Re-design of a local fitness centre

SW14 Women Fitness, formally part of the Curves fitness franchise network, had just taken its “independence” and rebranded itself. While the fitness had created a new logo on its outside windows, the gym cruelly lacked personality, warmth and uniqueness to compete with surrounding gyms and attract customers. Belle & Cosy was tasked with the challenging re-design of the gym in a weekend and on a very low budget!

The concept of this fitness centre is that it is exclusively open to women, of all ages, and offers a 30 minutes workout on a circuit which combines strength work on machines and cardio. It is a very friendly and inclusive gym, where numerous friendships are made. Members almost feel part of a family and at home when they come to the gym.

A certain amount of issues had to be addressed in this new project:
– overall, the gym looked out of date and wasn’t attracting a younger audience
– the circulation into the gym and the changing rooms were not easy and clear
– the stretching areas/mattresses were in the footpath space
– the welcome desk area lacked storage and the existing furniture was not very modern
– the room painted in white, with light grey pillars, looked a bit clinical and impersonal
– the gym lacked tidy storage space for its members and equipment
– the lighting was made of neons in some areas

The uniqueness and family spirit of this gym did not at all come through.

Pictures of the gym before


The concept and project

After a session to identify with the owner what made this gym unique and different, we pulled together a proposal, suggesting to bring warmth, femininity and a homely feel to the gym in order to reflect its positioning. The idea was to turn the gym into a boutique gym… We also worked on all the marketing strategy and tools (leaflets, eNewsletter, social media, directories referencing) to help raise awareness of the gym with the owner.

To achieve that look, we added a deep and rich blue colour (recalling the slightly different blue of the new logo) to some of the walls, to delimit visual the circulation from the front door to the changing rooms. Painting the bottom half of the walls in blue also allowed to protect them from marks and visually extend the main workout space.


Spaces to sit and chat, as all women and members enjoy doing, were created with plenty of seats and chairs, including a café table and chairs that could also be brought outside on sunny days.


The place was given an edgy feel through the introduction of black paint to the doors and some of the skirtings. In the changing rooms, we displayed on the wall a vintage screen of Marilyn Monroe to create further accent and make a statement.


On the end of the workout area, we created a feature wall with irregular black polka dot stickers. The addition of a natural woven fibre pendant light, rugs, cushions, some baskets and plants brought the room to life and introduced that homy feel to the room we wanted to get across.


As the budget was very low, all furniture and decors were sourced at Ikea, and we suggested upcycling some of the existing furniture. Many friends helped painting the gym, helping with containing the overall budget for this transformation to £3,000. All achieved in two and a half days (the gym couldn’t stay closed longer)!

It was a real satisfaction to see members blown away as they walked back into the gym on Monday. Hearing them express what they felt in the following words  – “warm”, “edgy”, “feminine”, “boutique-style” or “homely” – just confirmed that we had perfectly brought to life the concept. A week after launch, the owner had already signed up 5 new members! Mission accomplished!!

Interior Design Services budget: £1500; Furnishing & materials budget: £1,500