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, we wanted the design of the space to have an understated elegance. Our 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/copper tables). Accordingly we used with 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 us finish the space off beautifully with his modern bespoke artwork (available for purchase).
Most of the design elements were designed by us specifically for the restaurant, which always makes for an interesting project. Besides Kurt, we got to work with some really talented local designers, such as Conrad Van der Westhuizen who helped us bring our 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. Kim van Vuuren encapsulates the design essence beautifully with her CI design.
The stained glass was an integral part of this French-retro vision that we had. Again, we wanted to move away from your traditional bar backing with lots of bottles. We felt 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 for us – it was quite the process to get made, but we were very happy with the end result.
Another interesting feature is the bar front which we decided to clad in natural slate. We went with slate as we felt we needed something to ground the already sleek white shell. We also wanted it to be roughly hewn rather than the more ultra modern, sleek finish you get from engineered stone. Unfortunately the natural slate slab sizes we could find locally were very limited. Rather than giving up we decided to use this to our advantage, playing with the pieces of stone in a puzzle like fashion.
Rather than trying to hide the unusual grouting lines we enhanced them with the Japanese art of Kintsukuroi – to repair with gold.
Atelier Interiors, is an interior based design and décor company established in June 2014 by Adri van Zyl. We’re a young, professional, socially conscious studio – which embraces new trends and bold design ideas whilst always paying homage to classical principals. At Atelier we see design as that delicate fusion between functionality and play and base our success solely on our ability to make our clients comfortable in beautiful spaces.