The Avenue by Kerylos Intérieurs

June 27, 2016

The Avenue- The Barsey, a Brussels-based restaurant run by the Warwick Group, was a tricky project for Paris-based interior design agency Kerylos Intérieurs. The brief for the project was typical in nature of those from hospitality groups: make it fast but make it good!

Thus, Kerylos Intérieurs’ set about undertaking a complete renovation of the once grand but now slightly tired restaurant, The Barsey at the Hotel Barsey in Brussels. The goal was to create something true to the project manager’s vision of a bright and dynamic space, and to deliver it within a 3-month deadline.

A lauded culinary destination in Belgium, the site had its heyday a few years ago before it fell victim to neglect. In order to rewrite its history whilst making sure the structure of the space remained unchanged, designer and Kerylos Intérieurs founder Didier Benderli had to be at once mindful and flexible.

The interior designer’s vision was to let the space breathe, give it flow and a new, simplified linear layout using an eye-catching design based on the seductive alchemy of comfort, warmth and luxury.

The main challenge was to give the site a new strong identity whilst keeping the existing structure. And so, Benderli adorned the panoramic entrance lobby with chinoiserie from Iksel. Inside the restaurant, matte painted walls, shimmering moiré fabric wall-panel coverings and Arte gold leaf applied on the ceiling create a sumptuous visual effect.

The overall space was illuminated further by playing with the motif of lines to create multiple visual directions, creating a sense of full and empty spaces to break up the view and subsequently, extending it further.

The carpet flooring was custom-designed and made by Lano. Its pattern reminiscent of the highly-geometric Versailles parquet, seamlessly linking the past with the future. Overall, the colour palette was stripped back to basics.

In the case of the architecture, a monochrome base provides a simplified understanding of the space. Touches of colour appear in the form of gold wallpaper, grey, blue and green-hued fabrics and bronze tones in the entrance.

All furniture was replaced by pieces designed by Kerylos Intérieurs: the table tops are in laminated wood with a brass edge and black beech legs; the chairs, armchairs and stools are upholstered in velvet from Kieffer, Rubelli, Métaphore and Dedar; the copper lighting was designed by the agency and made by GAU.

The result was a total transformation that surprised regulars of The Barsey, despite the tight deadline. “I myself was surprised when I saw one of the dining rooms was painted black during a site visit when I’d recommended white!” says Didier Benderli.

“We didn’t have time to change it but in the end, this mistake taught me to be open to unexpected change since it may well be my favourite room now.” Now known as The Avenue, Kerylos Intérieurs gave one of Brussels’ respected culinary institutions a second phase of life.

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