We all have places that we love to go to eat, time and again. Whether it’s a pub, a diner, a Michelin Star restaurant, or a wine bar, there’s something beyond the food and drink that keeps us coming back. If you ask me, it’s the atmosphere. And how great would it be to recreate some of that same feeling in our homes? After all, these are the places we choose to spend our free time and money – they must be doing something right…
So this week’s challenge: think about your top three restaurants – the ones that keep you coming back. Write down five words that you think describe the style of each of those places. Then, five specific things that have caught your eye while you were dining there. Then, think about how you could capture this in your home. I’ll start:
When we lived in Earlsfield, we had Mel’s Diner just up the road from our house. Not only was it convenient, but it has amazing food, good staff, to-die-for mac and cheese, and a fun atmosphere. Usually you’d find us there on Thursday for their 2-for-1 burgers, but we also would stop by for their happy hour (2 for 1 cocktails? Yes please!) or brunch. It wasn’t just the food or the deals that kept us coming back – Mel’s has an uplifting, laid back attitude always makes it a great place to hang out.
So, five words to describe their style?
Playful, casual, light, modern-vintage, inviting
Five things that always caught my eye?
The use of red, the graphic posters, the album covers on the wall, the (good!!) music that is always playing, and the big windows that let the sun shine in.
How might I bring some of this into my own home? Well, one of the things we were looking for when touring potential places to buy was always the light. I need sunlight the way some people need chocolate, so it’s no coincidence that we’ve ended up with a first floor flat that has large windows in every room. No matter the time of day, it always feels bright and inviting. In terms of playfulness, we’ve started loosening up our style by adding unexpected accessories throughout our home. A Guinness Toucan Bank that I found in an antiques shop sits on our bookcase, next to some letterforms we found that create “L&A” (Liam & Anna). Our framed Batman poster sits in our front room, as I’ve already mentioned, and we also have our brightly coloured chairs in the kitchen. We have a mix of classic and graphic art spread around our home (I’m a sucker for interesting typography) and an iPod dock in most of our rooms. Once we’re settled, I’m hoping to invest in a Sonos system that will let music play in every room of the house. And one big thing we’ll be doing is adding a breakfast bar to the kitchen with some fun, bright bar stools for easy weekend lounging and quick breakfasts.
So while I don’t want all of our home to look exactly like Mel’s, there are aspects that have inspired me, and point towards the type of space I want to create. One that is playful, casual, light, modern-vintage, and ultimately – inviting.
What restaurants do you find inspiration in? Drop me a note or a photograph. Otherwise, have a great Sunday!
Photographs courtesy of foodandfuel.co.uk – and if you’re in Earlsfield definitely say hi to Mel’s for us. We miss it.