Our story

Homeplay was formed out of a passion for music and film. Read the whole story here…

 
 
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1994

At the age of 14, James Ratcliffe (future owner of Homeplay) walked into a busy hi-fi shop in Camberley, Surrey and asked for a job so that he could buy a better hi-fi.

James’ interview was to make a cup of tea. It was a good cuppa. Over the next 4 years, James made around 40,000 cups of tea and coffee for his colleagues. That’s not an exaggeration.

In between making the tea, he found his passion in life - helping people with their home technology.


1998

James’ customers started to express an interest in having music all over their homes. Being the most technical (nerdiest) person in the business, he set about finding ways to make that happen.

After James installed a multi-room music system in the boss’s house, the company owner closed the struggling retail shops, re-branded the company and opened a state of the art demonstration facility in Sunningdale, Berkshire.

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2004

At the age of 24, James was voted on to the board of CEDIA by his industry peers, making him the youngest board member ever to serve. He still holds that record today.

After a short time with another integration firm, James decided it was time to ‘go it alone’…


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2006

With just £700 in the bank, a cheap set of tools and no idea how to run a business, James decided to quit his salaried job and start Homeplay, converting his hatchback car into a work van by folding the back seats down.

Before long he’d carved out a niche fitting Bose Lifestyle systems within his own range of custom designed and manufactured cabinets, convincing Bose UK to make Homeplay the first dealer they’d ever had without a retail showroom.


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2010

As the size, scope and complexity of our projects grew beyond Bose Lifestyle systems, Homeplay opened a beautifully finished, design-led high street showroom in Esher, Surrey.

Not only was it one of the UKs first Control4 showrooms, it was also one of the first to feature permanent demonstrations of technologies such as IP based video distribution, LED lighting and plaster-in invisible speakers.


2017

Between 2010 and 2017, Homeplay worked on dozens of prestigious projects all over Europe, winning numerous awards and delighting hundreds of clients.

In December 2017 we started work on our amazing Experience Centre…

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Today

We completed our Experience Centre in October 2018, it’s a truly amazing facility that is a must-visit for anyone involved in creating luxury interiors.

On top of this we’ve expanded our team to make sure that our clients, past and future, are kept in the very best of hands.