No budget is insulting. When the owners of Open House came to me with their hard budget I saw it as a challenge - but also an opportunity to prove that design isn't always about spending money on expensive materials. The design uses drawers from abandoned dressers found on the streets of NY. We collected them and used them as a theme around the club filling them with old bottles, knick-knacks and wallpaper remnants. The back bar was made of them as well storing liquor and glassware. Paintable wallpaper featured metallic copper and bronze paint adding impact as needed. Tables were made of old letter press trays filled with weathered pennies, buffalo nickels, marbles and toys. Pendants were old lampshades stripped of their fabric and painted copper. The place looked great on the cheap.
New York Times Opening coverage
New York Magazine Listing
Named CV for the roman numeral of 105 which was its capacity, CV was a cute little spot built on a dime. Fun wallpaper and wooden slats often cut into 5-foot circles added to the Hobbit-hole feel. Flower boxes added to the experience. The black and white backed DJ booth interior seen through a circular cutout contrasted with the colorful, warm, magical lounge decor.
Gothamist Opening coverage
White Noise was a serious Rock and Roll bar built on the very cheap. Less than $50,000 for 1,200 square feet was allocated for design/build-out. Found couches were re-upholstered with black vinyl. Cheap crystal chandeliers were dipped in shoe glue and colored bulbs added. The walls were crumbling plaster and wouldn't take paint so black curtains with gold trim covered them. Inexpensive black damask wallpaper was used where possible. The bar face was covered with reclaimed tin from an abandoned tenement. Subway signal glass had points of light added. The impossibly worn floor was painted with gold paint, then red paint, then black paint. Then chains were dragged across it to give it a wonderful distressed feel before poly was applied. I know it's only Rock and Roll... but I like it.
Red Velvet Lounge was a gastropub that featured small cakes and great drinks. Its 7-foot 2-inch ceilings were a problem. We decided to go with Marie Antoinette as a theme as she famously said," Let them eat cake". A 40-foot-long Marie Antoinette butted heads with a 40-foot Louis XVI on the ceiling. Patrons sitting at a table could take it all in while standees saw only a 3-foot-long painted shoe or other part of the royal couple. The gigantic ceiling murals were done by Central Park portrait painters. The walls were pressed molding painted gold with LED light strips in between. The bar held desert displays with a pressed molding face and table legs to add to the overall theme.
Urban Daddy Opening coverage