How working with other designers can pay off for retailers

Fisher & Paykel’s design development manager, Natalie Milan explains the symbiotic relationship between retailers, architects and interior designers and how their collaboration can benefit the end consumer

In a constantly changing market, a strong relationship between architects, interior designers and kitchen studios at the luxury end has never been more crucial. It is one that can be characterised by collaboration – an interplay that goes beyond functionality and aesthetics.

Historically, architects and interior designers have often been celebrated for elevating the visual identity of a brand, having a greater impact on design and ultimately introducing customers to certain retailers. However, we’ve seen the importance of these relationships as the industry moves towards a more level playing field in the UK.

Now working hand in hand, architects, interior designers and retailers can embrace diverse ideas and deliver innovative concepts because of joint experience. Knowledge sharing is one of the most important elements of this symbiotic partnership. The collaboration of learnings and individual experience will enhance the overall design and functionality of a space – ultimately benefitting all parties.

The Houzz & Home UK Overview of Home Renovation in 2022/23 research has shown that the demand for design-related professionals, including kitchen designers, saw an increase of 25% in 2022, compared with only 19% in 2021. These design professionals use the tricks of the trade to create clever storage and pioneering solutions to make a smaller kitchen work hard. They can also lean on experience, working with these professionals to navigate a project and make recommendations based on their wealth of product knowledge from manufacturers.

As someone from Australia, it’s interesting to see this contrast in demand, and change in relationship dynamics in the UK. In Australia, there is in general more open space to play with compared with the UK, and so an architect is often more imperative.


Similarly in the luxury market where budgets (and often spaces) are larger, a joint effort between architects and retailers means that an architect can add an additional level of customisation in the design. It’s interesting to note that in Australia and New Zealand, where architects and designers have more physical space to play with, they can be more creative.

There is much that UK KBB retailers can learn from this when it comes to other spaces to add value outside of the kitchen. For example, a dishwasher or wine fridge can be incorporated into a dining room, a fridge in a home gym or a bean-to-cup coffee machine in a study. Working with an architect can bring added value for KBB retailers in every room.

I work closely with retailers, architects and interior designers to build tailored Fisher & Paykel solutions that meet all project specifications. This is especially important in the luxury market where the stakes are high, and the needs of clients must be met without compromise. It’s a joint responsibility between us as the brand, and the teams working on projects to shape client thinking and to teach about provenance, future proofing for the planet. Collaboration between architects and kitchen studios results in well-considered, functional spaces.

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