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Case Study: Le Bateau, Ashley Cross - Commercial Bar Interior Design

In the past year, Le Bateau welcomed back its original owners, who were keen to reclaim its identity after a short-lived stint as 'Dive Bar.' Eager to rejuvenate the spirit of Ashley Cross, Heather and Rich are set on delivering a distinctive experience. With its iconic beachy ambiance and quirky character, this local gem has been a go-to spot for laid-back drinks and spontaneous dance sessions. A chance encounter with Heather at a networking event led to a series of casual conversations, culminating in her invitation to work with them on their exciting new games room space. We couldn't be more thrilled to be part of this project.

Empty room thats being gutted for refurb project


Nestled above the existing bar, 'The Captains Room' introduces a fresh array of entertainment options, including darts, pool, private hire, and event hosting. During our initial visit to the site just before Christmas, the industrious contractors were already hard at work, demolishing walls and clearing the area. Recognising the urgency of the project, we swiftly conducted a survey and provided valuable input in space planning. Our focus was on optimising seating arrangements and ensuring a seamless flow to the lower level space, contributing to the efficient transformation of the venue.

3D model of floorplan for games room


The next crucial step involved crafting a concept that seamlessly integrated with the existing branding. We elevated its colour palette by deepening the bright orange to a beautiful spicy terracotta and introduced sophisticated shades of rich blues and warm wood tones. This strategic move aimed to create the desired ambiance of an exclusive members' club. Our primary focus was on optimising the functionality of this versatile space, steering clear of unnecessary chaos, and maintaining a cohesive design direction. This approach allowed us to successfully forge a distinct identity for the bar and streamline it’s transformation.


By colour drenching the space in a warm terracotta tone we were able to create an intimate atmosphere. This method of applying the tone to walls, woodwork, and ceilings not only imbued the area with a cozy ambiance but also offered practical advantages. Particularly useful in older buildings where walls may be uneven or interrupted by elements like boxing or level changes, this colour-drenching technique proved to be forgiving and just what the space needed.


We received an invitation to explore a property within the owners family, where we had the privilege of perusing their remarkable art collection—a treasure trove that would grace the walls of the new space we were curating. Evidently passionate about the ocean and well-travelled, the diverse selection of paintings and artifacts was impressive. Incorporating these pieces allowed us to infuse the space with personal touches and authentic character. The juxtaposition of safari animal paintings alongside local art and seascapes not only adds a unique charm but also transforms the room into a captivating haven of conversation starters.


Collection of artefacts and artwork on warm terracotta wall

Mindful not only of costs but also of environmental considerations, we conscientiously opted to repurpose and reuse existing furniture wherever feasible for this space, supplementing with thoughtfully sourced second-hand pieces. While this presented certain challenges, our eclectic design sensibility ensured a harmonious blend where nothing felt out of place. Although some items may undergo updates or replacements in the future, the current environment is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. A creative solution emerged as we proposed transforming a standard shaker-style home kitchen into a bar with storage. By modifying the unit depths and introducing glass storage above, we crafted a bespoke centrepiece that seamlessly integrates with the space. The skills of our contractors extended to the creation of a customised fitted banquette bench, optimizing seating capacity and anchoring the lower level area. Harmonising tan leather and sea blue tones tie together the furniture, fixtures, and equipment items, while brass light fittings, picture frames, and accessories elevate the overall ambiance, infusing a touch of luxury.


We eagerly anticipate the last elements click into position, particularly the addition of a striking wallpaper that promises to leave a lasting impression. With its doors now open, the venue has been gathering enthusiastic feedback. We can't wait to have the space professionally photographed but in the meantime if you happen to find yourself in the area, we invite you to drop by and experience the ambiance first hand or consider booking it for your upcoming events.

We've loved working on this commercial bar interior design and we're optimistic about the prospect of future collaborations with this client, given their extensive portfolio spanning serviced accommodations and HMOs. The success of this project has fuelled our enthusiasm for potential future ventures together.


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