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Project of the Month – May 2021

Tap & Cork, Horwich.

Trade Decorator has been speaking with Jonny Walsh of Nailed it Creative Design and Spray Sense Decorators about their recently completed project at the Tap & Cork in Horwich.

Jonny was originally involved in the fit-out of the Tap & Cork five years previously. Now, you may think it a little strange that it would be renovated so soon, but the bar had originally been done on a shoe-string budget and was all done in pallet wood. The whole bar area was very plain and hadn’t been stained and the original layout was very limiting. The pub had a capacity of approximately 15 people. There was only one toilet shared by men and women and the space needed for the fridges limited the use of the room. The layout simply didn’t work!

Roll on 5 years and the bar has now been purchased by new owners who wanted to create something unique and brought in Nailed It Creative Design to carry out the design & build and sister company Spray Sense Decorators to do the re-decoration. This time Jonny was given more creative freedom from the layout to the design elements and had a real vision of what he wanted to create. His idea was to create a Northern Quarter, Manchester bar in his local town. On speaking with Jonny, it’s obvious that this was a personal project for him, and I could feel a real sense of pride, passion and love for what he’s achieved at the Tap & Cork. He wanted to create a wow factor when people walk in, with something different to look at on every wall. Something people would talk about and where he could really leave his mark for years to come.

Jonny said he’s, “really enjoyed the reaction of the local town and it has meant a lot to have his son Marley working by his side, as it was Marley’s first major project”.

So where did Jonny start?

Well, there is virtually nothing left of the old bar. The building was totally gutted. Everything except for two walls was ripped back to bare brick and rebuilt, enabling them to breathe new life into the tired space. The back area of the bar was derelict and had to be built from the ground up and the bar was previously only on the ground level. Jonny built a staircase leading up to the second floor to extend the bar to 2 floors. The bar downstairs has been shortened and beer barrels have been added at the end of the bar and around the room. With the addition of the second floor and the creativity of the new layout, the bar now has a capacity of 50 people.

There are so many interesting design elements that your eyes are drawn to. Jonny has been teaching his son Marley how to colour blend and he has created a stunning wall out of art, that adds a real eye-catching feature to the room.

Nailed It Creative Design specialises in industrial polished concrete and have created concrete feature walls where the concrete is sprayed on the wall and then the design sculpted into it. The bar tops are made of concrete and the bar is faced with burnt plywood and varnished with Morells lacquer to create a stunning visual effect.

Jonny’s creativity doesn’t end there, the beer barrel theme is carried through to the toilets where they have been used to make toilets and sinks in the Gents. The ladies have a 140-year-old reclaimed mill beam from Manchester and Jonny made the sinks, worktops and table-tops, again from concrete. All these items started out as a bag of cement and Jonny created the finished articles.

When creating the upstairs space, two chimney breasts were uncovered to reveal an archway and this feature was used to create an illusion by using scaffolding boards to create the effect of a castle gate. This gives the impression that there is something else beyond the gate. The upper floor is aptly named the loft as the ceiling has been removed to create a vaulted ceiling and a feeling of space.

In one of the concrete feature walls, a stencil was used to add the Tap & Cork logo and liquid metal from StuccoItaliano was poured on top and then buffed to a shiny finish.

Spray booths were used to spray all the furniture in Morrells water-based lacquer to 7016 Anthracite grey.  The beer barrels, the beams and the gates, were all sanded back using Mirka Dustless sanding systems and finished in Blackfriars oil-based varnish, to give a beautiful hardwearing finish and Crown Clean Extreme paint was used on all of the painted surfaces to provide a durable finish to the high traffic areas.  

Jonny said, “it was a real pleasure to work for the owners who gave him the creative freedom to express himself. His ideas were approved 90% of the time”

Whilst he worked on the bar five years ago he said, “I now feel this is my refurb, not someone else’s”

The owners are absolutely over the moon with the finished project, as they couldn’t have achieved it without Jonny!

Jonny started decorating at the age of 15, working for Mike Wyatt in Farnworth, Bolton and completing his GCSEs whilst working. He worked as a decorator for 21 years doing everything from spraying and shopfitting to now working on his own.

Then 3 years ago with only £300 in his pocket, he walked out of his job to set up his own business from his garage. This is when Nailed It Creative Design was born. Jonny has always had a passion for design, and he wanted the freedom to express his creativity. He never enjoyed working for someone else and likes finding out how things work, which is how he discovered how to make things from concrete and started to specialise in this area. After a recent expansion, he now has a workshop, spray booth and showroom and the company specialise in industrial polished concrete, micro cement and liquid metals creating bespoke furniture, media walls and fire surrounds that are sure to spark a conversation.

Jonny now runs 4 successful businesses, which just goes to show that you can achieve anything you want in life. You just have to want it enough and be willing to do what it takes to make it happen!

For more information on Nailed It Creative Design or Spray Sense Decorators visit the websites below:

https://www.naileditcreativedesign.co.uk/

https://www.spray-sense.com/

WHERE TO FIND THEM

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