Designer outlet: Melanie Maxwell reveals the secrets of BoConcept's contemporary style success

BoConcept designs and makes a range of contemporary Danish design furniture, accessories and lighting.

Melanie Maxwell
Melanie Maxwell

It was started in Denmark in 1952, but is well-established in Scotland with outlets in Edinburgh and Tillicoultry – and this week saw the opening of a new store in Ingram Street in Glasgow.

Melanie Maxwell, manager of the Glasgow store, says: “We’ve actually been in the city for many years, but this is now the perfect location.”

The new retail space is set over two floors and showcases designs for the living room, dining room, bedroom, home office and outdoor spaces.

BoConcept’s furniture can be customised to ensure items perfectly match a buyer’s vision

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As well as customers being able to purchase one-off pieces, the team offers a free design service.

Melanie says: “We can look at the space, offer mood boards with different textures, colours and designs and come up with a 3D concept.

“And it isn’t just about our furniture, we will advise on wallpaper, curtains, flooring – we don’t sell them but we can outsource to offer a full interior design package.”

As such, those who work in the store are highly trained interior designers. Melanie says: “BoConcept always looks forpeople with a design background. Most recruits come from Scottish art schools and that is key to building a team who have those skills, as it isn’t just about selling furniture.”

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The company’s designs fit into both period and contemporary homes

Melanie graduated fromHeriot-Watt University in textile design, where she specialised in prints, weaves and knits as well as visual arts, before starting her career in luxury furniture retail.

Of the BoConcept look she says: “Our products work beautifully in both modern and traditional homes. In the latter they really allow features such as intricate cornicing to shine, because of their clean lines and simplicity.

“We have a lot of customers in the traditional properties of the West End and in [newly developed] Park Quadrant, and the furniture works well in both types of home.

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“Each product can be adapted to taste – by choosing the fabric or leather finish, the type of wood, having a ceramic or lacquer finish, and there are lots of different sizes and configurations, so we shouldbe able to get a perfect item foreach space.

The company’s designs fit into both period and contemporary homes

“Every single piece is handcrafted for its purpose and not only is it beautiful and functional, but it will last.”

The furniture can be described as timelessly Scandinavian, with clean lines and curves, natural wood and muted tones but there are changes each year.

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Melanie explains: “Every May we go to Denmark to see the launch of the new collection – which is very cloak and dagger, no-one is allowed to see it beforehand.

“There’ll be new colours and shapes all very much on trend and then the new products hit the stores worldwide simultaneously in the autumn.”

Melanie says of the new Glasgow store: “There have been an awful lot of people waiting for the Ingram Street store to open.

“There is definitely a feeling of wanting to start the new year with a new look, whether that is a redesign or just updating your home.”