Jamie Oliver flies the flag for British design

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Jamie Oliver’s latest restaurant venture – Union Jacks – has just opened its first branch in London. Although the restaurant has a strong British theme (the clue is in the name!), the design of the interior has managed to avoid any clichés whilst giving a strong nod towards home comforts and nostalgia but without a flag in sight.

The project took around nine months to complete and the design of the interior has been created by London-based design agency Blacksheep. The idea behind the Union Jack chain of restaurants is that each branch will have its own design but based on similar themes.

The building chosen for the restaurant in Holborn, central London, is awkwardly shaped as the main dining area surrounds a massive central column which restricts the space. On the plus side glass elevations provide lots of natural light and the projects designers have used this to full advantage by placing the restaurants open kitchen and trademark wood-fired ovens around the column.

Once of the biggest challenges for designers has been representing Jamie Oliver in the style of the restaurant interior. Jo Sampson, creative director of Blacksheep, said the key is cutting through the cliché to find the real Jamie: “When working with Jamie, as with all our clients, we try to capture ‘him’, not a pastiche of his character.”

Jamie Oliver is well known for this love of British design and culture

Jamie Oliver is well known for this love of British design and culture and one of the central themes of the new restaurant venture is his campaign to encourage the nation to eat better. This is reflected in the exposed kitchens which have been designed to allow diners to see the fresh, seasonal ingredients being used to create the dishes.

It would have been all too easy for the designers to fall back on using Union Jacks in the design but instead the theme of the interiors takes a nostalgic look back to the 70s and 80s. The top of the central column has been decorated with newspapers from these eras whilst the bar has a perforated metal motif with a stencilled design taken from a piece of vintage wallpaper.

Furniture and lighting includes vintage-inspired chairs and tables bearing an eye-catching red stripe. Different light sources include bespoke copper pendants through to classic Anglepoise lamps on the works areas.

Posted June 18, 2012

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