My First Restaurant Design
Those of you who know me as Keri Sheehan won’t know that outside of work I am Keri Emmerson and have been since I got married over three years ago. Hubby in question is Greg Emmerson who was lucky enough to fulfil his dream of making it onto Masterchef 2018 this year. Not only did he make it on but he made it all the way through to the Semi Finals coming in 6th place!
This in turn has enabled him to fulfil an even bigger dream - opening his own restaurant. With the backing of an investor they are opening Table 22 in Wickham on the 8th December 2018. Its been so exciting and inspiring watching him live his dream and do what he was born to do!
For me it has enabled me to fulfil one of my ambitions which is to design a restaurant..well almost. Working with the space that they inherited as part of a beautiful listed building I have been working to completely revamp the old restaurant that was on site. Its not been easy to completely transform it as the structure has to stay in tact, wall finishes, fixtures and fittings are the only thing I have been able to switch up to give it a modern fine dining feel and make better use of the space….Plus I had about 12 weeks to complete it! So what space was I working with..
So..what was my initial plan. First things first…it has to be more modular so they can have as many covers as possible and accommodate groups of all sizes, but before that..the fun part…the mood boards and concept design to share with the investors. Setting Greg up and introducing him to the wonderful world of Pinterest was my first start :)
I needed an idea of what he envisaged for his first restaurant and like any client (even if he is my husband) his ideas and plans for the space were important. My job is to apply the design and concept to his vision to pull it all together and deliver his needs with my design aesthetic. and the investors approval.
So we had a starting point (above) I knew he wanted it to be modern, inviting, modular and totally different to how it currently looked! I started playing around with ideas key features- banquet seating and a mid century feel with warm metallic finishes and a heritage blue paint with a metallic finish feature wall. We needed Tableware to match…
A few more talks and sign off rounds and we arrived at the mood board below. I was happy with it at the time but looking back I can see the room for improvement that has evolved.
So you can see the look I was going for, black leather, mid century and open backed? Maybe… Ok so none of these made it though sign off. By now I was at 6 weeks to go and back to the drawing board with a new brief - full back and fabric. No leather and no open backs. This changed the concept design for me so I went back to the drawing board and after spending time on site I felt like the old building wasn’t quite ready to go full on with the modern look I had initially pulled together. The fabric chairs were a way to pull it back a little and now inject more colour but still in the Blue hues that I had really set my sights on and thought would work well with the intimate dining space we wanted to create. So a few mood boards later and we had this…
This was it we had arrived at the final look and the button was pushed on the orders with no time to waste. We got started, matching up plates and CAD planning the space and upping the covers on site to over 50 with full modular capacity to seat any group numbers. With three weeks to go things started to happen! It was very exciting :)
Yeap..there was a lot to do! While the room started to be cleared around me I got some paint colours on the wall and sorted through my wallpaper samples. The fun part :)
Next day the flooring started to go down…..
Then it was the battle of the lights…old verses new, I needed the chandelier gone to make way for the copper sputniks!
Then it all started to happen….
Well that was one week ago and I am writing a catch up entry on the eve of the first service. December 5th is the first friends and family day and evening service. I cannot wait to see it all come alive with diners enjoying the amazing food that I have watched being developed and enjoying the new surroundings that I have created at Table 22. So in the last week I have literally worked my socks off to finish it all and again with the help of my sister and brother in law on Saturday we have made it! So what have we been up to?…
These beautiful shades were hung over the main dining area to fill the high ceiling void and bring the high ceiling and dining area together as one scheme. The beams can make the space look quite dated and old fashioned. These navy and copper beauties have given it a modern feel and cast a warm glow over the area
The old shutters that were once in place here were removed by my brother in law Scott and I could not have been happier about that! In its place I am using a patterned Privacy window film with a lovely mid century design to block off the not so pleasing view of the kitchens cold store. Applying it was easy but after years of installing vinyl and decals in Retailers I might have an upper hand on this one but if they are something you are thinking about you should give them ago. These were made to order and I got it all completed in just under 2 hours.
Happy days!! The last fundamental part of the old scheme that I needed to get sign off on removing is now over the line and the blinds are coming down!! These old green conservatory ceiling blinds were not part of my plan ;) it was hit and miss if they would come down but after much discussion and that fact that they had become an insect graveyard (yuk) it was definitely time for them to go. Theses will be replaced with UV and heat reflective window film before spring but for now diners can dine under the starry sky and enjoy the views.
It was a long day but thanks to Nikki and Scott we got the blinds down, cleared up enough bugs to enter “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here” made all the tables and got all the woodwork in the conservatory cleaned and painted! 4 days till the first service!!!
12 hours later and another round trip to London and back and we are back on site, well I was and then I had to do my favourite part of my job…the shopping :) Thanks to a local Hillier Garden Centre I picked up everything I needed to add the final touches to the scheme. Some houseplants and Christmas decorations.
Originally I wanted to board over these old mirror nooks and take the wallpaper all the way across. Then due to time and costs we decided to keep them and make them work, the houseplants were a perfect way to make them a feature and to look like a purposeful part of the scheme rather then a left over from the old set up.
What do you think of the picture. I found these in a cupboard in the old hotel and loved the muted tones and copper highlights in the dress, I thoughT it would be a perfect way to match the old with the new and save some money :) It was one of a pair and the other one sits perfectly over the fireplace.
Apart from giving the place a deep clean Table 22 is ready to open its doors :) I am so happy and proud of the finished restaurant and how I have transformed the space. Tomorrow my friend Veronica will take some professional shots of the space for me and I can tick this one off the to do list :)