Boundary Space have just completed the new flagship showroom for George Spencer Designs fabric house in Chelsea Harbour Design Centre East. This project posed an interesting challenge: re-purposing a room in a converted office block – the recently expanded extension to Chelsea Harbour Design Centre – and transforming it into a relaxed retail space with a homely, domestic feel.
The space retains features in keeping with its previous function, characterised by high honeycomb ceilings and metal floor tiles. Boundary Space retained these industrial features, keeping them exposed and working them into the scheme. These industrial elements contrast with the soft furnishings and fabrics, showcasing the latter to great effect. We introduced a curved rail of full-length hanging around the perimeter of the showroom to create a ‘wall’ of fabric display, and to soften the cavernous space, giving a more domestic and cosy feel.
One of our main challenges was breaking up and delineating the large open space, creating a cosy retail area which would not intimidate customers. This was achieved by introducing walk-in structures for fabric hanging, to give shape to the showroom layout and to create intimate spaces where customers can comfortably browse fabrics at leisure. These, combined with carefully chosen pieces of mid-century furniture, were used to map out the showroom floor and influence a client’s journey through the space.
By using structures reminiscent of those normally found outside we aimed to disrupt the conventional, slightly up-tight, showroom atmosphere and introduce an element of playful eccentricity in keeping with the GSD brand. This reversal indicates a rejection of conformity and marks this out as a showroom of a different kind. We set out to achieve a smart, but laid back, studio atmosphere where customers can browse freely or sit-down in a relaxed environment. We believe this comes across successfully in the finished space, and that the fabrics and rugs ‘pop’ effectively against the more utilitarian industrial backdrop.