Kitchens by Holloways | Packing a Punch

Kitchens by Holloways co-founder Robert Burnett, alongside senior design consultant Barty Rowland, talk to us about the refurbishment of its Wimbledon showroom. We find it forms part of the company’s wider growth plans

02 Jul, 24

Kitchens by Holloways co-founder and director Robert Burnett, alongside senior design consultant Barty Rowland, talk to us about the refurbishment of its Wimbledon showroom. We find it forms part of the company’s wider growth plans

Kitchens by Holloways | Packing a Punch

Left to right: Senior design consultant Barty Rowland and co-founder Robert Burnett


Co-located with its sister company Holloways of Ludlow, Kitchens by Holloways has completed a refurbishment of its Wimbledon showroom.

It sees the introduction of the first Buster+Punch kitchen display outside the hardware and lighting brand’s own showroom, with the freestanding furniture sitting alongside Ludlow and Brosley ranges of bespoke cabinetry.

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It may seem a surprising addition, but the partnership developed as Kitchens by Holloways manufactures the Buster+Punch kitchen.

Co-founder and director Robert Burnett explains how the association came about: “We were already a Buster + Punch dealer. They came up with the design concept and had a clear vision, but they’re not kitchen specialists.

“It was just a matter for us to rationalise cabinet sizes so they fit with appliances.

“In our business, where we literally make things that people sketch for us, it’s nice to have something a little more contained. This is available in just three colours.

“Whereas you can design a bespoke kitchen and be a month waiting for a customer to choose a colour.”

Wimbledon refurbishment

There are three fully functioning kitchen displays in the 100sqm space of the Wimbledon showroom, in individual, walled spaces.

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Despite being in a basement, senior design consultant Barty Rowland said that didn’t prove to be the biggest challenge during the six-month refit, as the staircase was removed to lower goods.

However, he said trying to finish the renovation, when the installers were needed for client’s properties, was tricky. “It meant work has been sporadic but I’m very happy with the end result”, Barty enthuses.

He cites the Ludlow Shaker range as his favourite part of the showroom, despite an initial reticence. “I was originally unsure about the colour – India Yellow Farrow & Ball – it’s quite bright”, admits Barty.

Although he explains he chose the hue because the showroom has no natural light: “I wanted to try create a space that felt comfortable and it does get a lot of attention.”

Healthy business

Wimbledon forms one of four Kitchens by Holloways showrooms in the South West of London – Clapham, Richmond, Brook Green and Wimbledon.

Working with architects and interior designers to create their visions, as well as offering turnkey solutions for private clients, Kitchens by Holloways has provided projects as far afield as Scotland, France and America.

However Barty Rowland states 90% of business from the Wimbledon showroom is in the southwest London area, with the majority within a 10-minute walk.

Based in an affluent region, and with the USP where designers can submit planning applications and project manage high-end schemes, it’s perhaps unsurprising Barty reports business across the showroom network is “really good”.

He explains the average kitchen sale is £50,000-£60,000 “but quite regularly it’s an £80,000 to £100,000 kitchen”.

Brand building

The £6million turnover business has come a long way from when Robert Burnett admittedly “fell” into kitchens.

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With a background in construction, a building work client had employed a kitchen company who subsequently went bust. In a bid to help, Robert said: “I knew a cabinetmaker, so together we created a kitchen. We redesigned the space and it actually ended up with something much better. It got into a magazine and people starting calling.

“Suddenly, within a few months, all I had time to do was kitchens. I quickly thought of a company name -The Kitchen Maker – and started the business in East Sheen, where we are headquartered now. That was in 2005”.

The business snowballed and transformed into the model it is today, by working for Holloways of Ludlow.

Robert explains: “I met Mark Holloway who was subcontracting kitchens out to Plain & Simple – in Wimbledon – who went bust. He was left with about 10 half-finished kitchens.

“I said I can help with that. We were so busy, we bought a workshop in Hounslow and started making kitchens together. We opened our first showroom in Richmond and have grown from there.

“We were originally Holloways of Ludlow Design & Build Ltd, trading as Holloways of Ludlow.

“But what we found was there was too much of a leap, conceptionally, for people to buy their light fittings and also trust we could take the back of their house off, fit a kitchen. and rebuild it.”

So the business rebranded to Kitchens by Holloways in 2017, “but we did it very quietly”, admits Robert, who adds: “Part of the reason for redoing the showroom is to get the name out there.”

Growth plans

It forms part of the company’s wider growth plans, as Robert says its workshop, which moved from West London to Shropshire in 2016, has yet to reach capacity.


“Our workshop was in Hounslow. The rent kept going up. We were committed to use their electric supply, and it became untenable. It was a massive thing to relocate. But it has been worth it. Finding cabinet makers in the UK is not easy but there is a pool of cabinet makers there”, says Robert.

Currently, the company manufactures just over one kitchen a week, but Robert adds: “We can do much more than that. We’ve got great machinery and good people, it’s not anywhere near maxed out. That’s partly why we’re looking at expansion.”

The location of the workshop in Shrewsbury also allows for a broader catchment area of consumers, and the business has plans to open a showroom in Bath by the end of the year. “

We are looking to grow the business. There is a beautiful, three-storey Holloways of Ludlow shop in Bath and we think we’ve got a really good kitchen proposition with a broad aesthetic for people who might want something a little bit more contemporary”, says Robert.

Boosting promotion

It’s a strong move for a company which has been reticent about self-promotion, but all that is set to change.

“We haven’t been very good at shouting about ourselves”, explains Barty. However,  as Kitchens by Holloways expands its business, with a redesigned its website and greater reach through social media using videos, it is set to further raise its profile.

Barty explains the benefits of creating video walk thoughts of his projects: “It really shows how the space works and how you move around it.

“We upload videos on TikTok, Instagram and Facebook and currently a video walkthrough of one of my recent kitchen projects stands 28,000 views.”

While Robert is not of the belief, all the views are from people in the market for kitchens, he concludes: “But it’s people talking about Kitchens by Holloways and alongside Facebook advertising, we will see the benefits of that. It is creating lot of contact and that’s where it starts.”