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Surfaces Concept Store

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The Challenge….

In 2021 Timothy Oulton Studio were tasked to design a concept store to retail materials and finishes used in projects and stores around the globe, in early 2022 the concept was installed into a leading London location as a project trial.

The brief for the London retail space was clear, an art gallery of materials. The concept store was envisioned to display a range of new and reclaimed finishes with an engaging museum-like experience, while the neutral backdrop allowed the materials to speak for themselves.

The Result….

The main gallery was a long thin space with white lime washed walls hung with very large format mirror polished frames down each side. The selection of stone and ceramic tiles, reclaimed timber parquet and other finishes could be easily interchanged into the frames as required. A 5 metre long timber beam provided contrasting texture and acted as a viewing bench in the front area, paved with Lapicida Montpellier ceramic tiles, a tile that uses the most up-to-date techniques to recreate the look and feel of aged stones.

The main arrival point featured a 1.5 ton Limestone boulder with a hewn top and integrated carved bowls displaying the staged processes used to make Lime paint. Further beyond was the paint laboratory, a collaboration with Francesca’s Paints, a London local with many years’ experience mixing low VOC paints. The focal point of the lab was a wall of 96 individually lit glass hanging bottles filled with graduated coloured pigments, all set against gleaming white tiled walls and floor. Racks for swatch cards and a reclaimed timber mixing table for reviewing samples juxtaposed natural colours and textures with the otherwise pristine space.

Using just three materials, the Infinity Cube was the other key installation in the gallery. Black and white geometric tiles lined the floor and wall opposite the glass shop front. The adjacent wall was clad with antique mirror, extending shiny black steel panels onto the ceiling to create an infinity of reflections and patterns.

A piled display of over 40 vintage rugs in the upper area of the gallery sat beside the large timber meeting table, surrounded by lime washed walls, framed materials, and sisal flooring. The hand knotted Persian Tabriz rugs date from 1930’s and have been painstakingly restored and redyed by hand in Turkey.

Looking through the entrance door to the paint laboratory, showing the 1.5ton Limestone table with laser carved bowls to hold stones and powder detailing the limewash paint process.

96 glass bottles filled with Francesca’s Paint’s colourful limewash paints

Looking up the stairs to the upper level featuring more material wall displays and the vintage Turkish rug pile.

The Reclaimed timber table for hosting customers and reviewing materials.

The Conclusion....

A museum inspired retail space that showcased the brands trademark materials in large formats to give a true sense of scale and texture, completed in collaboration with two specialist partners to encapsulate an inspired offering for the home. All ready to be rolled out in the future….watch this space!


London, UK
Date Completed
April 2022

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