Yesterday we introduced you to Ashley Hicks, today it’s Owl Design
Owl Design in London specialise in hospitality and residential interiors and succeed due to their close-knit nature and their bespoke approach to each project. The group, started by Simon Gordon and Sophie van Winden in 2012 identify humour as a principle feature, allowing eccentric fun to shine through and build up a positive rapport with each client. While their boutique nature creates positive energy, Owl Design have worked on some high-profile projects and showcased at prestigious events such as Grand Designs Live 2014 and Clerkenwell Design Week 2016. Within this piece, we’d like to take a closer look at The Toyshop, a London restaurant which benefitted from the group’s unique eye and unique approach.
The Toyshop’s name tells you a huge amount about this very popular bar. It seeks to be different, to stand out and have an interior which instantly becomes a talking point for every person through the door. The bar/restaurant tasked Owl Design with creating a space to match the fun brand, visitors to the company’s website are met with vibrant neon light and an explosion of colour. It was up to the interiors group to design a space containing an adult fun fair theme.
To achieve their brief, Owl Design installed several panels which were three dimensional – busting out of the wall, giving the fun house effect and several low-hanging pendent lights with coloured cord to spotlight individual areas while leaving other parts a little darker. During the day, the large open front brings in ample light to not make the venue feel oppressively gloomy.
The seating layout together with the warm lighting is used to encourage a good time to be had. Groups, however large, can feel quite intimate under the focused lighting and the booths allow comfort for smaller amounts of people.
On the wall behind the bar, visitors will find black and white checkerboard tiling behind the wonderful drinks bottles. This simple design stands out among the bright, luxurious colouring of the
vibrant interior. But the enjoyable design doesn’t stop in the bar area, instead it continues through to the toilets, with barbie dolls displayed like hunting trophies and urinals which are bright blue, yellow, and red.
About this project, Owl Design say, “it is certainly not a shy and retiring design”.
For more information about the design company, their projects and process, visit their website: