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Studio Found transforms Kensington venue with an eclectic townhouse design

Percy’s cocktail bar and lounge

The recently opened cocktail bar and lounge, Percy’s, underneath the five star Royal Garden Hotel on Kensington High Street has been transformed by London design studio, Studio Found. 

The venue, managed and owned by Incipio Group, also known for Pergola and Lost in Brixton, offers a fun, engaging yet sophisticated day-to-night destination for drinking, dining and dancing.

Studio Found was commissioned to create a design concept that would appeal to  guests looking for a stripped back, no fluff, no front, fun night out while also making better use of the space, formerly known as Bloom. 

Based on this brief, Studio Found created a fictional character, Mr Percy, a bohemian, well-travelled young man about town, who likes to host parties at his eccentric uncle’s townhouse.  This narrative provided Studio Found with a design concept to create a welcoming and homely townhouse style venue, where customers would feel like they too were Mr Percy’s guests.

Studio Found, inspired by relaxed and homely bars and venues in London and around the world, brought its own take on this concept by using comfortable furniture, carefully selected materials, an eclectic palette, feature lighting, curated props and artwork to create the right ambiance within the modest budget.  Delivered in an understated way, the townhouse design approach has helped to bring the space to life as a welcoming all-round entertainment destination. 

The dark space provided significant challenges to the Studio Found team including layout and circulation issues as well as the lack of daylight and architectural features.   These  were addressed through a highly layered design approach helping to bring depth, character and personality to the venue.

The Studio Found design team started by applying decorative mouldings and textured wallpaper to some of the walls and the ceiling to give the basic architectural elements some interest and help zone the space. They then introduced pattern and texture through the furniture by selecting a mix of styles and choosing bold fabrics. The lighting fixtures throughout provided another layer with the artwork, props and handwritten signage adding the final details. 

“We wanted to give the space more personality so it felt like a premium, sought-after but also relaxed destination, whether customers were coming for a drink and lunch, a late night party or a date,” said Ed Plumb, Design Director, Studio Found. “We loosely took the townhouse theme and built our own design concept around it without going overboard.  Our layering approach really helped to evoke this atmosphere while making cost effective changes for maximum effect.” 

Every area of the space was given an upgrade by Studio Found and its collaborators.  From the moment customers step through the front door, panelling, tiled flooring and mixture of quirky objects and artwork in the lobby helps to give a sense of a lived-in, bohemian house which then continues through into the main bar, snug, dining, dancing and toilet areas. 

Within the main bar area, Studio Found removed half of the existing bar to open out and improve the flow of the space and to create more room for seating as well as a more relaxed snug area with sofas and poufs.   

Maximising light was also a priority, so Studio Found broke up the ceiling with inset details and designed a bespoke light feature using off-the-shelf components.  There are also table lamps creating more intimate lighting and beautiful Art Deco pendants providing a warm glow above the classically designed bar.   

A feature wall along one side of the venue showcases artwork and props from 1930’s mid-century inspired pieces to interesting portraits to tie in with the theme.  Studio Found sourced and managed the procurement and installation of all the artwork and props to ensure the effect was delivered within the budget and the timescale of the client. To add character to the bar area Studio Found sourced a number of antique cabinets which were used to create the back bar displays, including a designated whiskey cabinet.  Main contractor Fileturn helped by modifying these units and added concealed lighting within. 

Beyond the bar and snug areas, an existing nightclub space was also given a brand overlay by Studio Found for Casamigos, a premium tequila brand. This is their first permanent brand space in London.The toilets were also revamped and pared back in line with the overall concept.

“Our goal was to create a ‘home from home’ style venue which worked through the day and into late night, we knew it needed an extremely detailed process and Studio Found delivered to the highest quality,” said Rory Graham, Head of Creative Development, Incipio.  “We are blown away by their creative approach and look forward to working with them in the future.”

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