No.12, the London-based interior design practice founded by Katie Earl and Emma Rayner, has just completed work on the interior architecture, interior design, styling and creative direction of The AllBright, London’s first female-only members’ club.
Arranged over five floors The AllBright is situated within a Georgian Townhouse on Rathbone Place, in the heart of Bloomsbury.
Bloomsbury was chosen as a location for the club due to its rich history, which in no small part was shaped by Virginia Woolf and the progressive Bloomsbury Set who resided there. No.12 used this legacy as the starting point for The AllBright’s design and each floor is named after a key member of the Bloomsbury Set, with quotes and further references incorporated discreetly throughout.
The space includes two flexible lounge areas, several meetings rooms, dining rooms, an exhibition space, café, cocktail bar and wellness, fitness and beauty rooms to cater for the varying needs of its members.
Asking themselves the question ‘What does a London woman want from her clubhouse, and what does she expect to see?’ No.12 looked to create an environment that would feel relaxed, comfortable, and like a home from home. Neatly avoiding the shabby chic aesthetic that so many other members’ clubs have adopted, The AllBright presents an impeccable series of rooms filled with a highly curated collection of fresh, contemporary design and elegant vintage pieces.
As promoting female businesses is the raison d’etre of the club, No.12 used female designers and businesses as much as possible, finding furniture and accessories from Béton Brut and Sigma, Rebecca Willer and flowers by Abigail Ahern. The AllBright also worked with David Bowie’s art curator, Beth Greenacre, on the artwork selection, which comprises pieces entirely by female artists. No.12 has designed a significant proportion of the furniture for the project and this is complemented by vintage pieces and items sourced from UK craftspeople.
Pink was felt to be too obvious and outdated a presumption of women’s tastes, so the designers deliberately avoided it, preferring to maintain a more timeless aesthetic with a colour palette that feels fresh and elegant without being overtly ‘feminine’. Mustard yellows meet deep blues and bright reds, while bold geometric prints sit alongside a rainbow of marble surfaces throughout the space.
Earl and Rayner approached the architectural detailing by grading the colour palette of the building from dark to light, which works particularly well in response to how the floors are used. The cocktail bar immerses members in a deep inky blue environment, while a warm white finish on the lower ground floor creates a calm and serene environment for the wellness and vanity areas.
No.12 has delivered a sophisticated and bold style that embraces design pieces for what they are and keeps the details simple yet always beautifully considered. The eclectic pieces within each room speak for themselves in terms of usability, design, form and material. The end result is a space that is both welcoming and comfortable with a cool and sophisticated edge.
Lopokova, on the lower ground floor, features a beauty bar, beauty rooms and a wellness centre offering treatments and fitness classes run by Elissa El Hadj, founder of London’s Form Studios. The facilities also include two showers and a locker area. Lopokova is a serene place in which to relax and revitalise. Inspired by Russian ballet dancer Lydia Lopokova it features tiled vanity areas with grey velvet chairs, mirrored walls, brass sconces and wallpaper by Kelly Wearstler.
In Morell, on the ground floor, members enter a bright welcoming reception area and lounge that leads into a multi-use 40-cover café offering an all-day dining menu as well as evening bar snacks by female-led business Social Pantry.
The café doubles as an exhibition space and has been designed to feel like an indoor/outdoor environment. A generous skylight allows natural light to flood the café by day and create a moody ambiance by night, while a selection of leafy green plants hanging from the skylight bring nature into the building.
All spaces throughout The AllBright can be adapted to suit the changing needs of its members. Bell, on the first floor, comprises a flexible lounge and seating area with meeting and dining rooms, all with a welcoming timeless and eclectic interior that reflects No.12’s approach to luxury residential design.
Bell features new and antique pieces and bespoke furnishings, including striking monochrome bespoke sofas created by No.12 specifically for the project.
A feeling of light and space prevails throughout Woolf on the second floor, which is home to a further lounge and seating area with private meeting and dining rooms all with custom furniture and a selection of new and found objects.
Throughout The AllBright, No.12 has retained the original floor and has refreshed existing features such as fireplaces to maintain the authenticity and integrity of the original building and its heritage.
West, on the third floor, at the top of the building, is a place where members can unwind at the prosecco and cocktail bar. The bar is decorated in a deep colour palette with rich gold and brass accents and marble-top tables with custom-upholstered perspex chairs.
The AllBright opened on 8th March to coincide with International Women’s Day.