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Trebah Garden

Enhancing eye-catching architecture with clever lighting and elegant simplicity. Working at lightening speed to refit and reopen in just three weeks. Maximising space, capacity, business impact…and cake sales. Trebah first came to us wanting MARK Product – but quickly realised Hart Miller Design could deliver their overall interior vision, too.

Increasing capacity and the sense of space

Trebah’s café sits within a striking architectural space, with large windows overlooking the world-famous gardens. Creating an interior that would complement this context, not get lost or feel too busy was key. But so was meeting the business goals of increasing capacity at peak times, improving food presentation and customer flow, and removing bottlenecks. We also highlighted the opportunity to make the café a more integral part of the visitor experience to lengthen stays (and enhance spend).

Inside outside

Our approach was to achieve a well thought simplicity in the interior that would allow the impressive architecture and famous gardens to shine. So we looked at the indoor and outdoor as a whole – taking the palette of materials and furniture specification through from inside to out as one. Lighting design would also play a big role in uncluttering the architecture and lifting the customers’ experience of the space as a whole.

As a charitable trust we negotiated the interests of board members, the desires of the management team with optimising the possibilities that would address function, aesthetic and budget.

Simple, crafted, intuitive

Combining simplicity in the design scheme with zoned areas to guide the customer through different areas of the café, we balanced function with the stylistic possibilities of the space. We specified a collection of quality, hand-crafted furniture alongside an ambient lighting design scheme to help the structure breathe, and created a striking focal point – the giant 9m timber lighting installation. This illuminates an appetising food offer, and complements a calm, tactile environment that appeals to young and old.

Immediate impact

Executed with near-military precision, the project was completed on schedule and Trebah enjoyed a 15% uplift in sales in the new café’s first season. “We’re so happy with the way the café looks now, it’s great,” says Jonathan Bray, Marketing & Business Development Manager. “We’ve got bigger tables and more covers, but it looks airier and more spacious than before. The extra covers have really impacted the number of people we can deal with in that really tight lunchtime period, and our cake sales are also up 20% thanks to their improved display.”

“I couldn’t recommend Hart Miller Design highly enough. Anna immediately understood what we wanted – and then came back with ideas that were better. She dealt with multiple stakeholders and suppliers really well, and it all went very smoothly.” – Jonathan Bray, Marketing & Business Development Manager, Trebah Garden