The Brief:

Smiffys’ moved their Yorkshire base from Wakefield to Central Park in Leeds City Centre in 2019. The firm’s new, two-storey building was to accommodate 220 people. Ben Johnson Interiors were asked to space-plan, design and fit-out the new workplace layout for efficient working and productivity, as well as for staff and visitor wellbeing.

The Solution:

The Ben Johnson Interiors team visited the former workplace to ascertain how different people at Smiffys worked together and what their aspirations were for a new site. Our team then created an interior plan designed to enhance operational capacity and create a fun, feel-good factor for all.

It was important for Smiffys’ graphics team to have a dedicated area to create mood boards, while the costume designers needed large storage areas close to their workstations to accommodate materials. Smiffys’ creative teams also needed space to display new ideas. Ben Johnson Interiors accommodated all these needs into the new plans and designed “project scrum areas” to display ideas on the first floor.

The finance and HR department required quiet areas and one-to-one spaces, so we positioned these well away from the collaborative, creative teams. An informal breakout area with “juice bar” was included on the first floor, as well as a large, communal “town hall” and event space on the ground floor.

Smiffys required a suitable space for photography, although this would not be in use every day, so we installed a bi-folding wall so this area could be sectioned off when necessary.

Around half of the ground floor is used for merchandising and product display and also houses the boardroom. The flexibility of the interior design means that Smiffys can now also use this area as a large exhibition space for big events and pitches if necessary.


Sector: Entertainment, creative, costume supply
Location: Leeds
Size: 13,000 sq ft
Scope of work: Space-planning, interior design, fit out

About the client

RH Smith & Sons – known as Smiffys - is a global, family-owned fancy dress business which ships over 26 million items across the world every year. The company has premises in Lincolnshire and in Yorkshire. Smiffys was founded in 1894 and has a 5,000 product base which includes popular characters and brands as well as wigs, theatrical make up and accessories.