HOSPITALITY: RESTAURANT + BAR
Interior Design / Custom Lighting / Product Design / Art Installation / Sculpture / Millwork / Metal CNC / Installation
Photo Credit: Eric Kleinberg
Inspired by Papou Vasili’s life and legacy, this welcoming environment in downtown Naperville pays tribute to delicious family recipes cooked over a blazing hearth that is not only the room’s centerpiece but the center of the action.
Emphasized by an open kitchen format, our design focus with Vasili’s was to convey the warmth of family gatherings, where the cook’s performance in the kitchen was the main show. Surrounded by loved ones and friends around a big table, the passion for food here likewise takes the front seat, as the space was intentionally laid out so that there is no bad sightline in the house. Vasili’s is meant to inspire engagement; thus comfort and authenticity were our driving forces. Throughout the restaurant, we stressed the basics – incorporating natural and real elements which give way to an elegantly understated and relaxed dining environment like in the Mediterranean.
Wood, stone, and plaster set the tone along with worn, real wood floors lightened by years of baking in the Aegean sun. A wall dedicated to showcasing the wood used to cook the open hearth meals grabs the guest’s attention while Gabion fixtures glow with rocks imported from Santorini. Abalone panels create depth and bring a sense of the sea to the host stand. An open pantry with spices, fruits, and vegetables along with an overhead pergola of dried goods and oils gives an open market feel. Earthly plaster finish coats most of the walls, which are lined with artwork by none other than Papou Vasili himself. Hand-thrown pottery pendants compliment the fully mosaic bar. At the center of the dining room is Voula, a glowing metal and fabric squid, whose presence draws the guest in. Tonally the space creates a sophisticated yet laid-back environment. The result is the perfect backdrop to eat at as strangers and leave as cousins.