look at how fashions were evolving. We used to find that the British market was delayed in its evolution compared to the European market but that's changed, and things are coming through a lot faster. Walnuts, blonder timbers – all these natural finishes are very big trend wise. We see them really blending well with what we're trying to do in here in our colour palette," he says.
The colour palette includes on-trend neutral shades complemented by warmer tones, nature-inspired colours, and more dramatic dark hues. "Plus we have a new exclusive beautiful Woodgrain Natural Oak," says Jones.
Novus’s horizontal and vertical profiles are reset and mounted to the cabinets for effortless opening, with 6 colour profile options available to complement or contrast to create a personalised design finish. The new clip-in profile system ensures that profiles can be easily updated and replaced.
One of the highlights of Novus is the new, innovative Grass V8 drawer system. Omega is the first UK manufacturer to offer as standard this award-winning drawer design, and the slim 8mm thin drawers offer up to 16% increased capacity, maximising storage space whilst being 100% recyclable with smooth running and gentle close action.
The showroom also features an Academy Space where the team can present products to customers. "We’ve developed it to really inspire people, but also to train them and give them information as well. So this can be used for customers to come in and have sessions on products or design, but they can also use the space and bring their own teams in – if they want to do development days, they can," says Jones.
Upstairs is the Inspiration Zone. "We wanted to show here what can be achieved with the product – it’s got a kitchen, living area and a dining space. We do kitchen furniture but there’s no reason why that furniture can’t be used in other areas so there’s continuity throughout. Here we’ve got darker timbers and warmer tones. It gives an elevated look."
The kitchens are carefully dressed with props that enhance the colour scheme of each display, and feature premium appliances and taps from the likes of Miele and Caple to reinforce the high-end look. "The details finish it off but also give it that air of luxury. What we're showing here is achievable luxury," says Jones. "The price point at entry level is very affordable for what is an incredibly aspirational look."
The company also offers plenty of support for customers looking for guidance with their own display spaces. "Our customers can come to us if they want inspiration or assistance with their showrooms – they send the information in and our sales network will go and liaise with them as to what we’re looking to put in and what the demographic is in the area they’re selling to. We’ll design a space for them if needs be and give them ideas, and talk about colours and trends," says Jones.
Throughout the showroom there are elements such as hidden pantries that visitors can discover for themselves. "We do things to inspire our customers – we don’t tell them about these spaces, we want them to find them, and get immersed in the showroom and find their own way through," says Jones. The final design flourish comes in the form of a window that looks from the second floor down onto the factory. "It's so our customers can really understand the relationship between the showroom, the warehouse and the factory – here they can see where the product starts its journey while they're actually experiencing the finished article," says Jones.