Smile Kitchens

In the two years since their first website in 2019, Smile Kitchens has expanded as a business and changed their focus towards offering a personalised kitchen design service for their customers. Smile’s design team has grown, they’ve expanded their product range and they were now looking to reposition themselves within the market as a design-focused, boutique kitchen provider.

They asked us to create a site which reflected their new, design-led approach.

Team Dave Bowers Ben Howarth Kieran Baybutt Luke Dagnall Loris F. Alessandria
Deliverables Web Design Web Development Illustration

A fresh look for a boutique kitchen design team

Smile Kitchens occupy a sweet-spot in-between high street kitchen retailers and provincial independents. Differentiating kitchen products - units, doors, handles - can be difficult as they are somewhat commoditised and the market is competitive in terms of pricing. Smile’s USP had shifted towards their personnel: brilliant designers that listen and understand a brief, and produce stunning results.

This recent shift meant their previous website no longer fit the bill in terms of representing what they offered within the marketplace. Their service now centred around more than just offering products, it was refocused around providing customers with a personal design service from start to finish.

As such our re-brand was built around a serious design aesthetic. A geometric, minimalist style; economy of colour with accent pops; characterful but legible typefaces; beautifully functional UI; Loris F. Alessandria’s wonderful illustrations providing warmth and personality; and a familiar but authoritative tone of voice from our friends at HNW Copywriting.

We changed the aesthetic across the new website to appear less jovial and more contemporary. Their offering had moved towards being design-focused, so their look needed to reflect that change. We stripped back a lot of the colour, introduced a stronger grid throughout, and redesigned many of the UI elements across the site to be clearer and have broader functionality (we made them nicer to use).

Kieran Baybutt and Luke Dagnall collaborated with us on the design & build, and Loris F. Alessandria produced the illustrations seen in key areas of the site. The aim was to introduce a new illustration style to help bring in a bit more personality to the designs. We also assisted in Art Directing Smile’s new kitchen photography, the vast majority of which is computer generated.

Illustrations by Loris F. Alessandria
UI Design

New kitchen photography was essential to communicate the change of direction for Smile. Almost completely CGI, the new imagery feels more stylish and contemporary. We wanted it to feel as real as possible and show greater detail to help paint a more complete picture of the kitchens they were producing.

The overall experience of using the site was really important to us during the design & build. It needed to feel simple and intuitive, while also becoming more complex in terms of functionality. We wanted to keep what worked previously and throw out what didn’t.

To accommodate a larger amount of content, we utilised a grid-based system and focused on defining a stronger typographic hierarchy throughout. The new art-directed photography brought a more luxurious look to the visuals, and we increased the amount of white space to create a more sophisticated impression.