4246 - How the country got stylish

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The Pop Store design team’s eclectic take on the rural idyll in the heart of Oxfordshire The address given for Sam Clapp and Brian MacShane’s south Oxfordshire home leads to a stout panelled door in the façade of a white-painted cottage, in a row where gardens are carefully tended and voile curtains neatly pleated. We check the address; this is not what we had expected. The pair are the creative force behind brand development and design agency Pop Store, known as a rebel in the retail market. Their company designed the wacky headquarters for energy drink company Red Bull, and took the temporary, pop-up shop phenomenon out of London and on the road to Birmingham, Leicester and all points north. So a picturesque 250-year-old cottage is not what one would have imagined they would call home. The only hint that something might be a little different is the irregular flashing of coloured lights through a window. As the door opens, the lights become brighter, and a large, arrow-shaped neon funfair sign with the word “Thrills” comes into view. It sits on top of a sizeable haberdasher’s cabinet. “It was bought in Hoxton and intended for the main bedroom, but was too big to go up the stairs,” says Clapp. Writer Vinny Lee - vinnylee@btinternet.com

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