small bar design x glosswood

What: Bar
Where: 175 William St, Northbridge WA
Colour: Charcoal
Product: Designer Lining in Double profile
Design: Gabrielle Scott Design Studio

Perth based designer Gabrielle Scott has a way with materials. Just take a look at any of her hospitality projects and you’ll find that her playful choice of materials are what make the space great. Gabrielle revamped The William Street Bird, which is nestled at the bottom of William Street in Northbridge’s bustling nightlife district. Previously known as Young Love Mess Hall when it opened, the bar acts as a great place for nibbles and a drink. With a limited colour palette, the space is texturally rich with materiality, and incorporates our Designer Lining. We recently sat down with Gabrielle Scott to discuss the inspiration and ideas behind the beautifully renovated interior.

Design Aesthetic

It’s evident through Gabrielle’s projects that her design aesthetic is a fluid thing, influenced by both the site and client. “There are common themes across all projects – a surprising mix of materials, spatial planning that allows a variety of experiences for the user and local craftsman are always engaged for furniture manufacture and other speciality products,” she says. “I hope this combination affords my spaces a timeless, textured and a little left of centre aesthetic.” What is most memorable about her designs is exactly that – her designs are timeless. The interiors give a small nod to trends, but primarily are material-focused and reference the existing site. “The goal in designing The William Street Bird was to create a space that could cater for romance, raucousness, and a civilised dinner,” She says. “The client had a very clear vision for the venue, particularly in regards to textures and colours.” As a result, the bar celebrates texture through the use of different materials creating a cosy, layered interior. One detail that adds textural depth is the Glosswood lining boards used on the bar-front.


There was a very clear vision for the space, particularly in regards to textures and colours. “Weathered, cosy and layered were what we were striving towards,” Gabrielle says. Glosswood Designer Lining boards were used to create an eye-catching feature and a graphic element. It also assisted in breaking up the space from the circular elements. “All the curves in the space – the archway, the bar counter and shelving, the mirror, custom made stools – needed something linear so it didn’t get all Jetsons!” Gabrielle laughs. “And the expanse of the bar facade was the perfect application for it.” The Designer Lining profile definitely has somewhat of a mid-century influence – it feels contemporary, but nostalgic. The timber lining boards were also installed “off-set” for this application. Purposefully out of line, the off-setting of the timber aims to add visual interest. It also breaks the onlookers gaze on approach of the bar. “The builder looked confused when I asked for them offset,” Gabrielle chuckles, “But the outcome is just as I had intended. It was a simple idea, yet effective in creating textural depth.” (See similar project with off-setting here)

Colour Selection

The monochromatic palette of The William Street Bird is very dramatic. On entering the space, your eye is immediately drawn upwards to the greenery hung from the skylights. “And yes,” Gabrielle confirms, “The plants are real. They’re amazing!” The draped greenery really steals the show in this dark interior. “Greenery really led the design on this job. The skylights were designed to incorporate plants. The owner’s brother (a master green-thumb) rigged up the most intricate watering system within them. Sitting beneath them makes for a pretty special dining experience.” The interior has a soft-industrial feel with various dark shades complimenting each other. “We actually used 15 different blacks and greys throughout the space… When it doubt make it black!” Gabrielle laughs. And the Glosswood timber lining was no exception. Charcoal(the darkest colour in the Matte range) was chosen for the cladding on the bar-front. “My aim was to use a very limited palette and create interest with different textures,” Gabrielle says. “So I knew the bar front had to be black, like everything else!” Although the Charcoal was only only used in a small area, it effects the overall feel. The insert of natural timber seamlessly blends with the other elements of the interior, and assists in softening the space. 

Why Glosswood was chosen for this project

“I loved that the raw product allowed for easy customisation and that the weight of the products saved on labour time on-site” She says. “And I’m always excited to work with locals companies with innovative products.”

And we have to ask…

We couldn’t help but ask Gabrielle about the amazing feature wall. “I approached the team at Painted Earth, who I knew were the masters of speciality finishes. It’s risky attempting a wall like that,” She says. “You can find a million reference images for crumbling Sicilian walls. But to replicate a 1000 year old relic is a completely different thing. We chose 4 different shades of green and grey and over three full days the Painted Earth team layered them until we got the dream result.”


Photographer: Claire McFerran (Gathering Light)