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Introducing our premium retailer: 1909 Kitchens by Abbeywood Interiors

Introducing our premium retailer: 1909 Kitchens by Abbeywood Interiors

Let us introduce you to 1909 Kitchens by Abbeywood Interiors, our premium 1909 retailer, nestled in the heart of Durham City.

In this Journal post we’ll be chatting to Abbeywood’s Managing Director, Steve, as we explore their newly refurbished, characterful 1909 showroom and discover how the business became what it is today.

Steve- let’s start from the beginning. When was Abbeywood Interiors brought to life?

“We started Abbeywood 20 years ago now and have been running as a limited company for 14 years. It was through my experience in the industry and from past construction roles that spurred me to venture out on my own.

“Although the company has developed a lot since the very beginning, we’ve always held the Abbeywood name, and we’ve always been based in the North East. Historically, we’ve worked regionally, with jobs going as far as the Lake District, Northumberland and North Yorkshire- all thanks to customer recommendations! Our Durham base has meant we’ve had a lot more local projects in the last six years and we’re excited to continue building on this.”

Tell us more about your showroom…

“The property was built in 1836 and is now a listed building. We love how much character it holds, with quaint alcoves, a beautiful fireplace and a unique basement- not to mention its amazing location as it’s only a minute or so from Durham Railway Viaduct.

“We’re thrilled to occupy all three stories of the building, meaning as well as our main showroom floor, we also have the basement for client meetings and upstairs has been developed into a concept show flat.

“We welcome guests to the showroom with our main display floor featuring only 1909 kitchen sets, including an Ovolo island in statement Storm Blue, our beautiful Quarter Round Dry Rose pantry and a space featuring a Half Pencil & Scalloped design- shown in four different colours. Our showroom demonstrates the quality of 1909, showing how beautiful the kitchens are and how we can tailor designs to suit a client’s individual tastes and space.”

“The décor of the main floor is inkeeping with the character of the building with a log burner, an 18th century French table, an antique writing desk and a wooden drafting table.

“Upstairs, our show flat, inspired by Paul Smith’s Westbourne House, is a great place for privacy when hosting client meetings, whilst demonstrating how the kitchens can be designed in a real space. It’s a great, quirky way to offer our clients the chance to experience the environment before they commit to a kitchen plan.

How big is the Abbeywood team?

“The team is made up of myself, my partner Lisa and Sarah, who works alongside me to manage the office and design projects. We work in conjunction with one another- it’s rare we split projects and prefer to run them together so that our clients always have more than one point of contact. Sarah tends to manage projects from the office, then we’ll work together on the complete product with me seeing each scheme through on site. This approach ensures that we’re both able to provide clients with any help or information they need.

“Another vital cog in the Abbeywood team is John- our full-time working foreman who’s been with us for five and a half years. He is a time-served skilled joiner and carries out the majority of our 1909 installations.”

Why did you choose to represent 1909 kitchens with your showroom?

“We have admired and worked with the 1909 brand since it launched and the opening of our first Durham showroom was around the same time, so we’ve always felt a connection in development. When we opened six and a half years ago, we had our first 1909 display and our customers loved it. We instantly saw the quality of the product and felt that the brand fulfilled a part of the industry that was lacking. We had looked at other companies but felt that 1909 stood out from the others on both quality and support.

“We’re now proud to run a showroom that displays only 1909 kitchens. We think the character of 1909, the branding and the website is reflected in our own building and company ethos. We love that our customers can see and feel the quality as soon as they walk in- it’s a blend of timeless and contemporary styles.”

Lastly, why do you think people should turn to an independent showroom for their new kitchen?

“It’s the expertise of the design team, the installers and the understanding of the language of kitchens that you won’t get anywhere else. We share a true passion for our work and the brand, caring about our customers’ happiness and the outcome of every project we work on. As our business is close to our hearts, this is reflected in the quality of service as an independent organisation. It’s a level of attentiveness that you won’t get with any large chain company.

“Another reason I would fly the flag for independent businesses is that in dealing with a small team, communication is always straightforward with our clients and we have the time to truly understand their needs. I’m often the first person a client meets and I’m the last person to leave their home when a project completes.

“We take ownership and make ourselves fully accountable for every aspect of a scheme so the homeowner can have the confidence in us to support them throughout the process. Clients know they can rely on us to deliver the project to the highest standard.”

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