Project Team

Lighting Design: Robert Harper of RDO, with Light Project.
Interior Design and Architecture: Robert Barton, Rob Harper of RDO, Adele Winteridge of Foolscap Studio,
Christopher Moore and Gabriele Moore.
Landscape Design: Robert Barton, Gabrielle Moore and Christopher Moore.
Graphic Design: Karl Maier of Rinzen


Floral Arrangements: Gabrielle Moore
Furniture: Robert Barton with Kyran Starcevich of Arte Veneta furniture.

The Commons arose from the shared aspirations of a diverse group of friends, who believed that Sydney needed another way to drink and dine. The resulting restaurant and bar is simple in its offering; a calm environment that takes pride in the city’s culinary and cultural resources.

The design of The Commons has been a collaborative effort between a group of young designers and restaurant professionals committed to bringing simplicity back to the forefront of hospitality. The three owners of
The Commons, all qualified landscape architects, have worked with some talented friends to create a modern, humble, and warm aesthetic for the local eating house and bar located in the emerging Burton St district.

The Commons takes many design cues from its 160-year-old sandstone structure, with the addition of modern architectural features and furniture that lightens the solid heritage framework. Warm low energy lighting encircles the dining room, designed by Rob Harper of RDO and Hamish Little & Matt Hicks of Light Project. The simple schematic highlights the convict-chiseled sandstone walls, with candles marking individual sittings of customers, and two original fireplaces flickering in winter.

Graphic Design and signage has been designed by Karl Maier of Rinzen,
from printed collateral, to the beautiful website and stain glass window motifs of the dining room.

A timber furniture range has been designed for The Commons by Robert Barton in collaboration with Kyran Starcevich of Arte Venetafurniture.

Elegant rectangular tables and long benches reference familiar items in our lives – elements of school desks, church pews and farm tables combined into a simple solution that is inherently communal, practical and well dimensioned. Milking stools made from offcuts from the tables are scattered throughout the building, adding a rural layer to the restaurant that prioritises local produce.

Adele Winteridge of Foolscap Studio has worked as part of the design team to coordinate a humble interior aesthetic, where ornamentation has been deliberately paired back, emphasising small historical and botanical
details around the room. Weekly floral displays provide a changing interior throughout the seasons, without detracting from the beauty of the original Darlinghurst homestead.

The downstairs bar is a darker locale, with candles uplighting the sandstone walls, vinyl blues records playing, a library of classic books in front of the fireplace, and a select range of quality liquor, all set in the intimate quarters of the old larder of the house. Recycled carpet tiles from Ontera have been screen-printed with motifs of the bats that fly overhead every night from the botanical gardens. Quality wines and whiskeys line the shelves, with boutique beers in the fridge and classic pre 1950 cocktails. Just like upstairs, the emphasis is on simplicity and warm service.