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trifle* adds a pop of colour to a former Victorian warehouse

Formerly a Victorian furniture warehouse in the heart of London’s Exmouth Market, Workspace Group’s Exmouth House was looking a little dated when they approached Trifle Creative to breathe new life into the space.

21/04/2021 3 min read

Project Team

  • Client

    Workspace Group

  • Designer


  • Flooring

    Khars, Object Carpet, Solus Ceramics, Forbo

  • Furniture

    Floorstory, Sancal, Icons of Denmark, Workstories, String, Nooma, Modus, Muuto, vintage

  • Surfaces

    Laver UK

  • Other suppliers

    Hand & Eye, DeltaLight, Mullan, Industville

Through what could easily have been mistaken for an entryway to a club rather than a creative hub and co-workspace, the building was accessed via a long, dark, neon-lit corridor leading to an empty and under-utilised courtyard. Interior design studio and consultancy trifle* was tasked with redesigning this approach to the building, as well as overhauling the ground floor welcome area.

The first job was to transform a cramped reception room and poorly-lit office into a warm and sophisticated space that could accommodate a welcoming area with kitchenette, meeting rooms, and informal collaborative touch down points, whilst maintaining an aesthetic in keeping with the main fabric of the building. Although a relatively modest project in terms of square footage at only 1102 sq ft, Trifle utilised a signature use of colour and texture to maximise impact whilst maintaining comfort and functionality throughout the space.

‘Ultimately, we wanted to create spaces that drew people in and encouraged them to stay,’ explains Trifle’s Emma Morley. ‘As with all our projects, we planned various types of spaces for different modes of working – and also relaxing – to facilitate both casual interactions and more focused collaboration.’

The aim for the outdoor space was to design something eye-catching and welcoming, where people would be happy to spend time throughout the day, and where they could sit and enjoy their lunch from a stall at the nearby market.

Adriana Jaros’ colourful mural welcomes visitors from the pavement and through to the building’s courtyard, where the main feature is the bespoke seating area with incorporated planters surrounding users with greenery – providing an immediate lift to the space. ‘We were also sure to improve the lighting to enhance the beautiful existing timber columns of the building and also complement the mural that now wraps around the space,’ says Emma.

Internally, clever space planning reconfigured the layout, and then colours and textures from nature’s palette were added to lighten and brighten.  Different areas such as an arched nook with banquette seating and a separate lounge area were created, to give people a choice between a collaborative meeting space or a more lounge-like setting for relaxing or informal catch ups. ‘The design didn’t actually need to change once Covid hit,’ adds Emma. ‘We were already designing to a brief where people could feel at home working away from home, in a hybrid manner.

Trifle utilised multiple wall finishes including painted ribbed panelling, stained wood, and oak panels that give a sense of depth and texture as you move through the space. Colour was used to help zone areas, with a bold yet harmonious palette.  The meeting rooms are shades of green with pops of earthy tones, terracotta, pinks and reds, with acoustic panels that could easily be mistaken for artwork. Furnishings are completely functional but also beautiful with a scheme which employs mainly modern pieces but also incorporates some vintage.  The coffee table in the lounge, for example, is a vintage trolley – a nod to the building’s history as a furniture warehouse.

Finally, all of the spaces were styled adding layers of accessories – what Emma and her team call ‘magic touches’ that elevate the space and make it feel complete.

trifle* has just completed the new MVF headquarters in Islington – watch this space!


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