The original brief was to create a white-wash modern luncheonette – part coffee shop, part restaurant. A decision was later made by the owners to rather opt for a dinner spot, which in turn shifted our vision for the space. To compliment the modern style of share-cuisine, Atelier Interiors wanted the design of the space to have an understated elegance. The colour palette inspiration came from Studio Twocan’s cement ceramic range – dusty pink (feature colour), charcoal (slate bar), white (floor and walls) and terra cotta (existing stone walls/copper tables). Accordingly they used stained glass, dirty pinks, lush velvets and an eclectic mix of custom and modernist furniture - within a white gallery setting - to create a French retro-chic feel. Cape Town-based artist, Kurt Pio, helped finish the space off beautifully with his modern bespoke artwork (available for purchase).
Almost all of the design elements are bespoke, designed by Atelier Interiors specifically for the restaurant, which always makes for an interesting project. Besides Kurt, they got to work with some really talented local designers, such as Conrad Van der Westhuizen who helped bring the vision for the lighting, copper tables and stained glass features to life. It's a trickier process, but much more rewarding. Furthermore we tried to use as many local suppliers and manufacturers as possible. The marble and timber tables are manufactured by Pederson and Lennard and the leather and steel barstools by Stokperd - both Cape Town based.
The stained glass was an integral part of this French-retro vision that they had. Again, AI wanted to move away from a traditional bar backing with lots of bottles. Feeling that the stained glass and metal (beaten copper and brass panels) would really add some understated glamour, and be in keeping with the style of cuisine the chefs were going for. Conrad built the structure - it was quite the process to get made, but they were very happy with the end result.
Another interesting feature is the bar front which AI clad in natural slate. Slate was chosen as AI felt the space needed something to ground the already sleek white shell. Natural slate slab sizes available locally were very limited, so AI used this to their advantage, playing with the pieces of stone in a puzzle like fashion. Instead of hiding the unusual grouting lines they therefore enhanced them with the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi – to repair with gold.