Based on a farm just outside Brackley in Northamptonshire, Heaven & Stubbs design and build beautiful bespoke kitchens, studies and libraries.
Having trained as a cabinet maker, Howard Stubbs started making furniture at the age of sixteen. As managing director of Heaven & Stubbs, his passion for working with wood remains undimmed and is translated into the high quality craftsmanship, attention to detail and flair for design which characterises all the company’s work.
Although Howard was initially sceptical that any CAD package could accurately portray the quality of Heaven & Stubbs bespoke kitchens – and be easy to learn – he was won over by ArtiCAD-Pro. “I am very impressed with the realistic look of the 3D visuals, as are our customers. And it is so easy to learn that I’ve been able to hand over all the design work to one of my staff, allowing me to focus on growing our business.” Heaven & Stubbs also use the pricing facility within ArtiCAD-Pro.
Delivering the ‘wow’ factor with ArtiCAD
With this in mind, some may find it surprising that such individual, one-off designs can benefit from the use of computer-aided design software. However, the figures speak for themselves. Prior to purchasing ArtiCAD-Pro, it could typically take Howard a whole day to produce initial designs, which looked very similar to architect’s drawings. Now using ArtiCAD, even large, complex kitchens with curved units, individually designed islands and door handles, split-level rooms, sophisticated lighting, freestanding furniture and appliances, can be produced as fifteen to twenty stunning 3D visuals in about three hours.
“The designs really feed our clients’ imaginations. They are able to see what the finished kitchen will look like, they become involved in its design and are able to make perhaps just small changes which will guarantee that the kitchen will be perfect for their own needs.”
Despite the fact that the kitchens are all bespoke, Heaven & Stubbs use items from ArtiCAD-Pro’s generic graphics library supplemented by some bespoke Heaven & Stubbs door graphics that have been specially created by ArtiCAD. Howard Stubbs: “It used to take me a week to produce five kitchen designs. Now, using ArtiCAD the same number can be done in a day.”
Ensuring that each kitchen design is as personalised as possible, Heaven & Stubbs take photographs (using an iPhone) of the customer’s pictures. These are then imported into the design of the kitchen to add even greater realism, rather than simply using library pictures. Howard Stubbs: “Personalising the designs in this way has a massive impact – it really delivers the wow factor.”
Benefiting the business
One of the principal objectives in buying ArtiCAD-Pro was to release Howard from day to day design work, allowing him to concentrate on managing and growing the business. This has been achieved 100%. With ArtiCAD-Pro’s ease of use, he has been able to hand over all design work, whilst still providing the high-level design input and flair.
“ArtiCAD is generating more business for us. People have more confidence in what they’ll get because of the quality and detail of the visuals and plans – and this encourages them to place the order. It is also speeding up the sales process: the momentum of the sale is improved because we can turn around the designs much faster, we keep the customers involved and they are able to take decisions faster.”
ArtiCAD is a key element in helping Heaven & Stubbs to achieve its target of averaging four kitchen sales each month. In addition, it will be used as a focal point in the company’s refurbished and extended showroom where ArtiCAD designs, together with the finished kitchens, will be displayed on a large plasma screen. The same approach will also be used on the web site.
Howard Stubbs: “I delayed buying a CAD product because I felt that it wouldn’t be able to do justice to our work, and that it would be too complex and time-consuming for people in the company to learn to use it. ArtiCAD-Pro has proved how wrong you can be. Customers have a real ‘wow’ reaction when they look at the ArtiCAD-produced visuals.”