Hollie Bowden channels the ambiance of a gentlemen’s club in a London office

London gentlemen’s clubs have reported on the rich palette of materials of dark-colored oak, aged leather and natural textiles in this London interior of Hollie Bowden’s office.


Spread over two floors of a magnificent Georgian town house in downtown Marylebone, the office features a subtle mix of textures, classic furniture design and custom furniture.

It features horsehair-covered cabinets, a leather and brass insert and a free-standing leather bar with a brass interior.

Above: Brushed gray marble was used to shape the floor and table in the lobby. Above: A horse-haired door hides the storage wall

British designer Bowden, who describes herself as a “minimal maximalist,” the client was asked to create a muted, quiet, and luxurious space to house her London headquarters.

Client, German real estate company Schönhaus, demanded that its London headquarters be extremely practical, providing meeting and meeting settings for employees, as well as a two-person office with entertainment space.

London office Hollie Bowden with matching desks and gold lamps
The two desks face each other in the main office space

The lobby, small meeting room, large meeting room and kitchen are located on the ground floor of 90 square meters, while the large open office space occupies the entire first floor of 81 square meters.

“We put a lot of emphasis on improving the functional side of the office with some special antiques and design classics – like the Gino Sarfatti 1082 lamp and the Jacques Adnet coat holder – but the backing was mostly open in terms of aesthetics and how we made the office practical,” Dezeen said.

A black desk with a gold lamp in the Mandeville Place office
On two tables stands a pair of Swedish modernist lamps from the 1930s

Historical details about the interior of the building and the original layout of the rooms have been removed over the years during successive renovations.

As a result, the ceilings were lower than a typical Georgian town house, providing space for refreshed machinery and electricity.

A gold chair in the London office of Hollie Bowden
Reflective metals like brass give the impression that you are in a gentlemen’s club

“He gave us maps for interior design,” Bowden told Dezeen.

“Since the original profiles and cornices were removed, we decided to describe the space in detail in a minimal language. Some key parts of the building could not be changed, namely the stairs, due to heritage restrictions.”

The range of materials – which includes dark-colored oak, opaque and reflective metals such as antique brass, aged leather and natural textiles – was informed by the aesthetics of London gentlemen’s clubs.

“The ambiance in these clubs is also pretty dimly lit, and the color palette is mostly muted by flashes of color,” Bowden said. “The treatment we gave this palette was minimal detail, which gave it freshness and contemporary sharpness.”

Meeting room with black chairs and large hanging lamp in Mandeville Place office
The chandelier in the meeting room resembles five juggling diablons in the air

For example, the format of the Hungarian colorful parquet on the first floor has been enlarged to be more modern, while the overall ambience of the first floor is inspired by the meager arrangements of the French modernist designer Jean Michel Frank.

Abrasive gray marble was used on the ground floor to create a mild sheen. “It’s lightly located in space, and because of its exceptional fine details, it seems comfortable and calm,” Bowden said.

Glass desk with black chairs and black-paneled walls in the Mandeville Place office
The interior is covered with colored oak paneling

“The ambiance of the space is quite masculine, so the introduction of lighter textures, such as sheer linen curtains and a soft taffeta wool rug, brought airiness to the rooms,” she continued.

“It was also important to reuse the elements of the palette in interesting ways and connect them all the time, like a pendant in the skin of a wrapped Apparatus in a meeting room on the ground floor.”

White armchair in a dark room with a stone table and fireplace in the London office of Hollie Bowden
Lighter elements like this white armchair balance the masculinity of the space

Lighting throughout the year was supposed to give each part a homey feel as opposed to bright, even light usually associated with commercial offices.

“Pendant lights in every space provided moments of sculptural lightness and release, as opposed to more solid volumes of furniture,” Bowden explained.

“We tend to always think of the relationship between objects in any space as an interaction of sculptural qualities, but lighting is an element that we need to provide the perfect foil for the dominant materials and volumes in space.”

Other moody workplace interiors featured at Dezeen include a family office in Amsterdam designed to resemble an art gallery and a shared workspace in Dublin with a dark, inky color palette.

It’s a photo Genevieve Lutkin.

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