Thursday, March 10, 2011

Design Inspiration: Senate

I took the boyf out to dinner at Senate, a gourmet hot dog place in Over The Rhine, for an early birthday present. We both had been dying for some good hotdogs - especially a Chicago style one - so it seemed like the perfect place to go. The place was decorated in a more modern, simplistic fashion that, if I had the 4G with a flash, I would have snapped at least 30 pictures of the spot. Since I'm only at 3GS status, I will have to describe instead. In total, there were three significant points of highlight that could be applied to the home:

  • Concrete countertops. The first thing you notice when you walk in the door is this amazing concrete bar. The countertops were mimicked in the bathrooms along with the kitchen station which gave an industrial feel while brightening up the space otherwise filled with brick and wood. If you're not able to refinish your floor or redecorate your kitchen, ways to incorporate concrete into your space include small accessories, molded vases or even large tiles rested on countertops or pieces of furniture. Balanced with more "cozy" textures such as wood or wool, concrete can portray a more modern feel without looking overly stark or cool.

top to bottom: senate pubconcrete network
  • Exposed brick walls. The second thing that you notice when walking into the restaurant is the exposed brick walls. It made the place feel homey while at the same time consistent with the overall modern feel. Unfortunately, exposed brick can't exactly be faked. Either you have it or you don't. 

  • Wallpapering small spaces. For some reason, I am absolutely obsessed with wallpaper - the more busy the plan, the better. Lately, I have loved the idea of wallpapering small spaces. At Senate, the restrooms were smaller, one stall spaces that were adorned with a beautiful gray damask. For some reason, a busy pattern opens up the space by applying a similar pattern from floor to ceiling. 

FAKE ITFor those of you (like me) that can't wallpaper their spaces, try grabbing some sample pieces and either framing or pasting onto a series of canvases. It will give off the same effect without being permanent.

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