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Tea Time

04.08.22

Renowned for offering one of the finest tea selections in the world. Harrods has launched a stunning tea room in Shanghai, curated by the expert team at Harrods Interior Design. By Julia Millen

The inspiration for the design behind Harrods Tea Rooms, Shanghai came from the building itself– Cha House, a beautiful 1920s villa that mixes Western styles, reinterpreted through the local lens of Chinese craftsmen and architects. Art Deco style, which has a rich heritage in Shanghai, was also referenced in the design, typical of the same period of the building and reinterpreted with a contemporary stamp.

When building the design story and concept of the project, The Harrods Interior Design team also wanted to celebrate the city of Shanghai and their heritage as a British brand that began as a tea merchant. Woven through each element of the design process for Harrods Tea Rooms, Shanghai is tea; the origin of tea and its ritual. Custom designs of tea leaves and the plants they are harvested from, appear in details from bespoke Murano lights to the back-lit panels. A selection of antique English Tea caddies were curated by Harrods Interior Design to be showcased at Harrods Tea Rooms that display the history of the tradition of the English Afternoon Tea, which even includes an Art Deco silver creation with the hallmark of the Harrods CEO from 1937. Boasting a beautiful floral design of Magnolias, the symbol of Shanghai, a large bespoke rug was designed and made in South-East China.

The refined colour palette, finishes and style are a nod to Cha House and encapsulate its history; using red tones in the upholstery, the dark wood of the furniture, the Art Deco brass details, as well as the mocha marble in the cabinetry. The team drew inspiration from the stone floors and their distinctive burgundy red, beige and seaweed green geometric tiles for the colour palette and picked out dark tones from the carved timber stairs, doors and window joinery. The aged brass adds opulence and is reminiscent of the Art Deco period Harrods Interior Design applied throughout the project.

Ultimately, the design is a celebration and fusion of Chinese and European craftsmanship with Harrods Interior Design having achieved a seamless balance between the two, perfectly portraying Harrods heritage in its Cha House location.

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