Oliver Hooson’s picks for cozy atmosphere: “I draw the most inspiration from the cafes and retail spaces”

Photographer, designer, content creator, and running enthusiast Oliver Hooson relaxes and gets inspired by sipping a cup of great coffee in his favorite coffee shops in London. Design Stories caught up with Oliver to find out what he's been up to lately and what his top design picks are. Read on!

Oliver Hooson
In his Instagram account, Oliver shares inspiring content about interior design, fashion, and active lifestyle – including cycling and running.

Hi Oliver! Could you tell us a little about yourself and the path that led you to where you are today?
“I was living in Chester and working in retail as a women’s jewelry designer. An opportunity came up with ASOS so I moved to London with two of my best friends, putting it all on red. To be honest, it was a bit of a jolly initially, but I knew I liked taking photos and it stuck! That’s what led me to what I’m doing at the moment.

Lately, I've been buzzing about opening a physical space with the run club I co-founded, YRFC (Your Friendly Runners Club). It’s not been without its issues but will be exciting to see it finally open. I’ve recently become a bit of a planner for the Club, planning more away days for our community which is really fun. So that’s life at the minute.”

Running is clearly close to your heart – please tell us more about it!
“Yeah, so the running club, Your Friendly Runners Club, we’ve been running together for about four years. I got interested in running about five years ago. Since then life seems to have clicked into place. They always say you should find healthy hobbies and that’s mine. It makes sense and makes life dead nice, especially when you have a community like ours.”

Coffee is a dear passion for Oliver. The wooden AML Stool is by FRAMA and the Curva magazine holder by AYTM.

Where and how do you live? What is the atmosphere you aim to create in your home?
“I live in Lower Clapton in London and have done so for a little while now. The atmosphere I aim to create at home is clean, cozy, and full of light, with everything in it feeling minimal but also vibrant enough to keep me stimulated. Even though my house is quite full of the things I’ve collected over the years – and it's a small spot – I really value everything in it, thinking about how everything fits in the space. My favorite place at home is the coffee station. It's the spot where I relax and unwind and get into a ritual that makes me really happy.

“Over the past few years, the aesthetic has become much less sterile and vibrancy has come in, which has influenced how my space has evolved at home – otherwise I'd get bored.”

In terms of inspiration, it's definitely the cafes and retail spaces I’ve visited over the past decade – usually Scandi and Japanese-inspired spaces. I hate using terms like ‘japandi’ which is a very overused term. But, that kind of explains the type of spots you tend to get in Scandinavia, for example, if you look at Copenhagen, it’s all light, bright, and beautiful.

And of course, the Japanese style relates to the coffee, with the really stripped-back concrete and wood-focused style, super clean aesthetics. Over the past few years, the aesthetic has become much less sterile and vibrancy has come in, which has influenced how my space has evolved at home – otherwise, I'd get bored.”

Column table lamp on a bookshelf
The Column portable lamp by MENU creates a cozy ambiance on Oliver's bookshelf.

How would you define the concept of good design? What are your favorite design finds or brands?
“The concept of good design for me, is what I imagine a lot of people would say, is something that stands the test of time, that doesn’t look out of place alongside things that are made today. So basically modular things that fit together and look quite modern. My favorite brands would be Flos, USM, and Vitsoe.”

Oliver Hooson’s design picks from Finnish Design Shop:

MENU Plinth table, Calacatta Viola marble

Plinth tables by MENU

“The MENU marble Plinths created in collaboration with Norm Architects are my absolute favorites, as they feel like they could be anywhere, from a coffee shop to an art gallery or elevating the space at home. They also look like they may not be furniture, and for me, they really transform a room – I feel like they’d last a lifetime! So I’d love to see them in my home.”

Plinth table by MENU >
All tables >

Flos Snoopy table lamp

Snoopy table lamp by Flos

Snoopy lamp by Flos is made up of loads of timeless elements like the marble base, but it’s also got this beautiful domed top, with a colored plate. Which for me, is a nice amalgamation of classic and contemporary – something my partner Suyra also loves so I’d give that to her because you can never have enough lamps.

Also, the Viscontea pendant by Achille & Pier Giacomo Castiglioni is something I’ve seen loads of times over the years in some of my favorite galleries and restaurants. It’s grand but also quite provocative, everytime you look at it, you’re like what the hell is that made of, and definitely want to touch it! Somehow, this timeless piece of design makes me want to interact with it. Flos as a brand is very diverse in the styles they push out and the designers they work with – I think they’re an amazing brand and this would be perfect for any home I’d move into.”

Snoopy table lamp by Flos >
All lighting >

Georg Jensen Bernadotte cutlery set, 16 pcs

Cutlery by Georg Jensen

“My mum worked with items by Georg Jensen in a jewelry store. She made a habit of collecting them when we were younger and I think that formed my love for any objects, that are chrome or stainless steel. I’d buy her the Georg Jensen cutlery, I know she’s never forked out for it herself. I think that’d be something she’d love. They're the best-looking things I’ve ever seen and look like they’re from out of space!”

Bernadotte cutlery set by Georg Jensen >
All tableware >

Artek Aalto stool 60, Kontrasti

Aalto stool 60 by Artek

“Last but not least the Aalto stool 60, because I use it in every situation, it lives in every single room, it gets used every single day, and has stood the test of time, unlike other replicas out there. It’s amazing, I'd buy it over and over again!”

Aalto stool 60 by Artek >
All stools >

Oliver’s TOP3 of streaming:

  • SONG – Peter Broderick: Eyes Closed and Traveling

  • SERIES – The Sopranos

  • FILM – Falling Down

See also:

Oliver Hooson on Instagram >
What's new at Finnish Design Shop >

Text: Sarianna Määttänen Images: Oliver Hooson, manufacturers

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