Supper & Styling

Warm Industrial Styling at a Paris Restaurant by Tash South

When I visited Paris last month, I stumbled upon The Place To… along my way to the Arc De Triomphe. I thought the name was a bit odd, but I can kind of see where they’re going with it – they provide a relaxed industrial space for you to meet friends, enjoy delicious food or enjoy a celebration – fill in the blank - it’s up to you.

Situated on Wagram Street, the cosy restaurant also has outside seating where you can watch the ever-stylish Parisians go by – which is exactly what I did!

Outside seating with burlap cushions

I ordered the deliciously fresh Asian basket salad of crunchy vegetables, tuna sesame sashimi, peanuts, lime sauce, honey and fried onions - in my best French (which is very, very bad!)

Food out of the way, I started to explore the interior. I’ve always appreciated Industrial style for its’ stripped back architecture and humble materials. There is a lack of pretension in the pure practicality of the raw materials and salvaged objects.

The under-lit rustic bar with worn leather bar stools

Industrial pieces are usually minimal and no-nonsense. When I’m designing an industrial space, I like to mix new with old or reclaimed pieces. Search charity shops, flea markets and antiques markets for unique and affordable items. And if you happen to be passing a skip, have a quick peek inside, you never know what you might find! Upcycling is usually key for this style, so look for items that can reused or re-purposed. It’s a look that can be affordably achieved.

These three fabulous reclaimed timezone clocks create an eye-catching focal point in the restaurant.

An old bicycle is used to add interest to the plain railings.

A colourful mural painted directly onto the bare brickwork is very effective.

Industrial steel and wood chairs provide robust seating and clean lines. The flooring is kept very basic.

Factory-style pendants provide lighting on the terrace.

Want to get the Warm Industrial look in your home?

Here are some style tips:

Start with space planning: originally, industrial spaces were huge warehouses or factories, so it make sense to start with an open-plan layout that feels spacious.

Architecture: It's all about having the bones of the building on show, leave beams uncovered, brickwork and railings exposed and window frames visible.

Flooring: Poured concrete is usually the industrial flooring of choice, but I think large format tiles or worn wooden floorboards work really well too.

Lighting: It's easy to nail industrial lighting these days, if you can find authentic reclaimed pendants and lamps, that's awesome, but there are so many great reproductions available as well. Think bare or black painted metal and an exposed light source for pendants and extendable and adjustable arms for wall fixtures.

Palette and Materials: It's all about metal! Choose steel and iron and avoid a finish that is too shiny, aim for matt finishes with some patina. Keep your colour palette natural overall - think metals, rust, natural stone and wood. A punch of bright colour can be added with furnishings or artwork, or both. Never forget texture - add elements of well-worn, rustic wood and raw concrete - texture is very important in this style to break up a palette that can become too monocromatic.

Furnishings and Styling: As much as I love the practical style industrial offers, it can often seem quite harsh and cold, so I'm a massive fan of 'warm industrial' styling.
I usually start with the industrial basics above, and then layer with a lush velvet sofa, sheepskins and hides, natural rugs and plants.

Have you done industrial in your home? Please share!  I'd love to see it.

 

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Decor Inspo at Neni Restaurant, Berlin by Tash South

For my new Supper & Styling category posts,  I will be combining restaurant and décor reviews into one neat little package for you. So if you're looking for somewhere stylish with a special atmosphere, or even just a relaxed place to eat - you know where to come!

We went to Berlin on a city break in May and and found Neni by chance. It's amazingly located on the tenth floor of Bikini Beach Hotel on Budapester Street, overlooking Berlin zoo. Linked to Neni is The Monkey Bar which has a roof terrace from which you can see the monkeys down below at the zoo.

We were seated at an awesome table right by the window, and one of the quotes on the menu read "I am better near good food" and I already kind of knew I would love this place!

The restaurant decor is simple, colourful chairs are matched with natural materials and a copper-clad bar and serving hatch, but some serious drama is added by the sheer amount of floor to ceiling glass and indoor planting. One table is nestled under a huge lampshade crafted entirely of open magazines!

The floor to ceiling glass with the zoo just below.

The floor to ceiling glass with the zoo just below.

A over-sized lamp shade made of magazines and books. Genius!

A over-sized lamp shade made of magazines and books. Genius!

A glass room within a glass room.

A glass room within a glass room.

Walls of plants are cleverly lit in green and pink adding a magical ambience. The tables are kept in natural wood with drain covers ingeniously used as table bases. The middle of the restaurant is enclosed in paned glass - like a glass room within a glass room - with planting running all the way above it and ivy and creepers entwined between the panes.        

NENI is a culinary mosaic of Persian, Moroccan, Spanish and Israeli influences, as diverse and globally minded as the Berlin itself. Neni calls it's dining style “Balagan - enjoying good food in enjoyable chaos with family and friends" - sounds just like what I'm used to!

To drink I ordered fizz, naturally, I'm so partial to a glass of Prosecco that very nearly called this category of the blog "Fizz & Frolicking"!
The German Riesling Sekt Brut was crisp and delicious. The menu wasn't too large, which is usually a good sign. We started with the meze trio, which had homemade hummus, marinated monkfish and hamshouka (Neni's version of humus, minced beef and lamb and spicy Chilli), it came with homemade pita served in a little cloth bag that keeps them warm. I can easily say that the hummus and pita were the best I've ever tasted. Everything was extremely fresh and flavourful, and the combinations quite imaginative.

meze trio

Main courses consisted of the Neni-style kebab; Homemade beef-lamb dumplings with coriander, tahini and grilled vegetables and the grilled veal sirloin steak marinated with Ardbeg Whisky & date syrup, served with puree of Jerusalem artichokes and portwine balsamico shallots. I had the veal which was absolutely perfectly pink and delicious, the purée was unusual, a sweet yet bitter combo that complimented the veal utterly. The kebab was very tasty, our only complaint being that they were slightly dry and would be well matched with perhaps a sauce or a side of cous cous or similar.

Totally gorged and unable to even consider dessert, we politely declined the desert menu, heading instead over to the Monkey Bar, just across the way to find a liquid alternative.

Monkey Bar's interior is totally relaxed too, with even more natural materials and floor to ceiling glass. One side of the bar has the serving area and the other has built in steps for seating, amphitheatre style, where clientele can sit and sip cocktails and enjoy the views out to the zoo below, with cool industrial inspired lamps placed along the steps. The terrace is a fantastic space with, palms and planting lending an exotic feel. Chairs with cozy sheepskins adds to the relaxed atmosphere.

The Views from The Monkey Bar

The Views from The Monkey Bar

The Views from The Monkey Bar

The Views from The Monkey Bar

The extensive cocktail menu provided many temptations, so to end our experience, we luxuriated on the terrace for a couple of hours in the sunshine with a King Kong, watching the gorillas swinging beneath...

... yes it is.

... yes it is.

 

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