STRAIGHT FROM THE DESIGNER: PAUL BISHOP ON HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF A SMALL SPACE


To maximize any space, it ultimately comes down to the spatiality applied in reference to the prescribed usage. Depending on that spaces requirements, both physically and operationally, this will then determine your ultimate approach.

Whether designing a restaurant, bar, hotel or office the main goal in mind is to always maximize an efficient use of space. Depending on the project or inherited venue, we may have to work with smaller spaces. This will determine how we ultimately apply differing elements and methods in order to ensure that both the Client, operator and the end user achieves the most out of their space, not only from its aesthetic properties but moreover from its functionality. 


The lighting within award-winning Little Black Door is essential in creating the evocative ambience whilst making the overall small space appear larger.

Ceiling installations will also draw one’s eye upwards. Therefore, extenuating both horizontal and vertical planes will automatically create the impression of a space appearing larger than it is in reality. In addition to this, dynamic and visually enticing lighting solutions create not only the desired atmosphere, holding a substantial contribution to the overall guest experience, yet also provide for an exciting yet effective method of making a space appear larger.


Gazing up at the ceiling detail in Caramel Restaurant and Lounge, The Royal Opera House, Muscat.

Reflective surfaces immerse the Clientele in a beautiful interactive space, engaging them in an enjoyable experience whilst providing the feel of a more open and spacious area as space and light are reflected around them.


The bespoke creation of the ceiling feature in recent World’s Best award winner at the 2017 International Property Awards Roberto’s, Abu Dhabi integrates lighting with reflective surfaces.

The creation of internal layering along with that of autonomous spatial scenarios combined into one homogenous venue can also achieve the illusion of space as this intrinsically draws the attention to a number of different areas and components. There are various ways you can achieve this depth in space by diversifying between differing material selections, furniture and colour pallets, contrasting different sections yet ultimately harmonizing together to achieve a captivating space.


Bazxar, winner at the INDEX 2016 & 2017 and Design et Al 2017 awards, is a culmination of a variety of dining experiences within one space that envisions a modern-day market hall incorporating elements such as retail, café/bakery, casual dining, bar/lounge, the “shop in shop”, rotisserie and incubator kitchen.

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