Approaching the Sunny Banks Mills in Farsley, you can’t help but think about the history of the striking industrial building. Not your typical kitchen showroom, this intriguing setting is now home to Studio Partner, Arlington Interiors. Run as a cloth mill for nearly two centuries, beautifully restored original features can be seen throughout Arlington Interiors’ refurbished premises, blending in seamlessly with the stunning displays that have been recently fitted.
After hearing about the new showroom, the Ideas for Living team couldn’t wait to visit. Stepping inside the showroom, we were greeted by the friendly team and encouraged to browse the showroom at our leisure, just as customers are – find out more about this in section 3. We didn’t need to be asked twice and as we explored, the love for the work that Arlington Interiors do became increasingly evident with spectacular, meticulously thought out and creatively designed displays.
We asked the Arlington Interiors team a few questions to really get to know them, their unique offering to customers and understand what went into the transformation of their new showroom.
1. What do you anticipate being the biggest kitchen design trends for 2019?
Mixing ‘Modern’ with ‘Traditional’
Industrial styles will still remain popular. We’re keen on this as it allows us to pull different elements together that would often be considered ‘modern’ or ‘traditional’ into one finish, all within the same living space. This is the approach we took when designing our new showroom, we weren’t afraid to mix things up. Dark, moody colours are having a resurgence, which we’re a huge fan of. These allow you to add drama and contrast into a design. Finishes also seem to have become more tactile, now that matt has overtaken gloss in terms of popularity. A lot of customers are opting for ‘ultra-matt’ finishes, the benefit of this being that they’re far more resistant to stains and fingerprints.
2. What do you pride yourselves on delivering to your customers?
Arlington Interiors Experience
Everything we do is intended to create the best possible ‘Arlington Interiors experience’ for the customer, and we would like to think that what sets us apart is our team. We are directors Nick, Richard and Ben, plus head designer Hayley. Service is, and always will be, paramount. With the best will in the world, things don’t always go as planned. We, plus our experienced installation teams will always work out the best solution to any problem that may arise. We are always completely transparent with customers, and always with a personal touch.
3. What can a customer expect when they walk into your showroom?
Browse alone or with assistance
Everyone who walks through our doors will receive a warm welcome and the choice to browse our showroom alone or with assistance from our team. We will discuss where they are in the whole process, what queries they need answering before they leave us, and usually try and agree the next course of action, or appointment if appropriate. The feedback on our new showroom has been extremely positive, and we’ve had several visits from people who used to work in the building when it was still a textile mill, who can’t believe the transformation!
4. How do you help your customers to prioritise their needs?
Designed around lifestyle
When a customer walks into our showroom, the colour and finish of a kitchen will often be a priority for them, especially if they’re visual people. They’ll often want to see ‘THE’ kitchen that they want to go for, on display somewhere. What we want to do with our customers is plan the living space correctly, making sure that the design works for their lifestyle needs. This initial design can then take on a modern, traditional, or anywhere in between, style within a few clicks of a mouse. The final colour of the kitchen is a detail that comes in further towards the end of the design process to ensure that customers have a kitchen that has both been designed to completely maximise functionality, as well as suit their style taste.
5. Your showroom is wall-to-wall with stunning kitchen displays that are all very different from each other. You’re obviously very flexible with style – where do you take your inspiration from?
Thinking outside the box
We’ve been as broad as possible with the displays in our showroom in order to inspire our customers, demonstrate how to maximise space and efficiency, and show them that there are few boundaries to design. The different displays showcase various forms of storage, textures, colours, contrasts, materials and finishing touches, and all are complete kitchens fitted with a hob, oven, sink, refrigeration and dishwasher. We think outside the box when it comes to design and take a lot of inspiration from interior design in architecture, bars and restaurants, and are always keeping our eyes open for inspiration whilst out and about. We also keep a regular eye on social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Houzz.
6. What is your top tip for homeowners who are considering a new kitchen for their home?
We love working with customers that are prepared to embrace something unconventional. This is what will set your design apart from something that may be available from the high street
7. Your new showroom is beautiful and a real pleasure to be in. Could you talk to us about the journey that you have gone on to make it what it is today?
After 14 years in our previous showroom, we wanted to move to somewhere that was more accessible for customers and had more natural light to illuminate our displays. We thought this would really improve the Arlington Interiors experience for our visitors.
When we first saw the old Spinning Mill here at Sunny Bank Mills it was a carpenter’s workshop where they made chairs and tables, so it was slightly dilapidated and knee-deep in saw dust! However, with all of the beautiful original features of the building, such as the oak beams and the cast iron columns, we could immediately see the potential.
We’ve tried to be sympathetic to these features, and tried to leave as much of the brickwork and iron columns exposed as possible to give more of an industrial ‘loft’ style feel to the showroom.
The renovation was extensive and included laying of 3000 sq ft. of flooring, construction of all the walls, decoration, plumbing and electrics, in addition to fitting of all the displays themselves. This was all completed by Nick and Richard with the help of our trusted tradesmen. To be able to say that we have designed and constructed the whole project ourselves gives us a huge sense of pride and satisfaction.