A glorious evolution
Neptune’s solid-oak Henley kitchen has been transformed, taking the best of the old and the most exciting of the new
This spring, British interiors brand Neptune unveiled its muchanticipated henley kitchen collection. Those who know Neptune and its timeless designs will be aware that henley has been one of its longest standing, most regal collections, crafted from solid oak. As a kitchen, it displayed a grand kind of elegance, it worked wonderfully in country-style homes and it was, without a doubt, a classic.
The same is very much true for the ‘new look’ henley, but Neptune’s design team has broadened its horizons by quite a stretch. Those who aren’t familiar with Neptune, and indeed henley, couldn’t wish for a better introduction to the Wiltshire-based company.
On the surface, henley has evolved into something bold and daring. it has an edge to it that feels of the now, but not so contemporary that it feels without heritage. Neptune is always very clever at pushing the design boundaries to innovate and to remain current (or indeed to be future gazers) in a way that still feels like Neptune.
The solid-oak cabinetry is still a huge part of its character, but by introducing painted options (the standard colour for henley is snow) in tulipwood, the whole aesthetic changes pace. it becomes much more dynamic. Black-bronze handles, knobs, hinges and catches pair perfectly with Neptune’s latest addition to its range of worktops; the Dekton surface is a new-generation material in a sultry matte black shade that’s incredibly robust. The new henley, it seems, thrives on contrast.
But what about behind the scenes? henley has undergone more than 1,000 updates to bring it to where it is now. some are reconfigurations and improvements to existing cabinetry. John sims-hilditch, co-founder of Neptune, explains: ‘henley was the second kitchen that we ever designed. We’ve learnt a lot since then and wanted to use that knowledge and apply all of those life lessons to it, so we rebuilt it, entirely.’
Running through some of the most notable updates, he adds: ‘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 pushto-open mechanism and, inside, it has removable Black-bronze dividing prisms to help keep everything in order. The base drawer has also been upgraded to include Black-bronze rods to stop any pans from scuffing the timber. They look really smart, too.’
some of the changes are entirely new concepts that have only recently been brought to life. There are a total of 12, from the broom cupboard to never-before-seen larder cabinets. henley hasn’t just been
‘Neptune is always very clever at pushing the design boundaries
re-engineered—it’s been redefined and re-energised.
The new henley is in place in almost all of Neptune's stores, including the new arrivals in Wimbledon and hove. The evolution is immense. As John sims-hilditch puts it, quite simply: ‘it’s henley, except, it isn’t.’