The bank job: Transformation of a London pub

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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This popular suburban pub in London, as you've probably realised from the name, used to be a bank. Leading interior design company Simple Simon have run with this theme, cashing in on the rich commercial history of the property and investing in fine quality fittings and furniture for an upmarket look that incorporates both vintage and industrial styles. The result speaks for itself: it's both fun and sophisticated, embracing retro décor in the form of chequered floors and fifties leather couches.

The space exhibits the creativity of the Bristol-based designers, who have managed to achieve a vibrant and independent feel with this wonderful commercial project; just take a look for yourself at how they've transformed this disused building into an inspiring social hub.

Street-facing exterior

You certainly couldn't walk past this pub without doing a double take and feeling a pinch of curiosity to discover what lies behind the glossy black doors. The quirky collection of international banknotes that decorate the front panels are a clear clue as to the original purpose of this building. The contrast of the colour with the otherwise rather formal looking façade hints that the pub doesn't take itself too seriously: there is a playful humour at work in the design that suits the hip and trendy borough it serves. 

Bar

The design of this bar is clearly inspired by the public houses of times gone by, touching on different eras for an overall eclectic look. The chequered floor and low hanging spherical lights recall milk parlours of 1950s America, whereas the well stocked shelves, crammed with various bottles and concoctions, have a hint of Victorian Apothecary about them. The merging of vintage and retro styles has transformed this bar into a truly interesting and unique place to kick back with friends and enjoy an after-work tipple or a cold beer (or two) at the weekend. 

Seating area

These suave looking sofas are the perfect seating option for the cosiest corner of the pub. Inviting and stylish, the couches are tucked away in a private area for intimate personal or businesses lunches and casual drinks with friends and family. The perfect spot to chill out and catch-up, completely undisturbed. The wooden panelling  is typical in older pubs, and the use of it here lends a homely and authentic feel to this contemporary establishment. 

Creative displays

What an assortment! A mix of bottles and knick-knacks adorn the shelves to create a characterful impression. If there was any doubt about the vintage theme before, there certainly isn't now: we love the old school typewriters that take pride of place alongside the Jamesons and Bombay Sapphire bottles.  Creativity and imagination are key to to achieving the very particular and unique look of this bar, and the whole design pays homage to the very best trends from every era. 

Dining area

For a more formal meal, this dining area is practical while still demonstrating unwavering attention to detail. The different shades of worn, shabby blue, spread over different sections of the chairs, manages to create a connection between the furniture without compromising the eclectic aesthetic. 

The rich green colour of the back wall, combined with the shade of duck egg blue, is a nod to the elegant and traditional colours of English country interiors. 

Old school inspiration

Exposed brickwork is an easy way to give the interiors an edgy, rugged look which is currently extremely popular in both commercial and private properties alike. Teamed with rustic decorations, such as this simplistic bronze light fixture, the space is filled with a 'rough round the edges' charm that makes for an accessible and relatable space where you can fully relax and enjoy good company, good food, and refreshing drinks.

Original features

The windows are the crowning glory of this bank-turned-pub. The arched shape and impressive height are typical of Victorian commercial builds, suggesting that they are an original feature of the property. The windows are complimented nicely by the moulding along the edge of the ceiling, and the stylish modern take on the gas lamp, which brings a moody presence into the room. All in all, the exterior wall is yet another feature that contributes to the impressive look, as well as flooding it with valuable natural light to illuminate every corner of this wonderfully quirky pub.

To see more properties that have been lovingly restored and transformed, check out this stunning an 11th century Manor in Wiltshire, and this Edwardian terrace renovation in the capital. 

Would you pop into to this pub for a closer look? Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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