Last Saturday I bundled myself out of the house early to catch the train into London for a breakfast event at the soon-to-be-opened Dean Street Cafe. I love weekend mornings in London, the streets are slowly waking up, deliveries are arriving, businesses are opening up for the day, yet there is still a relaxed weekend vibe, as both Londoners and visitors emerge to enjoy the city, explore different neighbourhoods and discover new things. That's my number one thing about London- there are always new things happening, no matter how long you live here, it's constantly changing, evolving.and surprising.
So, it was wonderful to get introduced to this new space in Soho by Tiffany and Annie of Function and Form. The two ladies host events focusing on the work of a designer, giving like minded folk - who usually connect virtually - the chance to get together 'in the real world' in a cool, 'instagramable' venue!
But Dean Street Cafe is more than just a cool venue. It is run by Centrepoint, a charity who provide accommodation and support to young homeless people. The cafe is actually housed in the very building where Centrepoint was founded in 1969, and the multifunctional space is not only opening to offer refreshment to Soho's weekend visitors, but to also provide training and qualifications to many of London's young homeless people.
Centrepoint enlisted the help of Nina+Co to design the flexible space, and we listened to Nina's story on Saturday, which was hugely inspiring. She described her creative journey from being an assistant in a design firm through to starting her own company, then gave us an insight into her day to day life (currently in Amsterdam) and achieving a good work/life balance. She finally explained the challenges involved in this particular project and how she overcame them.
With the space being used during the week for training, workshops and private events, the cafe element pretty much has to be 'packed away' so these wall panels are actually cupboards where the tables and chairs can be stored. The peg board feature also gives flexibility to how the wall itself is used.
Nina's design studio has a strong focus on sustainability, so this is a notable feature at Dean Street Cafe. The wood they've used is a fast growing wood, fabrics were locally sourced and upholstery done by The Hackney Draper, and she used eco paints, and much of the freestanding furniture is second hand.
You can see more images of the space on Nina's website and be sure to check out her ceramics range too (above), it is beautiful - she is a talented lady! Thanks again to Function and Form and everyone involved in this event. It was truly lovely to discover this little cafe, and I'm sure I'll be popping back soon!
*Dean Street Cafe opens to the public in September and will be open weekends only from 10am-6pm. It is just near the junction of Dean Street and Shaftesbury Avenue.*