A New Velvet- and Brass-Filled Restaurant That's Housed in a 19th-Century London Warehouse

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By Gabrielle Golenda / Published by Dwell
Melbourne-based design studio Biasol transformed a 19th-century warehouse into a restaurant and bar that's outfitted with blue-and-pink velvet seating, brass lighting, and marble tables.

The eighth addition to the coffee bar chain Grind & Co, is divided within a two-story space that's comprised of a cocktail bar, dining area, and a basement bar. Biasol removed existing partition walls on the ground floor of the original heritage-listed warehouse dating from the 1870s, to create two interconnecting spaces: a bar and private dining space, and the main restaurant area.

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Upon entering, patrons are greeted by the Clerkenwell Grind brass logo against a chevron-patterned timber wall that forms the backdrop of the host desk. Rustic-looking timber floors contrast with the lush material palette and over-all aesthetic of the main dining room. An undulating velvet sofa curves around the walls of the main restaurant into the private dining area, juxtaposing the navy-painted timber walls.

Meanwhile, the basement bar below feels more leisurely and feminine. The parquet flooring emulates the chevron walls, while a small stretch of muted colored tiles circumscribe the bar. 

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The tone is set by pink velvet chairs that are accompanied by marble tables, which begin within in the dining space and continue into the basement, where they complement the matching pink ceiling. There, a verbose mirror and curved brass shelving dressed by a colorful assortment of spirits span the entire length behind a green marble bar. 

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Throughout the space, a number of different globe lights hang from the ceilings on both floors, adding a warm tinge to the predominantly dark-hued atmosphere. Effectively, the design contrasts with the building style, while at the same time, respecting the heritage of the vernacular architecture. The overall effect is a pleasantly unexpected pairing of contrasting elements: a saturated interior against a patterned brick-and-terra-cotta facade. 

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