Interior Inspiration: Design Week’s favourite retail and hospitality projects

From quintessentially English Mayfair flagships to a restaurant that references Chinese opera, here are our top interior projects this month.

Aesop, by Studio KO

Photo credit: Alixe Lay

Studio KO has designed Aesop’s new store, inspired by the gardens and architecture in its Marylebone location. A material palette of warm timbers and cool tone greens are a nod to the nearby British Library.

Fresco mural paintings by Olivier Cousy sit in the ceiling troughs, in a bid to recreate Marylebone’s green squares (and the British Library palette). They feature forest, olive, moss, and bay leaf green as well as warm and washed-out oranges. Limewashed oak shelves stained with linseed oil line the walls in the first room. These have been handmade by London-based designer Sebastian Cox, as is all the cabinetry in the store.

In the second room, what first appears as an enigmatic rotating bookstand reveals itself as “a Fragrance Armoire”, designed to showcase Aesop’s Eaux de Parfum. Visitors can relax on the in-built sofa while choosing a scent in the Armoire’s infusion chamber or take part in longer, personalised consultations with the adroit staff at the discreet basins.


London Trackhouse, by Roach Matthews

Photo credit: Daniel Hewitt

Independent American running brand Tracksmith has opened London Trackhouse, its flagship UK store in Marylebone, designed by London architects Roach Matthews. Taking cues from Tracksmith’s collegiate-focused brand, the studio collated a warm material palette for the space, including walnut, brass, oak and terrazzo.

While materials like walnut and brass were primarily chosen for their rich and welcoming qualities, another key consideration was how the materials will age and take on “a patina of wear and tear that is welcome rather than fought”, according to Roach Matthews. One of Tracksmith’s key requirement for Roach Matthews is to design an adaptable, bespoke shelving and display system, which can be altered throughout the year thanks to its modular design.

Vertical gym bar elements informed the rest of the furniture design across the store, which aims to be both functional and aesthetic. A defining feature of the store is its abstracted running track across the ground floor that guides customers downstairs.


Mei Li at Grand Hyatt Kuwait, by AB Concept

Photo credit: Brandon Barré

The Grand Hyatt Kuwait hotel’s Chinese restaurant Mei Li has been designed with references to China’s imperial history by design studio AB Concept. The vision for the space’s two dining rooms is “two souls in search of perfect harmony”, one being more flamboyant and the other more elegant, with “touches of Chinese opera where East meets West”, according to AB Concept.

A peking duck display station, a dessert library, and a beggar’s chicken station sit in the first main dining room, which has chairs and sofa cushions covered in red textile to celebrate Chinese heritage. Similar themes continue into the second main dining room, where a red lacquer ceiling contrasts with the charcoal grey stone flooring. AB Concept explains how it hung a “majestic chandelier” to evoke the presence of Dan, the female role in Chinese opera.

A blue theme emerges in the bar area, which has blue timber flooring, blue upholstered booth seating and onyx tabletop and bar tables. Crystal screens were chosen to resemble a traditional Chinese six-panelled lacquered screen, while Chinese opera-inspired pendant lights are suspended behind the bar.

Lotus flagship, by Lotus in-house team

Lotus has opened its flagship store at 73 Piccadilly in the heart of Mayfair. It is the brand’s first digitally driven showroom, described as a “hyperspace” that signifies the car manufacturer’s “bold, electrified future”, according to Lotus.

Its location, close to the Royal Academy and opposite The Ritz, was chosen to underscore Lotus’ status as a luxury British brand. The 450m² space was conceived to embody the same style and design philosophy as its products and features monochrome finishes that are punctuated with accents of Lotus’ signature yellow.

Led by the in-house team at Lotus Tech Creative Centre, the digital concept space aims to facilitate gatherings and customer interaction. This means that visitors can engage with the brand and products before even opening the car door.

One of the main features is the Lotus Configuration Suite, allowing for the on-screen realisation of a customer’s vision for their car.

Boca Raton Resort, by Rockwell Group

Photo credit: Scott Frances

As the historic Boca Raton Resort celebrates its 100th anniversary, Rockwell Group has completed an interior redesign of the Tower’s guestrooms and suites as well as its public spaces, such as Palm Court lobby lounge, four restaurants for Major Food Group, and the Harborside Pool Club. The design concept draws back to Florida’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle with details that “embrace and uncover original architect Addison Mizner’s Mediterranean Revival ideals”, paying homage to the property’s origins, according to Rockwell Group.

The Japanese Bocce Club is designed with simplicity in mind through its neutral material palette and indigo blue accents. In true Japanese style, the space is screened with traditional noren panels and pale wood-wrapped columns that sit beneath a blue ceiling with clusters of paper lanterns in varying sizes and lengths. A dimensional wood block feature wall sits behind the combined liquor and sushi bar, which looks like a “carved monolithic curved sculpture with a smooth plaster finish”, says Rockwell Group.

Another of the hotel’s restaurants – Principessa Ristorane – resembles a northern Italian villa, with its rich jewel tones and timber beam ceiling, with dramatic crystal light fixtures. Rockwell Group restored original terrazzo flooring, sconces and mirrors in the space to reflect the lakeside views.

Built in 1969, the 27-story Tower is the tallest building in Boca Raton and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and South Florida coastline. Its new bright and spacious rooms and suites were designed with “casual luxury” in mind, achieved by incorporating linen fabrics and bleached wood accents, according to the studio.

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