nyc dining: claudette
Downtown eatery designer-duo Caroline Grant and Dolores Suarez created an intimate space with a distinctly global feel.
Published Aug 10, 2014 12:00 PM
For the Greenwich Village restaurant, Grant (left) and Suarez, the masterminds behind Dekar Design, divided the space into smaller rooms—including a foyer, living room, dining room, and kitchen area with pantry—to forge a cozier, more welcoming ambience. “We try and find an inspirational story for every interior.” Suarez explains. “Claudette’s was a country house in Provence owned by a Tunisian family.”
For the restaurant ceiling, Grant and Suarez put their background in decorative painting to use to make it feel more authentic. “We added plaster on the ceiling to create an old world feeling that was very lived in and then aged it with a tinted decorative glaze to make it feel weathered.” Suarez explains. “We wanted it to look like we uncovered an amazing old plaster ceiling during construction!”
Inspired by a textile they saw in Kenya last year, the duo hand-painted wall tiles near the bar for a colorful design. “We were looking to create something that was not of any particular time or place but had influences of Africa and Southern France blended together.” Grant says. “We wanted to give the tiles an aged feel but keep them feeling bright and airy.
Grant and Suarez designed the bookcase in the main dining room with dowels instead of a solid back and filled it with an eclectic assortment of found objects and treasures. “The bookcase design has brass screws that are washed to make them look old and a distressed weathered finish to create an authentically found piece.” Suarez says. “This gives the feeling like you are in an actual living room with objects collected from someone’s travels, giving soul to the space.”
For an aged and distressed look, Grant and Suarez opted for a marble top to complement the relaxed ambience of the bar. “The idea was to make this marble look as if it had been there for years,” Suarez explains, “to create a cozy, ‘lived-in’ look.”
Patterned tiles separate the foyer from the wide plank farmhouse siding wood floors of the dining room. While entry chairs are wrapped in vintage Indian-inspired fabrics and paired with an antique bench—in its original but distressed paint—for a weathered and worldly look.