This is Henley, except it isn’t.
When we set about rethinking Henley, we didn’t want to undo everything we’d already achieved. It wasn’t that we felt it didn’t have a place anymore, quite the reverse. We just knew it could do more, so we wanted to build on what was already there because the foundations were infinitely strong.
Henley had a big fan base. People loved it for its juxtaposition of a classic material, oak, but with a contemporary outlook, and its way of feeling organic, homely and a little regal all at the same time. All of that’s still true in the new Henley. You can still create that same aesthetic, but we’ve opened its eyes to a whole world of other possibilities so it can be everything it can be.
Back in July 2016, the Henley caused a bit of a stir at our press event (an annual event where we unveil our autumn/winter collection to the industry’s key journalists, bloggers and influencers). At this point, we’d been working on the redesign of Henley for some time. This incarnation was a more radical concept of what we’d been thinking, but we wanted to test the waters and to let it make some serious noise. Our Retail Design Team industrialised it (see the article we did earlier this year), setting it against a concrete-skimmed wall with exposed copper pipes and a sultry matte black worktop and sink. It helped people to see Henley in a whole new light and it told us to follow our instinct, to be courageous.
The new Henley followed in its brave footsteps but has been tempered with the elegance that comes to it so naturally. It starts with the introduction of high-contrast painted cabinetry. We’ve echoed the classic style and shaping so it still embodies Henley’s spirit, but by adding tulipwood, we’re able to play with colour. Our crisp and cool Snow shade is what we feel works best with the oak and new Black-Bronze hardware, so Henley can now offer true versatility. It means you can blend oak with Snow, or oak with any of our other paints, or even two contrasting colours of paint and no oak. The sky’s the limit. The new Henley also offers upgrades on every existing cabinet where we’ve bettered the functionality. Take the pan drawers for example, one of the most-loved cabinets in the collection. We’ve created an organisational inner drawer that operates using a push-to-open mechanism, and inside it has removable Black-Bronze dividing prisms to help keep everything in order. The base drawer has been upgraded too to include Black-Bronze rods to stop any pains from scuffing the timber. And then there are the 12 new cabinet creations from broom cupboard to never-before-seen larder concepts.
And that’s just the start of the story...