Timothy Oulton
House & Home

Timothy Oulton

Retail as you’ve never experienced before

In September 2018, Timothy Oulton opened its worldwide flagship at Bluebird on London’s King’s Road. It quickly challenged retail’s norms by being far more than a regular store, with a yellow submarine in an enormous fish tank, a giant glowing rock crystal, a spaceship and other extraordinary things for customers to experience. ‘People often wonder if they’ve walked into a bar or club,’ says Timothy Oulton.

 

‘Hospitality is massively important to us and we offer our customers a glass of champagne or tea in a vintage china cup with a little Union Flag napkin – we want them to feel like guests in our home. We always aim to create a space which really touches and inspires people because, increasingly, people want memorable, meaningful experiences and connection – it’s something we’ve always believed very strongly in and will continue to focus on.’

Timothy Oulton blends a passion for time-honoured craftsmanship with a fearless quest for innovation, going by the mantra, ‘Be relevant or be dead’

Timothy Oulton

That belief has stood Timothy Oulton in good stead. Since opening his first store in LA in 2008, he now has 40 galleries, from London to New York, Sydney, New Delhi, Mexico and Hong Kong. ‘We’re very proud of our British heritage but we have a global outlook,’ he says. ‘Our ethos is rooted in the idea that beautiful interiors support the creation of hosted and social experiences, and that’s something which resonates with people whether they’re in Britain, America or Asia.’

 

The Timothy Oulton story began in 1976, when his father opened an antique shop near Manchester, where Oulton later worked in the ’80s upon leaving school. ‘It’s where I fell in love with the classic British craftsmanship ethos that pervaded the late 19th and early-20th century, when things were built to last; built for Empire,’ says Oulton. ‘There was a golden age when British artisans had access to beautiful materials from all over the world and the stuff the British made had this sense of permanence and purpose. That’s what we try to embody in our own designs, creating them to last generations, not just a season.’

Yet Timothy Oulton blends a passion for time- honoured craftsmanship with a fearless quest for innovation, going by the mantra, ‘Be relevant or be dead’. In 2018 the brand launched its Noble Souls collection, a modular sofa range, and this year has been working on its latest Apollo space lounge, showcasing Apollo No. 5 at the Architectural Digest Design Show in Mumbai.

The original Apollo isdisplayed at the Bluebird Gallery and the brand is currently working on No. 6. ‘We’re also always looking to expand into new territories and to collaborate with like-minded brands, people who value authentic creativity and who are prepared to invest significant time and effort to create something special,’ says Oulton.

Meanwhile, Timothy Oulton will continue to host regular events, from meditation evenings to live music and art exhibitions, at its Bluebird flagship. ‘I don’t know anywhere else in London where you can sit in a spaceship and drink champagne,’ says Oulton. ‘A lady came into the store recently and said she loves visiting us because it’s her “happy place”. Ultimately that’s what it’s all about – we want to inspire people.’

Timothy Oulton
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