Heal’s and Brookmans by Smallbone ‘a marriage made in heaven’

Lux Group Holdings yesterday (November 7) unveiled its new Brookmans by Smallbone kitchen brand with a media event at its 1,500sq ft first-floor concession in Heal’s flagship store on London’s Tottenham Court Road.

Guests were treated to their first glimpse of the new kitchen brand and proceedings kicked off with an address by Iain O’Mahony, ideation director of Lux Group Holdings, and Heal’s chief executive Hamish Mansbridge.

Speaking to kbbreview at the event, O’Mahony told kbbreview: “Heal’s were looking for a kitchen supplier and they wanted to work with a known brands, as it was going to bring more footfall into their store and we thought it would be a good position to launch Brookmans from.

Iain O’Mahony, Lux Group ideation director

“A large part of why we did it is the clientele that Heal’s has developed over 200 years of legacy in the furniture business – and their clients are design-savvy. And that’s the kind of client we are trying to introduce to Brookmans by Smallbone. For us, it was a marriage made in heaven.”

Heal’s CEO Mansbridge told those attending: “I am very fortunate to have been here for the past four of Heal’s 209 years and one of the first things I said when I arrived in 2015 was ‘we really need some kitchens’.

“I picked up the phone to Bob [Moore, Lux Group Holdings COO] on June 24 and on July 15 we had done the deal and only three months later, this beautiful new space was born.

“When I was doing the deal with Bob, the Brookmans design didn’t exist, and we didn’t even know what the kitchens were going to look like. I just knew I wanted Smallbone. If you look up luxury kitchens on Google, Smallbone always comes out on top and the brand values that Smallbone lives by are very similar to the ones that Heal’s does. The fit feels very natural.

“So to be able to have a partnership with Smallbone, but with a new brand as well, exclusively here, is extremely exciting.”

For the occasion, celebrity chef and food writer Gizzi Erskine was providing some tasty breakfast treats, cooked up in the Brookmans K1 kitchen

Celebrity chef Gizzi Erskine was cooking in the K1 kitchen set  (picture: Dave Benet)

The K1 kitchen is a traditional, painted in-frame design with a nod to Georgian architecture, finished for this display in a bold green with some eye-catching orange internals. It uses MDF doors and MFC for the internals with Grass runners and hinges and a choice of handles. A matching dining table was also on show.

The second display was of its K2 kitchen. This is a timber-frame design with flat door fronts with optional bead finishing available for the doors. O’Mahony said: “We consider the K2 to be a nod to Terence Conran and Habitat from the Seventies and we feel it is a very strong opportunity for the millennials market. But it offers an edge of craft to it.”

LtoR: Iain O’Mahony, Lux Group Holdings COO Bob Moore, Gizzi Erskine, LGH chief value creation officer Ronnie Shemesh, Heal’s CEO Hamish Mansbridge

A range of bathroom and bedroom furniture is also available from Brookmans by Smallbone and can be viewed at the Heal’s showroom.

Although Brookmans started in earnest four years ago by providing kitchens for a 180-unit residential development in Brooklyn, New York, the K1 and K2 kitchens on show at Heal’s are its first foray into the retail market as a new brand.

The designs sold by Heal’s are at the moment exclusive to the store. O’Mahony said he hopes that if it is a success for Heal’s, they will roll it out to their other five stores in London’s Westfield, Kingston, Brighton, The Mailbox in Birmingham and Redbrick Mill in West Yorkshire.

When asked whether the brand will then roll out to other retailers, O’Mahony said: “We will see where it goes in the next six to eight months. We have great plans for Brookmans. We hope it is going to be a cornerstone to our business and I genuinely believe it will take off.”

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