Sticking with simplicity was the ultimate aim of Juliette Mehaye, the design mastermind behind concept store and cafe The 240. “I wanted to create a space that can be adapted,” she says. “Somewhere we can recreate the ambience depending on the occasion.”
With white and black walls, given life by a few feature graphics, setting off delicately tiled floors, the lofty space is given its character by the colourful collection of stylish contents on display, plus the small touches Mehaye has added. “I’m quite classic,” she says. “I also didn’t want to choose a lot of colour in the design because it would look too messy with all of the products in the shop.”
Formerly a hotel and restaurant, The 240 opened in June after renovation work that saw the adjoining wall knocked through to create a cafe and eating area to one side and a store stocked full of a collection of high-end brands hand-picked by Mehaye from across the globe. “The idea is that we sell brands you cannot buy in Cambodia. The products come and go; they are all ephemeral. They are for people who want to have home accessories or things they simply cannot find here. We want to offer something new,” she says.
With the stock constantly changing, the minimalist design of the store means she can call on her creativity to keep the store’s look fresh. Selling everything from luxury men’s soaps by Le Baigneur and elegant leather bags and wallets by French Ateliers Auguste to dolls by Pigmée, scarves by Thai artist Ochar Nakorn and Tendance Khmère’s stunning range of cushions, pillows and soft furnishings. Colourful art adorns The 240’s walls, retro chairs and lamps lurk in corners and scented candles add a subtle aroma to the air.
As well as bringing luxury brands to Cambodia, Mehaye uses the design skills she honed with an interior design company in Morocco three years ago to work on The 240 Home collection. Here, she creates carefully crafted, bespoke lights, furniture, furnishings and linen tailored to suit individual tastes.
With health coming first on the menu, which includes seafood and lychee salad, salmon wraps and health juices, the dining eating space oozes an eco-ambience, with grass growing out of wooden tables, neat rows of potted plants covering an outside wall and white hanging seats perched at the entrance. A Prosecco bar serves up bubbles and organic wines.
83 Street 240, Phnom Penh.
Words by Marissa Carruthers
Photography by Charles Fox