Simon James' new store will turn you into a minimalist

by India Hendrikse / 13 September, 2017
Photography / Simon Wilson

Breathing space

Exhale. Simon James’ new concept store in Newmarket is a minimalist dreamscape.  

The new Simon James Concept Store on the corner of Newmarket’s Kent Street and Osborne Lane, with its massive windows and minimalist colour palette, is a sponge for light, every surface softened through the all-day sun. A collaborative effort between Cheshire Architects and interior designer Rufus Knight has given the character building a quiet glory that’s perfect for showcasing the store’s understated ranges of homeware, fashion, design, jewellery and skincare. “We love the location and we really liked the character of the building,” says Simon James. Post-renovation, the result is a comforting minimalism that is made to challenge conventional retail formats, James says. “We’re all about giving each product a little bit of room to breathe, so I guess it was creating an environment that would allow that.”

James says they had to play around a bit to find the perfect white for the walls. The pick is a soft white-grey that emanates duck egg blue tones. “It’s one of those colours where in different lights, at different times of the day, there’s different undertones coming through,” says James.

The olive green armchairs were designed by James with the store in mind. “I thought it would be perfect for the store,” he says of the design, “so we pushed it through [production] a little quicker.” Between them sits the solid oak Offset stool, also by James. On the other side of the room is a long, mustard ottoman (not pictured) made specifically for the new store.

The brushed stainless steel shelving adds a robustness to the otherwise delicate interior.

Brushed marble sits in the centre of the room, doubling as storage and a counter, and feeling like a kitchen island in someone’s home.

Oak floorboards were imported from Europe and were a starting point for the room, introducing the palette. “We worked up from there,” says James.

2 Kent St, Osborne Lane, Newmarket

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