By Sarah Coffey

Published on December 26, 2016

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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

Stepping inside Amsterdam’s Bar Botanique and the adjoining Café Tropique is like entering a lush landscape of palms, philodendrons, ferns, and monsteras. The airy space, a former gymnasium, fills with sunlight streaming in from tall windows. A bright yellow espresso machine that greets visitors from the bar alongside a stack of bubblegum pink coffee cups serves as an instant pick-me-up.

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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

Dutch firm Studio Modijefsky designed the complete look, from the velvet booths to the custom font on the menus. “We wanted a sense of playfulness,” says founder and designer Esther Stam. For the palette, she paired a spectrum of greens in emerald and citrine with pops of navy blue, pink, and apricot that feels retro-chic yet timeless. “There are no rules for working with color,” Stam explains. “It’s a matter of materials. Balance comes with the oak wood, concrete, copper, and marble.”

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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

To reflect the abundance of natural light and vibrant hues, Stam suspended sculptural mirror mobiles throughout the space. She made the custom tables that line the lounge and the café’s souterrain dining room with pink, green, and gray marble, while much of the vintage furniture in teak and leather came from Marktplaats (Amsterdam’s answer to Craigslist). The final touch: handmade cement tiles by Swedish design company Claesson Koivisto Rune adorning the grass green bar. The geometric dandelion pattern perfectly blends in with the surrounding flora. 

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Photography by MEGHAN MCNEER

Vintage furnishings, jewel tones with hints of bright pink and yellow, and lots of sculptural greenery give Bar Botanique its eclectic vibe.