On Design: Philipp Nagel

Philipp is director at bespoke cabinetry makers, Neatsmith. The family-run business specialises in fitted living room furniture, custom-made home offices, and beautifully designed walk-in wardrobes that would make Carrie Bradshaw proud

Tell me about Neatsmith and how the company came about
Andrew Nagel founded Neatsmith in 2005 with his sons Mathew and myself. We have a hard-earned reputation for selling beautiful bespoke wardrobes, dressing rooms and home offices, ideal for both historic and contemporary homes. We prioritise design and quality and pride ourselves on providing exceptional service from the initial consultation to the final installation. From the first day, the family agreed that the quality of the product should always be matched – and even exceeded by – the company’s level of service. If people are happy with our product, our price, and our service, they’ll recommend Neatsmith to their friends and families. We now have five standalone London showrooms in Chelsea, Hampstead, Hatch End, Hampton Hill, and Brentwood. And we’re excited to be opening our sixth showroom in Guildford this month.


What’s your design ethos?
With regards to design, there are only two very clear and mutually inclusive principles: it has to look good, and it has to work well. At Neatsmith, design and functionality are our core objectives when creating beautiful and practical spaces for clients. Tell me about the role of sustainability at Neatsmith Sustainability is incredibly important to us and we’re constantly looking for new ways we can reduce our impact on the environment. Our wooden panels come from a certified FSC UK supplier who gives sustainable forestry their highest priority. At our main production facility, we’ve reduced the amount of waste going into landfill by over two tons per week by installing two wood waste heaters. They burn all the offcuts we produce in manufacturing and produce a whopping 1 million btu/hr to heat our factories. The heater works all year round and is fully compliant with the Clean Air Act, without an oil or gas afterburner. Any timber material that isn’t burned is recycled back into the timber industry by our partners, Sylvagen.


What are the benefits of custom-made storage?
Bespoke designs, unlike freestanding furniture, enable you to make the most of every bit of available space in your home – be that simply a perfectly fitted full length wall of impactful wardrobes, or working around more awkward architectural features such as sloped ceilings, chimney breasts and alcoves. Choosing bespoke not only creates furniture that completely fits the space in your home, but it also maximises all the available storage opportunities. As there’s no requirement for set size modules or components, our customers can design something unique that truly works for them. What are the latest trends in bespoke cabinetry? With regards to wardrobes, people are looking to really showcase their shoes, bags, and watches, especially within our walk-in wardrobes. Clients look to us for our expertise for providing the designs and accessories to help make their ideas come to fruition. The last three years have seen a large jump in the number of home offices and studies, as people continue to work from home.


Customers are increasingly looking to showcase their accessories in walk in wardrobes

Can you describe your most ambitious project to date?
We recently did a dressing room for a couple that was a true case of no compromises! They had a huge space to utilise, every item was accounted for, they knew the style of product they wanted, and they entrusted us to bring it to life. Every accessory we offer was put to good use, and the end result – whilst being expensive – was a triumph of design and elegance. I only mention this because money and space don’t always provide such a result, but in this case the visions of our client and our designers married perfectly. It was ambitious, not just because of the design brief, but largely because this was an overseas project, so the planning, preparation and transport had to be perfect. Discovering you’re missing components when installing in a foreign country can derail a project very quickly! What can clients expect from Neatsmith, from design through to installation? Quality, great design and service. We want to look after you and to provide a genuinely wonderful experience from start to finish.