Heals, UK

September 11, 2015

With a history spanning more than 200 years, Heal’s remains the go-to store for contemporary design and discovering emerging talent from around the world. From the simple and decorative to unexpected designs and innovative lighting brands including Bocci, Brokis and Seletti, Heal’s hosts an extensive spectrum of designs from the classic to the contemporary.

As part of its ongoing retail strategy to provide the best in-store and online experience possible, Heal’s has opened a new concept showroom in The Queens Building on London’s Westbourne Grove. The fully-digital store features a range of multimedia displays that pay homage to the cinematic heritage of The Queens Building, formerly an Art Deco cinema. Heal’s has embraced the latest technology to offer a unique retail experience, placing it at the forefront of British design.

Will Hobhouse, Chair of Heal’s, commented on the vitality of the new store and digital platform: “We are two years into a programme of change to ensure Heal’s remains at the forefront of British design, putting the customer at the centre of all we do. Shopping habits have changed beyond recognition in the past ten years and we needed to respond to the new consumer digital age and how customers research and shop. Service, whether online or in-store, is paramount.”

A stone’s throw away from Kensington Gardens and prime avenues for high-end fashion and designer boutiques, the new Heal’s concept showroom is situated beneath sixteen individually designed residential apartments, on the ground floor of The Queens Building. The new showroom houses the most comprehensive lighting collection in London, catering for all specialist lighting needs, shrouding West London with Heal’s innovative style and service.

The Queen’s store was designed and project managed through a collaborative effort; British designer and former finalist of the ‘Heal’s Discovers’ competition Matthew Elton brought together his furniture manufacturing company Tendeter and Heal’s to form the Heal’s Tendeter partnership. Elton commented on the union and collaborative project: “The Queens Building is a local landmark with its cinematic heritage; the team and I are proud of what we’ve created, and feel privileged to be part of the Heal’s programme of change.”

Tendeter specialises in bespoke joinery and interiors, having also designed and installed the spa, kitchen and home furnishing departments at Heal’s Tottenham Court Road store. Heal’s Tendeter then spans across furniture and interiors from retail to residential. As a London-based workshop, it allows clients to be fully involved from the initial concept stages of design through to manufacturing. “Working with Hobhouse and being part of the Heal’s programme of change is a fantastic opportunity for both Heal’s and myself,” said Elton.

Elton first got involved with Heal’s after meeting designer John Jenkins for whom he created his limited edition Clue Table design. Following this, Elton was instrumental in launching Heal’s Ambrose project with the A Frame collection in 2014. Commenting on this as his pivotal design project, he said: “That is when my name became associated with Heal’s and furniture design. I’m very proud of the collection.”

The Queens store is Elton’s largest project to date, from design concept, plans to build. “It was a quick turnaround that needed to run like clockwork. Hobhouse trusted me to get the job done. It helps having a great client and a strong team. It gives you the confidence in your ideas to see them through,” said Elton on the design process.

Since partnering, the Heal’s/Elton collaboration has given the team the ability to design and implement larger projects, thereby expanding the Heal’s Collection range with Elton’s experience and skills as a designer, craftsman, manufacturer and business owner. “Growing up in London, I always knew of Heal’s and what it stands for,” he said. “Now, in my new role heading up the Heal’s Contract Furniture/Kitchen and Shop-fitting division, I have a hand in keeping that tradition going.” The extended team creates what Elton describes as an infectious dynamism: “You can’t help trying to do more than one thing. Personally, I like working this way. It keeps you on your toes.”

As the one-stop shop for interior designers and specifiers, the Heal’s showroom also offers a Heal’s Styling Service with an interior expert team on hand to discuss projects using Heal’s extensive collection of exclusive and designer furniture, stand-out fabrics and made-to-measure services. In addition to being the prime destination for specialist lighting, the showroom includes an all-encompassing library of designer fabrics for customers to browse through in-store.

Heal’s new concept showroom is a multipurpose platform for designers and consumers to immerse themselves in the most exciting and current trends in interior design. With Elton’s expertise and Heal’s range and reach, it is truly a hub, and a stunning one at that, drawing in West London strollers with its polished style and charm.