Design Centre Stories

Meet the Showroom: Studio Franchi

Hardware sspecialist Studio Franchi was founded in 1970 and went on to become one of Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour’s very first tenants in the mid-1990s. After a 13-year break, the brand is back, opening a new space in the newly developed Design Centre North. Here, its business development manager Ben Marshall explains more about why you should add the showroom to your next sourcing trip.

What should we expect from the showroom?
Louisa Franchi Design has created a professional, inspirational and friendly setting. Every element of the studio has been carefully curated to stimulate and delight, from the hardware on display through to the feature lighting and bespoke furniture. The layout affords a number of seating options and includes a meeting room with smart conferencing facilities.

Why should customers visit in person as opposed to looking/buying online?
Architectural hardware is one of the few parts of the any building that we touch regularly, so the feel and ergonomics of the product are as important as the aesthetic. At Studio Franchi we have myriad handles to see and touch.

What’s Studio Franchi’s design philosophy?
A focus on quality, paired with cutting-edge design, innovative use of materials and artisanal production are what sets Franchi apart. We believe that a well-designed architectural hardware scheme designed by our GAI [Guild of Architectural Ironmongers] registered schedulers will last the lifetime of the interior.

Is there a ‘hero’ product that you feel encapsulates that philosophy, or that’s been a long-standing bestseller?
Our Tirreno collection is making big waves. Featuring hardware crafted from Murano glass, mother of pearl, leather and rare woods, it features lever handles, doorknobs, pull handles and stunning cabinet furniture. It truly is like jewellery for the home.

What are the broad trends you’re seeing in your sector of the industry, and how are your collections embracing them?
Our clients are now more informed and knowledgeable than ever before, which has meant an increase in client requests for customisation. Whether it is a bespoke design, or an antibacterial coating such as Franchi Safetouch, customisation comes as standard.

What can we expect from the latest collections?
We have tailored six new collections specifically for the launch of Studio Franchi. Each collection has its own distinct, cohesive and inspiring style, whether it is the Italian-designed Tirreno collection or the two Best of British collections hand-forged here in the UK, we believe that there will be something for everyone.

What craftsmanship and innovation goes into Studio Franchi’s products?
Our Pacific collection is designed and manufactured in Australia. With technical expertise exported from Europe fused with new-world creativity and design, it is without comparison.

Is there anything else you’d like the Design Centre community to know about your brand?
Absolutely! Alongside the new collections of hardware, we are immensely proud of the amazing array of partners that we have worked with on getting Studio Franchi up and running (particularly in a pandemic). The designer accessible-WC by Rox Interiors, luxury kitchen appliances from Fisher & Paykel and gorgeous joinery from TMJ to mention a few will provide visitors to the studio with an unrivalled, inspirational experience.

Studio Franchi, Ground Floor, Design Centre North