The interior of Omar’s Place restaurant in London‘s Pimlico features a palette of materials and colors chosen by local studio Sella Concept to bring the best of the Mediterranean to The City. Omar turned to Sella Concept – aka design duo Tatjana von Stein and Gayle Noonan – and gave them an open brief to shape the space and establish a graphic identity for the brand. The only stipulation was that the design should respond to the ‘sophisticated Mediterranean’ character of the menu; the ‘neighbourhood haunt’ status he wanted to create, and the lively, welcoming warmth from its atmosphere.
To develop the creative concept for the restaurant, Sella Concept started with the sun – the defining element of Mediterranean lifestyle, and the biggest influence on the fresh produce of the region, as well as a link to Omar’s own Egyptian background. The circular shape of the sun became the core element of everything from the visual identity to the features and furniture of the restaurant – including the shape of the bar, the curved edges of the joinery, and the fluted banquette seating.
To make their designs a reality, Sella Concept joined forces with its long-standing collaborator, the architecture consultancy Wilson Holloway, to refurbish the challenging listed building which hosts the restaurant.
“It was a dream working with taste-makers Sella Concept to help facilitate their vision, transforming this wonderful old pub into a fantastic new venue for London’s historic Pimlico neighborhood,” explains Alex Holloway, Director of Wilson Holloway.
It took the practice almost six months of careful revisions and negotiations to obtain the requisite permissions relating to the building’s Grade-II listing, but once these were secured, the redevelopment progressed rapidly.
The result is a bold, warm, and distinctly Milanese aesthetic, with polished terracotta walls, multicolored terrazzo tiles, scalloped Sapele wood slats on the walls, end-grain wooden floors and tubular suede banquettes the color of rust. Peaches and sage greens dominate the color palette, while clean-cut brass lines create an elegant contrast with the organic curves and soft contours of the space.
“We worked with a base of earthy colors and textures nodding to the Mediterranean background and built up a scheme from there,” explains Gayle Noonan of Sella Concept. “Our choice of materials blends the natural, organic feel of wood, with plaster walls, Corten steel and an organic colour scheme with beautiful terrazzo, brass, velvet and mirror finishes.”
The majority of the fixtures and fittings were made bespoke for the restaurant, including sculptural wall pieces in brass and patinated metal, with other elements sourced from the likes of Carl Hansen (dining chairs), Note Design Studio (Tonello armchairs), D’Armes (RA wall lamps) and Pool (FR pendant lights).
After several months of work (including the planning labyrinth that comes with turning a listed pub building into a modern Mediterranean restaurant without cutting into its character), Omar’s Place is complete, offering space for 36 diners on its ground floor and room for a further 50 in a wine-cellar-style private-event venue downstairs.