Dishoom in Birmingham, once known as the ‘city of a thousand trades’, is inspired by South Bombay’s marketplaces and the faded elegance of private residences. The design takes guests back to the early 1900s, where emphasis was placed on buying local and making do by repurposing existing materials, this was all with a nod to ‘Jugaad’, the Hindi word meaning frugal innovation. A research trip to Bombay led us to historic bazaars and its oldest shops, which still sell everything from padlocks to paper. For the glass panels and cabinetry, we back-painted advertisements and idiosyncratic messages, which are often found in the Irani cafés.The walls are lined with shelved glazed cabinets to evoke the eccentric and overflowing shops of historic bazaars. The design also references the grand architecture and panelled interiors of old dilapidated private homes, once belonging to the likes of David Sassoon and local businessman Premchand Roychand. Materials were kept simple, true to the ‘make do and mend’ ideal, using stained timber, painted finishes, and materials with a natural patina. Hard to find opalescent ceiling sconces enhance the transportive nature of Birmingham’s design.

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