design: Hydra Design
furniture: BSeated Global
lighting: Light Brokers
plants: Gardens by Salt, Edible Kids Gardens
This project was really exciting for main designer Nicole Monks because she was able to design the whole building from inside to out, incorporating a laneway to one side and park to the other. The designers were able to use the shell of the building, adding a rustic finish with awnings, shutters and Juliette balconies to activate the space and create a flagship store with genuine completeness.
Nicole wanted it to feel like you’re walking into an Italian grandma’s kitchen, warm and loving. The theme she focused on was Tuscany Italy selecting only ‘real’ materials, there are no faux finishes within this store, the marble is from Italy and so is all the furniture. A moody ambience within the seating area was created by using only wall washing lights and up lighting.
The flooring levels on every side were different so making the tenancy accessible from all four sides was extremely challenging. During the de-fit they were not sure what was existing under the current tenancies until everything was stripped out ie: what flooring or ceiling they were going to find, excitingly they were able to open up the ground floor ceiling to expose the existing rafters and beams of the original building.
With entry available from all four sides, traffic flow throughout the space was a major challeng. Nicole wanted to activate the space, but also create zones where people could cluster; along the bar, in the love seats, under the vines. She planned the space to be visually open, but connected with design features such as the colonnade, this way the space has a great flow. The space also needed to transition from early morning coffee bar to evening cocktail bar so the finishes/furniture/lighting and layout needed to be able to suit both applications.
The clients was brief was for a traditional Italian design that wouldn’t date. We have all seen the dark timbers and stone of Italian coffee shops, but Nicole wanted to bring something different for this space that would be a standout, so she focused on Tuscany Italy and designed a fresh look with a selection of light stone, light timbers, fresco paints low VOC, honey coloured checkered fabric and leather all adding to the original feel of the space.
The full height entry doors and central colonnade tie the whole design together. These elements catch your eye and draw you into the space, they also gives a sense of quality and benchmark of the food and service to be provided within The Emporium. They are the large statement pieces within the space.
For the evenings, Nicole made sure there was no direct down lighting within the customer area, everything is up or wall lighting, and candles. For the morning/daytime there is lots of natural light.
Inside/ outside street dining is a main feature of the venue. The shop front was set a few meters in from the footpath, here people can dine on a raise dining area and still feel part of the street ambience. A piazza style outdoor eating area was created, quite romantic with plants, timber and wrought iron.