We wanted to approach commercial spaces as we would a home,” say Dolores Suarez and Caroline Grant, the powerhouse duo behind New York City’s Dekar Design. As longtime friends, former decorative painters, and interior designers, these women are the talent behind some of New York’s trendiest eateries (think By Chloe, Benoit, Bobo, and Rosemary’s Pizza).
Their strategy: abandon the traditional uniformity of restaurant design and embrace the cozy, layered atmosphere that we find inside our own homes. They introduce an unconventional approach, rooted in the idea that a restaurant can be…well…non-restaurant-like.
They start by looking to the bones of a space for inspiration, mixing the old foundation with new accents to create an authentic, detail-oriented atmosphere that is chic and comfortable. The idea, inspired by the rising popularity of boutique hotels, serves as the principal philosophy behind each of their iconic eateries. “People are so much more visually educated now,” Suarez explains.
Customers care about the details, and as the restaurant industry becomes more personable, design must adapt. Their disregard for a single design style helps create timeless and transporting spaces that “aren’t too-this or too-that.” The result: a young and fresh vibe that will never go out of style. Think custom tiling, varied lighting, reclaimed wood, and repurposed vintage accents. Every inch matters, just as it would in your personal space. We checked in with the duo on how to bring these restaurant trends into your own home.
1. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MIX STYLES AND DESIGNS.
“People are afraid to mix things too much,” says Grant. When choosing fabrics or tiles, pick a pattern that isn’t obviously Moroccan, African or French. Instead, opt for one that is unplaceable and doesn’t fall into a specific look. By doing this, you are less likely to get bored of a space, and have more choices when deciding on the surrounding accents.