Our 29 Charlotte Road Location

London. The epicentre of cool. The birthplace of the underground, the magazine, the scotch egg. But how do you translate all these things into a space? How do you design for a city you’re more or less familiar with? We spoke to Location Design Manager Amy Johnson and designers Sophie Fidler and Kyle Goforth about how they tackled our newest Breather spaces.

What was the design process like this time around?

Amy: We had an idea of what we thought London would look likeand then, when we explored certain vendors, like Crowdy House, our idea shifted. We ended up completely scrapping our first idea.

Describe the final London look.

Amy: Tongue-in-cheek.

The lounge area at 25 Lexington, Second Floor.

What was one thing you enjoyed the most about designing the spaces?

Kyle: The access to beautiful furniture and design is quite amazing. It’s much more accessible than it is here in North America
Sophie: Pieces from HAY, for example, were really easy to find and affordable.
Amy: The architecture. Because of the architecture there’s much less decoration to be done.
Sophie: I agree with Amy. Minimalism can be tough, but the architecture is so incredible that you don’t need much to achieve a
great look.

Give me an example.

Sophie: In many of the spaces you have windows in two directions. So windows at the back of the room and windows at the front of the room. There’s so much great light!
Kyle: Overall these spaces feel lighter, airier and are less designed more curated.
Amy: These are definitely the most curated, least designed spaces we’ve created.

The lounge in 25 Lexington, third floor.

Was designing these spaces outside of your comfort zone?

Amy: Designing for the spaces was outside of our Breather comfort zone but inside all of our own personal design comfort zones.

How was the installation process?

Sophie: The first spaces we opened are in gorgeous, old buildings so there’s no elevator, just stairs. Sometimes, when you walk into a space, you’re worried because it doesn’t look as good as you expected, and you’re hoping the furniture and pieces will bring it together. But there was no fear of that happening here because all of the spaces are just so beautiful. There are fireplaces in multiple locations–like what?!
Amy: We have a space opening soon with herringbone wood floors—that kind of craftsmanship just doesn’t exist here. Or if it does, it’s hidden under years of linoleum.

Books from Claire De Rouen Books at 29 Charlotte Road.

Any design challenges?

Amy: One of the things we learnt is that there are no 8 x 10 rugs in the UK. They just do not exist.

Anything in particular that helped in your design process?

Sophie: Thinking in a British accent.

Conference table at 29 Charlotte in Shoreditch.

We take design seriously—see for yourself.