Sapphire Living Space is the operating name for two Francis Clark client businesses – Sapphire Kitchens Limited and Sapphire Bathrooms Limited.
Owned and operated by co-directors Mark Newbery and Ross Pollard, Sapphire Living is a relatively new venture and an expansion of Sapphire Interiors, which has been operating in Exeter for the past 7 years. Sapphire Living Space has recently opened a new 3,500 sq ft kitchen and bathroom showroom opposite Dart’s Farm near Topsham.
However, these are no ordinary kitchens and bathrooms. The fully operational stock on show features world leading and exclusive brands, such as bulthaup and Gaggenau, arranged in a truly inspiring environment and unlike any other kitchen and bathroom showroom you are likely to see.
Alongside distinctive looking hand crafted appliances and precision manufactured units, there is a range of bathroom styles from the hi-tech Japanese WCs that recognise when you are in the room and baths where you can choose the underwater lighting colour and maintain a constant water temperature no matter how long you stay in. Other bathroom brands include TOTO (Japanese w/c), Artelinea and Dornbact.
For the ultimate in desirability, the showroom has the only spiral wine cellar on show outside London. This is a pre-formed, watertight, cylindrical system that can keep over 1,500 bottles of wine stored at a temperature between 14 and 17 degrees c, and can be installed in any part of a building whether it has a basement or not.
Unashamedly targeting the high end market, Mark and Ross launched the business in December 2011 but not before a long period of planning and consultation with Lewis Banfield, a partner and business adviser at Francis Clark.
Mark Newbery said: “We looked at many options and felt that that the prevailing economic conditions are working against the low to mid range offer and that the high end, high cost market would be less effected by the consumer downturn.
“We are offering products where we do not compromise on quality, design or craftsmanship. bulthaup, for example, is a German kitchen design and manufacturing business which is acknowledged as a world leader but which supplies only a fraction of the world’s high end kitchens, so it has rarity value.
“Our installers are all factory trained in Bavaria so they are not only adept at installation, they understand all the processes that go into every part of the operation including the extraordinary choice of finishes available.
“We are very grateful to Lewis Banfield for his expert guidance from the concept process which started three years ago and included feasibility studies, formulating business plans, raising finance, finding premises to setting up an accounts system and cash flow forecasting.
“We have made a substantial investment in this business and are very happy with the confidence that working with Lewis gives us and with his ongoing support, right down to helping our bookkeeper.”
Lewis Banfield added: “Starting any business in a stagnant economy has its risks but Mark and Ross have developed a concept which will have great appeal to wealthy end-users across the South West.
“The opening of their showroom is a major milestone in the company’s progress and it is well worth a visit. Its truly inspiring space feels like a cross between an art gallery and a science museum experience but is in fact a display of elegant, functional and beautiful domestic installations.”