Interior Design | Retail Design | Commercial Interiors Edinburgh
Interior Design | Retail Design | Commercial Interiors Edinburgh


The design process, concept development, and teamwork that went into creating a unique and immersive cafe and retail space devoted to board games and role-playing games in Edinburgh’s burgeoning Leith area are examined in this case study.

The success and happiness of a former client, Argonaut Books, who suggested Skela Studio to his friend and collaborator, led to the start of the project. The owner of Ancient Robot Games sought me to help with a design for his new company because he was familiar with my work. This gave us the chance to investigate the fusion of art, participation in the community, and the client’s love of gaming in greater depth. 

Concept Development:

Creating a dynamic atmosphere that perfectly integrated the worlds of geometry and board games was the inspiration for the initial concept for the café and retail space. The design intended to transport users to many gaming worlds and arouse feelings of adventure, excitement, and nostalgia. The idea was to captivate and engage the gaming community by adding geometric designs, vivid colours, and interactive components.

Architectural drawing: Elevation of the retail space at Ancient Robot Games
Elevation of the retail space at Ancient Robot Games

Design Process:

To fully grasp the client’s vision, needs, and preferences, extensive talks and meetings with them preceded the design process. Collaboration during brainstorming sessions enabled the investigation of concepts that complemented the client’s love of gaming and the distinctive character of Leith.

The inside design was carefully built to offer separate sections for various gaming experiences in order to implement the concept efficiently. A central gaming area with specially constructed gaming tables, a nice reading nook for RPG fans, and a separate retail space for board games and related goods were all included in this. To guarantee the greatest level of comfort and functionality, much consideration was paid to lighting, acoustics, and furniture placement.

Collaborations with Client and Local Artists:

With the client, we had a very active and cooperative connection. Two months were a relatively short amount of time to complete the design and open the business, so making rapid decisions and thinking quickly was necessary. The design was improved and checked to make sure it matched their expectations through several meetings and feedback sessions. The client’s excitement and suggestions had a significant impact on the result.

An important component of the endeavour was involving the nearby arts scene. Leith’s own personality and the spirit of gaming were expressed in immersive murals and artwork made by local artists. This cooperation promoted a sense of community pride and ownership while also enhancing the space’s aesthetic attractiveness.

The creative team swiftly included neighbourhood gamers and enthusiasts in the creation process because they understood the value of community involvement.  This inclusive strategy gave the neighborhood a sense of ownership and contributed to the project’s overall success.

Work in progress for the game shop based in Leith, Edinburgh
Work in progress. Mural by Ross Macrae, counter and display unit design by Skela Studio

Results and Impact:

Engaging the Community:

The café and shop space specialising in board and role-playing games quickly became well-known among gamers in Leith. The board game shop’s distinctive design elements, expressive artwork, and well-curated stock drew in customers of all stripes, from casual gamers to ardent fans. The location offered a friendly environment where people could mingle, try out new things to do, and take part in friendly competitions.

The collaboration with local artists provided them with a platform to promote their names and gain reputation in addition to showing their talent. The accomplishment of the initiative proved the value of these alliances in fostering neighbourhood pride and boosting the creative culture.

Photo of Aleksandra and the shop owner of Ancient Robot Games
No Filters 🙂 With the owner of Ancient Robot Games


The café and retail facility in Leith, Edinburgh, that caters to board and role-playing games is a remarkable illustration of how client vision, collaboration with local artists, and community involvement can be integrated to great success. Geometric patterns, board game inspiration, and a focus on the client’s excitement were successfully incorporated into the design to produce a vibrant and captivating environment for gamers. This case study serves as inspiration for future projects that aim to integrate art, community, and individual interests to produce unique and engaging settings.

Are you an owner of a small business, a shop, or a café seeking to create an enticing and distinctive environment for your clients in Edinburgh? To discuss your project and learn how we can turn your location into an engaging destination that will leave a lasting impact on your customers, get in touch with Skela Studio right now.