Aesop Brighton

The new Aesop store in Brighton is a lesson in seaside bliss

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

The trend for wellness in interior design is growing. The bolstering effect of a wisely chosen colour can be as soul-feeding as being outside in the open air. Imagine a yellow front door intended to energise and uplift, or a chalky deep purple in a hallway, the painterly equivalent of a warm and welcoming hug… Colour is key to luring buyers and going green is one of the most enticing tips when it comes to inducing calm.

Transporting the serenity of the seaside to home decor, minus any nautical tropes, luxury plant-based Australian skin and haircare brand Aesop has gone head-to-toe verdigris for the palette of its new Brighton store. In the North Laine quarter, it’s the first for the coastal resort and one of only a few UK boutiques outside London. Conjuring up wistful memories of childhood holidays and a simpler life, the blue-green interior echoes the oxidised railings of the city’s seashore with its idyllic Victoriana, backdropped by cloudy skies and an opaque sea.

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As with each of the distinctive global Aesop concept stores – often created in collaboration with outside designers, but here delivered by the in-house team – the decor is simple. In one room, a scrubbed farmhouse table has rush seating placed around it, while in another area, porcelain sinks for product sampling add to the domestic scene. Elsewhere, the space is kept empty, save for vintage botanical prints or artfully stacked decorative bookshelves.

At a time when maximalism is dominating many design stories, Aesop makes an eternal case for the beauty of minimal design. Inherently chic, this blissful interior proves that decorating simply is something to aspire to – as is having a display of Aesop products adorning your bathroom shelf!
aesop.com

Aesop Brighton 104-105 Gloucester Road, Brighton, UK

Claus Porto Takes Manhattan

New Yorkers can snap up a little Portuguese style with the arrival of Claus Porto’s first standalone store outside Portugal. Olá Manhattan!

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

Portuguese label Claus Porto is famed for its exquisitely packaged soaps and, more recently, its revamped ‘Agua de Colonia' fragrance collection (right) created in collaboration with leading British perfumer Lyn Harris. However, until now, the company has been very much under the radar – a secret Lisbon and Porto gem for beauty and graphics enthusiasts alike. This is about to change.

RIGHT: British perfumer Lyn Harris has been instrumental in the brand’s revamp, These five new fragrances are based on a modern interpretation of colognes. ‘Agua de Colonia’ collection, £85 each for 125ml

Claus Porto has just opened a store on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s Nolita, the beauty and fragrance label’s first retail space beyond their Portuguese home. Conceived by New York firm Tacklebox Architecture, under the direction of Jeremy Barbour, the scheme is eye-catching in every sense. 

Milled from Portuguese cork, 1,500 faceted white diamond tiles line the walls of the vaulted interior, incorporating carved display niches. A 42-foot-long archway has also been inserted into the ground floor of this early 1800s building. Both pay homage to Portuguese architecture and craftsmanship, with the arch and tiles referencing Porto’s Sao Bento train station, which was first proposed in 1887 – the same year that Claus Porto was founded.

BELOW: The 1,500 faceted diamond tiles were milled from Portuguese cork – a material characteristic to the country – and reference the decorative azulejo tiled façade of the historic Casa dos Bicos in Lisbon

The arch serves as a dramatic portal to welcome visitors into the beautifully patterned and scented world of Claus Porto. It’s an otherwise minimal space, with a monolithic marble wash basin at its heart, celebrating bathing rituals. Yes, the interior is cool and futuristic – but the product remains king. What can we say but obrigado!
clausporto.com

Claus Porto, 230 Elizabeth Street, New York, NY 10012. See Claus Porto’s website for details of their Portuguese stores in Lisbon and Porto.

Goop London Pop-Up

Goop brings its Californian-inspired beauty, fashion and homewares collection to the UK with its debut London pop-up store, a blend of British craftsmanship and West Coast chill

BY CLAIRE BINGHAM

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop has opened in its first UK pop-up store – in London’s Westbourne Grove – and we’re already feeling enriched.

Combining retail therapy with their open-minded and holistic approach to wellbeing as a lifestyle, it is far from wacky and a brilliant new destination for anyone interested in Californian-vibe beauty and style.

Expect a chic, curated collection of Goop’s own-line products, including luxurious, high-performance skincare drawing on organic ingredients, Italian-made limited edition clothing, and pretty plates and glassware by brands such as Mud Australia, Nude Glass and CB2. The understated homewares range features tempting cushions, throws, tableware and kitchen kit.

You’ll also fall for the light-filled, nature-inspired surrounds created by London-based interior designer Fran Hickman. Her vision for the store references the Zen-influenced monochrome paintings of Yves Klein and early physic gardens devoted to the study of restorative plants. Fran worked with local design talents to bring the space to life – Nikki Tibbles of Wild at Heart for planting, Pinch for furniture and beauty displays, Nest Design for the electric-blue curtains in the dressing area, and Vitsoe for its iconic shelving systems. Architectural salvage firm Retrouvius supplied a vintage museum cabinet.

ABOVE: The entrance to Goop’s London pop-up shop is filled with plant displays by Nikki Tibbles.
ABOVE RIGHT: Goop’s own-line detoxifying salt bath soak G.Tox. £30 for 680gm

ABOVE: A deep blue colour scheme channels the ocean on the basement fashion floor; industrial chipboard delivers an inexpensive yet effective display system in the homewares section, flanked by sunny gold paint; Pinch’s smart red ‘Joyce’ cabinet and ‘Clyde’ side table with stripped floorboards and tile details; the ‘Imo’ bench by Pinch in a restful foliage- and light-filled space at the front of the store

Goop celebrates its 10-year anniversary with this London outpost – slated to stay open until 27 January 2019 – setting the stage for further international boutiques. Goop fans in search of their simple yet elegant contemporary pieces can also shop online.
goop.com

Goop, 188 Westbourne Grove, London W11