Earlier this year (2022), Barber Design Agency were featured in the September issue of A1 Magazine with our project for King Living.
The article shows the story of how the project came to Barber and how we used our interior design skills and feasibility studies to evaluate, secure, design and then project manage.
Here’s the copy:
Australian furniture brand King Living lands amongst homeware flagships; bringing their cool, contemporary and authenticity to Europe for the first time
Designed by Barber’s team on the ground in London; King Living came to Barber for their reputation and deep knowledge in the retail design sector. After several online meetings and being initiated into the brand virtually- due to the pandemic- Barber learned about the King Living brand and their unique family-led approach. The brief was simple; conduct a feasibility study to relay the appropriateness of the site to the team in Sydney and then if the feedback confirmed their instincts, to translate the King brand to the new flagship location in London. With their existing stores located across Australia and SE Asia, this was to be their first store in Europe and 8,729 sq.ft in size; competing in the furniture shopping hub in London.
King are a household name in Australia, renowned for their fully modular sofas designed with a steel frame and Postureflex seating system similar to the steel suspension system used in luxury European cars.
Split over two floors, the space had to transport customers from the high footfall, high traffic street into a cool, smart, and sophisticated space with walk-in room sets showcasing the brand’s rich collection. The existing shop fit was removed along with some internal walls to allow for a more open and shoppable customer experience. Due to covid, the entire design process was delivered through weekly video calls and emailed content; managed seamlessly by Barber’s project management team.
The storefront is a statement in itself, purely black with simply ‘KING’ above the door. Upon entering, customers are transformed into a luxuriously large apartment-feel space with great height, soft lighting and premium furniture displayed in realistic settings.
The design is minimal, the luxuriousness is in the subtle details and the design is about showcasing the product. To achieve such minimality often takes a lot of work to hide all of the various services, beams, junctions and other elements to create a seamless look. The use of natural colours and slate grey palette with touchable textures layered throughout. The interior design features large printed artworks, very large area rugs grounding each room set, grained wooden cabinetry, slated wooden screens and a large marble point-of-sale and customer consultancy desks. Large fabric swatches hang along a wall displaying the options for soft furnishings and customisation, the generous size showing confidence in their range. As restrictions on travel lifted, King Living’s founder David King was able to land in London a few days before opening to finalise the product and VM elements.
Marian Schole, Head of Global Retail Expansion from King said “This has been one of the most successful launches we’ve ever had. The customer feedback has been great, they’ve said the store really feels like King Living which is a huge testament to Barber. Doug Barber and the team understand what customers want to see, they’re very creative and good people to work with. We couldn’t have asked for more in a chosen design partner”.
David King, founder of King, comments: “We are excited to be bringing KING to London’s Tottenham Court Road furniture precinct. The showroom reflects our inherent dedication to Australian design, and we have created a space that aims to be both inspiring and inviting while showcasing our innovative approach to furniture design.
“We wanted the space to reflect the Australian way of living and evoke the nostalgia of a home – taking customers on a journey through our curated collections and aspirational lifestyle settings. The London showroom does just that. We can’t wait to welcome new customers and introduce our iconic KING designs to the UK market.”
Doug Barber, said “ King Living put total trust in us to deliver their flagship store for them on London’s iconic Tottenham Court Road during the UK Pandemic (and lockdown in Australia) and we did this with our usual trusted commitment to deliver, quality, care, and brand guardianship. We do hope that this is the start of a long business relationship and more importantly friendship with King Living as they start to expand their brand further into the UK and Europe.