A Historic London Property Is Converted Into a Modern Mediterranean Eatery
When Tatjana von Stein and Gayle Noonan of London–based design firm Sella Concept were tapped by restaurateur and hotelier Omar Shabaan to design his new London eatery, Omar's Place, they were given an open brief to shape the space and establish a graphic identity for the brand.
Yet, there was one stipulation: the design had to correspond with the "sophisticated Mediterranean" character of the menu and create a lively, welcoming "neighborhood haunt" in order to seamlessly integrate into the eatery's historic Pimlico location.
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The design duo were up for the challenge and uncovered inspiration from an unexpected source—the sun. From the restaurant's visual identity to its interior features and furnishings, the circular shape of the sun became the core element of design.
Sella Concept teamed up with their long-standing collaborator, the architecture consultancy Wilson Holloway, to take care of the technical aspects of the design and also refurbish the challenging Grade-II listed property. It took almost six months of careful revisions and negotiations to obtain the requisite permissions relating to the building’s historic listing, but once secured, the redevelopment progressed rapidly.
The result is a bold, warm, and distinctly Milanese aesthetic, featuring polished terracotta walls, multicolored terrazzo tiles, scalloped Sapele wood slats on the walls, end-grain wooden floors, and rust-colored tubular suede banquettes.
Shades of peach and teal dominate the color palette, while clean-cut brass lines create an elegant contrast with the organic curves and soft contours of the space.
"We worked with a base of earthy colors and textures nodding to the Mediterranean background and built up a scheme from there. Our choice of materials blends the natural, organic feel of wood with plaster walls, Corten steel, and an organic color scheme with beautiful terrazzo, brass, velvet, and mirror finishes," explains Noonan.
The team has also created bespoke fixtures and fittings—which include sculptural wall pieces in brass and patinated metal—and incorporated other unique furnishings, such as dining chairs from Carl Hansen, Tonello armchairs from Note Design Studio, RA wall lamps from D’Armes, and FR pendant lights from Pool.
After several months of renovation, Omar’s Place is now complete. The ground floor can seat 36 guests, and its downstairs section—which makes a great venue for private events—can accommodate up to 50 people.