Inspired by design


Paul and Ellen Bishop, of Bishop Design Associates, raise the roof with the launch of their boutique showroom in Al Barsha, Dubai

UAE: Husband and wife team, Paul and Ellen Bishop, of Bishop Design Associates, has partnered with local suppliers to launch a showcase of design at its offices in The Pinnacle Building, Al Barsha, Dubai.

The showroom is not open to the public and is strictly by appointment only and the products are exclusively sold to clients the firm has designed for.

“We wanted our clients to get inspired by design and to be able to ‘touch and feel’ our creations, not only on a material board but in real life,” said Ellen Bishop.

“It is often difficult for customers to visualise your design even with the help of state-of-the-art visuals, material and furniture boards. Secondly, Paul and I realised the suppliers we deal with do not get enough exposure and the chance to display their products well enough.

Often they invest money in showrooms, which the end user rarely visits. Therefore, we sat down with a selected few after we had signed 5,000 square feet and simply said: ‘Would you be interested in displaying your products with us and we will display them in ways you might not have thought of before, incorporate them in our showroom design and it would give our clients a great opportunity to see and appreciate your products/finishes/quality first hand’.”

The duo put a business plan together for the designed show space in 2008/2009 but had to put it on hold during the recession. They decided to revisit the idea six months ago and had an event to celebrate the launch recently.

“The business idea is quite simple but unique and built on a concept, which to my knowledge, has not been done before in this region,” added Bishop.

“We were extremely pleased by the result as 10 out of 12 suppliers agreed on coming onboard with us and, of course, it was important to them to be able to have some say in what products we selected.”

The Bishops said over the years, they have managed to identify gaps in products offered in the Middle East. As a result, the pair travelled worldwide for two to three months sourcing and setting up business deals with different suppliers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, the UK and Scandinavia to offer clients products they might not have seen before and would like to have in their projects.

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