Meet the Team

  • Richard_Smithies_of_Design_Matters

  • Richard Smithies is the owner and MD of Design Matters. He has worked at the luxury end of the kitchen industry for thirty years. His early experience was gained working for leading manufacturers Poggenpohl and SieMatic, then running kitchen studios within Heals and Waring & Gillow in London. He formed Design Matters in 1992 after running a franchised kitchen business in nearby Beaconsfield for over 10 years. Richard is a highly experienced designer, who also has strategic overview of the company and manages the day-to-day running of the business. Richard lives locally with his family, and enjoys travel and country walks with the family’s much loved dog.

  • Adam_Thomas_of_Design_Matters

  • Adam Thomas has worked with Richard since 1979, and has been designing kitchens for over 30 years. He became a wheelchair user after he was spinally injured in an accident in 1981. Richard adapted the premises to enable him to return to work, and over the following years they developed a unique ‘accessible kitchen service’ for older and disabled people. Adam also works as an expert witness, trains OTs, delivers lectures on accessible design and is a passionate advocate for lifetime homes and civil rights for disabled people. Adam is a dedicated supporter of Arsenal FC and a keen fly fisherman, who lives in the Chiltern hills with his family.

  • Natalie Presbury joined Design Matters in 2008. She is our Project Coordinator and manages many of the order and installation-related aspects of the business. She liaises with customers throughout their kitchen project, to ensure they have all the information they need from design stage to installation. Natalie shares appropriate health and safety information with contractors and installers, to ensure that technical details have been passed on to the right people. She also coordinates the company’s appearance at events and manages our health and safety processes. Natalie lives locally with her family.

  • Malcolm Wyatt joined the team in 2013 as an administrator and is now responsible for all aspects of running the office, including booking appointments and sending out brochures, managing goods-in, stock, and invoicing. He manages the company’s databases, and occasionally visits site to deliver an item to the installation team or check on a final detail that requires attention. Malcolm is a good first point of contact for queries, and can quickly put customers on to the right person for more information. He lives locally with his family and enjoys sound recording in his home studio. He is also involved in local live music events.

  • Fiona Hutchings began working as a new designer in 2014, supporting Adam in the company’s accessible kitchens service. She works from Adam’s initial kitchen designs to complete the detailed CAD work, and add finishing touches such as lighting, reflections and decorative accessories. Fe is also involved in weekly meetings to discuss new projects, and helps to develop procedures so that our team of designers can coordinate smoothly as the company grows. Fe comes from an creative background and works privately as a successful freelance photographer.

  • Sam Cartwright has worked with Richard since 1999, starting in order admin and covering various roles in the company over the years. She has been the company’s Marketing Manager since 2009, working on the content of the company’s web site and its social media presence. She manages advertising, promotional opportunities, press and guest blogging on behalf of various members of staff. She is also responsible for health and safety, editorial copy and management of the company’s extensive library of images. Sam lives locally with her family. She is a keen musician and also enjoys painting, gardening and travel.