With a carefully curated selection of menswear, womenswear and lifestyle products from across the globe, ODE has cemented its place in the Brighton Lanes – creating a welcoming and laid-back store. Stocking brands such as Story MFG, LF Markey, Portuguese Flannel, Ganni and Saturdays NYC they are at the forefront of fashion.

Owner-curators Marc and Ella approached Ardour Design in early 2018 to help with a new shop interior design, allowing for possible future expansion. From early on we were able to establish a clear and direct style using mood boarding and close communication with their team. One of the biggest challenges was creating more rail space in a store that was long and narrow. ODE constantly updates its ranges, expanding the brands they stock.

After the initial mood boards, we divided the project up in to key areas – a new till/service area, increased rail space, mannequin design and an increase in merchandising space afforded by creating new structures and furniture. By bringing together our experience in natural and sustainable materials we then created a material mood board and discussed potential options for each of the key areas.

The first decision was to move the till slightly further forward, to allow the team to welcome customers coming in to browse, and also giving a much larger service area to enable wrapping and serving. We wanted to create an impact in this area, so we suggested using Foresso – a sustainable equivalent to terrazzo – for the top of the till area.

We then suggested a large bamboo frame which would be woven together using natural fibres and deliver an interactive space to allow ODE to be able to merchandise feature and display new pieces, simultaneously creating an increase in rail space. By adding this structure in the middle of the shop, a change in ceiling height provided the chance to break up the customer journey and give a feeling of going through a tunnel into the next section of the new store.

The main challenge to overcome was creating a bespoke steel railing system to be installed flush into the ceiling to give a seamless transition into the skeleton of the building itself. For this, we specially sourced sizes and dimensions for the materials that would increase the store’s rail space by as much as 30% – and we were onsite during the installation of these to ensure a smooth finish.

Photos by the fantastic Sam Luck

Design is a tool to enhance our humanity. It’s a frame for life.
Ilse Crawford

We designed unique pieces of furniture using rattan and white washed birch ply, focusing on sustainable materials and a natural feel. A large new piece of bespoke furniture was designed and built to go under the men’s section at the front of the store which gave ODE the ability to curate and display outfits and up-sell certain items.

With any left over sheet birch ply, we designed and created two simple and elegant mannequins using the weight of the wood to hold down the uprights of the steel tube. A simple threaded hook was added in at the end and a further birch ply circle added to hide the rod and allow the hanger to hang and ODE to display their curated outfits.

It was really such an honour to have worked with the guys at ODE on this project.

The whole project was designed and managed by us. We worked with a new supplier on a lot of the project, and with one of our fantastic builders who never fails to amaze us with his ‘can do’ attitude. Builderman Brighton was onsite to install all of the steel railings and help out with general building work. Working with someone like Builderman really helps us to appreciate the kind of people we have built up as contacts in this industry, ensuring our projects come in on time and on budget.

The final outcome was a beautiful store that overcame all of the client’s issues that they initially approached us with. With a focus on sustainable and natural materials the final scheme came together with the Foresso topped bespoke till area being the centre of a sensational project.