FEEDING OUR IMAGINATIONS: SYDNEY'S MOST INSPIRING RESTAURANTS

As designers, we are continually translating the world into our work, taking inspiration from our surroundings to inform our projects in unique ways.

Restaurant interiors, particularly, are a constant source of inspiration, especially in Sydney where restaurateurs have fully embraced the old saying, ‘we eat first with our eyes.’ For us, dining out is an aesthetic experience as much as it is a culinary one, as we gobble up ideas for provocative compositions, creative use of colour and an enriching take of materials and textures.

We invite you to some of our favourite spots that feed our mouths and minds alike.

Franca – Potts Point

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

Franca is a little slice of Paris just a hop, skip and jump away from our studio; all charm and elegance with its cherry red velvet chairs, parquetry floors and marble detailing. You feel chic, and all at once at home and far away, simply sitting in one of their green leather booths.

Fred’s – Paddington

Image via Merivale

Image via Merivale

The moment you walk through the front door at Fred’s there is a distinct feeling of coming home. A home that is always warm and welcoming, with the most saliva-inducing scents wafting from the stove. The centre-piece is the open-plan kitchen complete with an island-bench and front row seats to the kitchen theatrics.

French farmhouse style is at work with its cream-painted bricks, wooden bench tops and a wall of vintage cutting boards, all adding to the week-long relaxed vibe usually only reserved for long Sunday lunches with family and friends.

Blanca – Bondi

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

True to its name, Blanca’s interior unfolds in a monochromatic palette of crisp, white textured walls with contrasting dark furniture. It’s minimal elegance at its best, reflecting the refined atmosphere of Bondi and drawing focus to the culinary adventure of Japanese Mediterranean fusion. Sometimes simple is best.

 Bert’s – Newport

Image via Delicious

Image via Delicious

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

Part high-end brasserie, part 1930’s holiday manor, stepping inside Bert’s is to be transported to an altogether more decadent, bygone era.

An olive green and pink palette continues the old-school attitude, while vintage tropical prints, pastel panelled walls and rattan furniture create a sense of vacation glamour, perfectly complimenting the seafood heavy menu.

Fonda – Bondi

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

Image via Yellowtrace

A vibrant and youthful palette of rust, blush pink and powder blue welcomes those who walk through Fonda’s doors.

Studio Esteta, the team behind the restaurant’s fit out, took inspiration from modern Mexican architecture choosing curved and arch shapes to create a warm and welcoming setting that stays true to the brand’s motto of ‘mi casa, su casa.’

The textured wall finishes, rattan screens and rust-toned encaustic tiles all contribute to the feeling of stepping inside an authentic Mexican eatery.

Reign - Sydney

Image via Broadsheet

Image via Broadsheet

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Like the love-child of a Marie Antoinette palace and Millennial pink cocktail bar, Reign offers the kind of setting that demands decadent dinners and more than a few glasses of fizz.

The interior is a haven of blush pink tones and brass detailing. No luxury has been spared: marble clads almost every surface and Romanesque grand arched windows overlook Town Hall and George Street.

DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH: DIAMOND BAY ROAD UNDER CONSTRUCTION

No great project comes without challenges, and this home posed a very specific one: sea air.

Our client’s home is positioned right on the cliffs in Vaucluse, with awe-inspiring views of the ocean as far as the eye can see. Unfortunately, the trade-off is sea air so corrosive that our clients’ neighbours had resolved to covering their television with a fabric ‘sock’ so as to extend its life span past the usual 18 months of previous televisions.

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With the corrosive sea air in mind, we were limited in our choice of materials, opting instead to minimise finishes in favour of a more pared-back approach. Brass, for example, was completely off-limits, seeing as it would patina far too quickly in the salty-air environment.

Our clients had a vision for their home as a classic interpretation of modern living. With a small selection of tolerant materials available to us, we set out to complete their vision through a different approach, choosing an architectural language to express old-school glamour.

To that end, we installed mouldings, cornices and wall panelling to reinstate detailing that had been stripped away by previous renovations, injecting a sense of grandeur back into the apartment. A Marie Antoinette-style parquetry floor was our client’s singular ‘must have,’ and we selected Carrara marble (another favourite) for all the services including kitchen, bathroom, laundry and terrace.

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The planning and design process was purposefully drawn out. We considered every minute detail, from where to store hats and Christmas decorations to how each space would be used for special occasions and celebrations.

With each issue overcome, the construction process has been very efficient and short-lived. Exactly as one might hope it to go.

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The apartment’s enviable location was central to the design process, informing every decision about materials and finishes. To ensure the home worked harmoniously inside with its surroundings outside, we paid homage to the sprawling, romantic ocean views by selecting a neutral, warm colour palette to frame the ever-changing colours and light of the panoramic seaside surrounds.

As the final details are finished and the furniture is being placed into position, we join in our clients’ excitement as they redefine the idea of ‘home,’ and transform their change of pace and priorities in their new space.