Time and space with: Paul Bishop

30th Jan 2019

Time and space with: Paul Bishop

Bishop Design by Paul Bishop has evolved with an edgier attitude, without ever sacrificing on the nonpareil quality of their projects which they have become renowned for over the last 15 years. They have a distinctive approach to design; the way in which they aren’t scared to unleash their edgy side. With a distaste for the conventional, they continue to push the boundaries of design, without ever compromising, which is the ultimate driving force behind their collection of over 70 international awards, inclusive of 3-time “Best Interior Design Boutique” by Commercial Interior Design, as well as “World’s Best Leisure Interior” for Roberto’s Ristorante in Abu Dhabi by International Property Awards, and leading industry magazines Design et al’s award “Best Global Restaurant” for Bazxar. Two-time “Interior Designer of the Year” winner in 2018/19, Paul Bishop remains the forefront of design for the studio. Earning himself a respectable reputation both within and outside of the industry, the Bishop name has become a force to be reckoned with throughout the Commercial, Hospitality and Retail sectors.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I have been working in Dubai for 23 years and I still get that same excitement I did back then of walking into the office in the morning and knowing that every day would be different. The challenges we face in our industry, whether design or site related, being an interior designer is not a standard 9-5 job – I get to be creative every day, work on a multitude of projects and be amongst amazing Clients with visions that are yet to be determined – it is utterly inspiring.

If you had a quote, proverb or a mantra printed on your shirt what would it say?

"Less is bore!"

Please tell us more about this project the "Little black door":

The Client brief required the Interior to be a ‘gateway’ of expectation to the service and product all the while expressing a quiet confidence. The Interior was to be a mix of classic and contemporary, an Italian Milano’s gentleman’s living room combined with a New York speakeasy. Nestled on the ground floor of the Conrad Hotel, comprising of 260 sqm, the venue is a refreshing departure from the city’s existing bevy of nightspots. The name Little Black Door, and the overall concept, was about wanting to create something understated and elegant and “Little Black Door” suited exactly what was wanted. Knock to enter, cross the threshold and you’re guaranteed a different experience.

What brands did you use in this project?



Studio Art

Carlucci Di Chivasso

How would you describe the look and feel of this project?:

The Interior is a mix of classic and contemporary, an Italian Milano’s gentleman’s living room combined with a New York speakeasy with the soul of Kate Moss as its muse. She walks into the place, lights a cigarette and enjoys the libations of a martini as she stares at the photography. It has a colour palette of sumptuous earth tones, rustic bronze and predominate metals that demonstrate a connection with black and white photography that adorn the walls, whilst the lighting is ornate yet with an urban touch. The Interior oozes a ‘provocative exclusivity’ whilst full of atmosphere offering a refreshing approach to the suggested “speakeasy”. We find the interior to be unique to the region, current and refreshing in its use of the specified Interior finishes and design styling. We consider the Interior aesthetics to be exciting and evocative whilst offering an eclectic intoxicating mix of comfort, intriguing surface textures and a diversifying use of materials urban and raw, yet elegantly sophisticated, all culminating in the creation of the venues ‘original style’.

What are some of the functional aspects and rational thinking behind decisions like the room layout, choice of storage, and type of furniture and lighting that were made from a practical standpoint?

The materials to be used were to be durable and cost-effective. Easy to maintain and/or touch up if necessary. They should evolve well with time and with the general expected wear and tear. It was a specific requirement that the materials in general especially tables should avoid being easily scratched, dented or marked. Similarly, the floor finishes should be such that the rigors of a busy night would not show any dirt or footprints and/or wear and tear.

Apart from the project featured above, have you been involved in any other exciting projects over the past few years?:

A recent favorite, and a particularly proud achievement, has been in the creation of the worlds best chef’s restaurant “Torno Subito.” Massimo Bottura desired to create something entirely nostalgic with his restaurant, reflective of his approach to food. Serving emotion as the main ingredient in every dish is mirrored through each element of the design. Even the name itself “Torno Subito,” reflective of signs hung in Italian shoemakers’ windows during lunchtime, perfectly captures the sentiments of the entire venues story. So far beyond just a restaurant, the walls tell a beautiful story inspired by Massimo’s memories, enabling guests to relive these experiences of Italian food markets and a 1960s beachside day on the Rimini coast. Ultimately La Dolce Vita, with its crazed colour bombs and beachside terrace, “Torno Subito” is an explosion of utterly beautiful reminiscence. To capture Massimo’s vision so eloquently, with the final design superseding his expectations, the project in its entirety has been a truly inspiring and amazing chapter of my own personal career and one I am so proud to have made reality. Making its debut in just a short week, the major hybrid of dining and entertainment, “Wavehouse” combines a restaurant, bar and outside terrace with retro gaming facilities and bowling alley in the creation of a truly unique leisure destination in the heart of Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah. Completely revolutionizing the dining offerings within Dubai, “Wavehouse” stands to exist as a never-seen-before fusion of dine, party, play with its punk rock inspired bowling facilities and soft play zone, without forgetting the GCC’s first ever flow rider. To spearhead the design direction for a project of this scale, a sheer pioneer in its own right, has been phenomenal.

What were you interested in when you were a child and how did that lead you down the path to where you are now?

My journey into the design world didn’t start with interiors. From a young age, I was always interested and passionate about art at school and when I made the decision in my teenage years to go to Brighton School of Art, I immersed myself in as many areas of design as possible; fashion, textiles, graphics, theater, furniture design & product design. (I had actually aspired to be a fashion designer in those days!) Interior Design didn’t really exist in my younger days – it was there and those who dabbled were making waves in the industry – however it wasn’t until I had found myself studying furniture and product design during my time at Kingston university was when I started recognizing that Interiors was where I wanted to end up.

What design softwares do you use?

Tracing paper, pencil and my scale ruler! These are the only tools establish a true connection to the design. Software should only be used to document our work, rather than create it.

What are your favorite places to source new products and suppliers?

I always have a finite selection of suppliers I love to use, dependent on the project. Yet it is always essential to stay ahead of the game, to constantly be mindful of brands that are yet to be discovered. I am inspired most when travelling, evolving products and ideas I come across upon my ventures and tuck them away until the right project reveals itself. Tireless hours are spent researching differing products, but ultimately my favorite process is experiencing diverse experiences and cultures.

What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?

The market is uncertain and undeniably unforgiving. Reputation is everything, with one mistake risking the entirety of our livelihoods. With a somewhat saturated industry, it is integral to build strong and lasting relationships with Clients through the creation of ultimately successful and unique venues.

Are there any particular tools, methods or approaches you use to help with this particular challenge and how does it help?:

We have a distinctive approach to design; the way in which we aren’t scared to unleash our edgy side. With a distaste for the conventional, we continue to push the boundaries of design, without ever compromising, which I believe to be an integral factor of why our clients approach us to create such unique projects, and keeps us ahead of the game.

Where can people find out more about what you, and how can the get in touch?

Website = www.wearebishopdesign.com

Facebook = Bishop Design LLC

Instagram = @bishopdesignme

Twitter = @BishopDesign_ME

General = info@wearebishopdesign.com

PR inquiries = selini@wearebishopdesign.com