A Peaceful Paint Atelier Sets Up Shop in Bath

Atelier Ellis transformed a four-story townhouse into a tranquil domestic setting where customers can envision how the brand’s 90-shade roster of handmade paints can bathe the walls of their own home.

“I’ve always believed in the power and pleasure of sitting quietly, deeply,” Cassandra Ellis, the founder of English paint purveyor Atelier Ellis, tells Surface. “We’ve stopped giving time and real thought to how we want to live and what we want to live with.” That explains why Ellis moved her five-year-old brand into a tranquil townhouse on Bath’s artisan-friendly Walcot Street, where customers envision how the atelier’s 90-shade roster of breathable, handmade paints can bathe the walls of their own home. “I want them to feel at the center,” Ellis says, “that we’re gently wrapping them and encouraging them to take their freedom.”

That journey begins on the ground floor, where guests enter a storefront displaying the full Atelier Ellis palette. Artisans mix paints on request in two adjoining spaces, whose walls will be reimagined with each solstice. Other rooms across four floors are reserved as studios and workshops where Ellis will host one-to-one color consultations. Throughout, artisan furniture intermingles with quiet, one-of-a-kind objects that afford people space to “stop and think about the importance of home.” They include antique Noren curtains, ancient Tansu cabinets, gilded Italian desks, and an abundance of fresh flowers foraged from the countryside.

The atmosphere is both worldly and deeply domestic, a balance Ellis attains in her palette and the townhouse’s seasonal exhibitions celebrating craft in all forms. Kicking things off are peaceful photographs by New Zealand’s Jessica MacCormick that celebrate the process of flowering; they join a showcase of 50 one-of-a-kind drinking mugs by Sheffield makers Pottery West. Nine new shades Ellis conceived as a poetic tribute to the rhythms of Bath lend a cocooning ambience. “People need space, shadows, art, and inspiration to find out how they’d like to live,” Ellis says. “Colors help them tell that story.”

Photography by Ellen Christina Hancock and Kalina Krawczyk.

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