We’re thrilled to show the results of our recent project to refurbish The Park Pub & Kitchen in Bedford. The Park is a busy neighbourhood pub, and part of the Little Gems Country Dining group.
Although continuing to trade strongly in both the bar and restaurant sectors, The Park was in need of both an interior and external refresh. The original fit-out had been a good one, with quality fixtures and fittings, a practical and well though-through layout and the operator had been diligent with repairs and upkeep to the premises. As a result, we focused on the interior, as the design now needed an update in order to continue to attract a wide range of customers.
We worked to create a fresh look that would appeal to regulars and existing customers, while also targeting a newer crowd with a contemporary, on-trend style, ensuring that The Park remains a destination venue in Bedford for both eating and drinking.
Dating from the 1900s, the building has several different areas inside, allowing the bar and restaurant to trade with their own character and ambience. The bar area is popular but was small, restricting capacity at busy times, while the adjacent conservatory was an underused space with tired décor and lacking character.
Beginning with the bar, we retained the existing high leather booths, but added striking new artwork. New lighting was essential, and we love the handmade ceramic pendant lights which now hang over the booths. These lights were sourced from Lyngard, an up-and-coming team based in Stoke-on-Trent who base their designs on the traditional pottery heritage of the Staffordshire town.
Rather than replacing all of the furniture, we specified the reupholstering and revival of existing pieces in bright floral and geometric prints to give a new lease of life alongside some selected new pieces produced to our specification.
Fabrics were a key part of the new design. We layered a mix of geometric-weave fabrics with floral patterns printed onto velvet – a juxtaposition of soft wistful imagery with hard graphic print is difficult to balance but we think it’s been successful here and has received very positive feedback from customers. We used a mix of textures throughout the property, including luxurious velvets in key areas. These included new ranges from Style Library, Linwood fabrics and Divine Savages.
Meanwhile, in the conservatory we installed bold print wallpaper, new blinds and a soft seating. A new timber and metal raft was installed over a feature table, with artificial planting suspended and woven through the raft. New rattan pendant lighting creates warmth and draws customers in to what was previously an underused area. We also incorporated some key feature items such as a trunk which is used as a coffee table, and a quirky table with a pineapple base. The conservatory is now used not only as a bar overspill space but has become a hugely popular area where many choose to sit.
After sanding and staining the existing timber floors, we fitted new pattered tiles to the WC walls, before the project was completed with redecoration of the external areas and the installation of new signage, which combine to give much improved kerb appeal.
This was a really rewarding project to work on and we think it’s a great example of what can be achieved with a relatively modest budget when some creative thinking is applied. The feedback from our client and from their customers has been fantastic – including several requests from customers hoping to source fabrics and furniture that we have included, praise indeed!