We met the restaurant owner at a Shopportunity event organised by The Decorators, as part of Waltham Forest Council's Creating A Better Place urban regeneration initiative.
The restaurant wanted a fresh look, and the young owner came to us with some great ideas. It was our intention to show an unseen side of Chinese culture, of architecture and design – a more provincial feel, and most importantly, a respectful use of the colour red.
The design uses paired back materials, looking to nature for inspiration. We specified natural aggregates for a poured concrete floor, reminding the owner of his childhood in China; marmarino polished plaster was the red finish of the new bar, itself styled on ancient Chinese architecture.
Finishing touches were added by sourcing furniture, lighting and artwork which gave the sense of the unknown China. We sourced artwork focusing on street photography; Hans J Wegner bentwood dining chairs inspired by Han Dynasty were the perfect specification, and a full theatrical lighting scheme to create the ambiance.
Part of the refurbishment included the redesign of the shopfront, and working with The Decorators a design was produced which incorporated the clients own script.