19 May 2024, 09:16
By Furniture News Apr 24, 2015

City, Bentley Designs – Winner of The Furniture Awards 2015: Value Category

The January Furniture Show debut marked 25 years of furniture exhibitions at the NEC. Alongside a fresh approach and a new identity, the event saw the launch of The Furniture Awards, a programme designed by the organiser in collaboration with Furniture News magazine to highlight some of the best new product launched at the event. In a change of approach to the majority of previous product-of-the-show awards, The Furniture Awards aimed to reflect the businesslike nature of the event by putting an emphasis on the entrants’ commercial value above that of design or manufacturing innovation, with three price-level categories permitting a level playing field for the companies present. The event's judges were: Robert Shotton, chairman and owner of three-store independent retailer Cousins; Tristan Lynch, ecommerce director of e-tailer WorldStores.co.uk; and furniture designer and developer Rob Scarlett, the founder of Scarlett Design UK.

Bentley Designs' City, winner of the Value Category, is a two-tone contemporary dining and occasional range finished in a warm weathered oak and soft grey colour – a walnut option is also available. The extensive cabinet offer is complemented by a range of fabric chairs in colours including pebble grey, burnt orange and steel blue, in the form of tapered back and comfortable scoop-back designs.

Fresh yet functional, City features soft-close drawers and mitre-jointed cabinets. City’s storage solutions are highly featured, and include a display cabinet with internal cupboard, sideboard with internal drawers and occasional pieces with shelving and drawers.

“Meeting a competitive price point is what Bentley do well – they know what prices to hit, and have the big retail customers to prove it”

“City exemplifies the concept of simplicity and engages the emotions of busy, overworked consumers seeking calmness and serenity at home,” explains designer Ray Davies. “In an age of information overload and stress, emotional wellbeing is a key motivator for City’s target audience – and City addresses this important trend.”

“It’s such a complete range," says judge, Robert Shotton, "with such a variety of colours and models. It’s neat and well conceived, and good value for money – even better if you buy it in a container. Bentley have hung their hat on this range – they’ve got a lot of confidence in it.”

Rob Scarlett comments: “It’s certainly adventurous – it’s something different, and Bentley should be applauded for that.”

Tristan Lynch adds: “It’s a bit different, and should be quite commercial in terms of its performance. I like that they tried to put a slight twist on a traditional, safer option. It’s a big range, too. I think that introducing the upholstery in the different colours – and the workmanship in the upholstery – was really nice. I really like the scooped tub chair – it sits well, and comes at a good price. As an individual piece, that chair could sell really well too, and could probably transpose across multiple ranges.

“Meeting a competitive price point is what Bentley do well – they know what prices to hit, and have the big retail customers to prove it. The two-tone oak and grey option is potentially not as commercial as the walnut, but the range does have that option to fall back on.”

This article was published in the March issue of Furniture News magazine.

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