Ivy Studio combines retro colours at Ottawa restaurant Buvette Daphnée

The colorful retro diners of Quebec influenced the interiors of this restaurant in Ottawa, designed by Montreal-based Ivy Studio.

Buvette Daphnée wine bar and fine dining restaurant sits in a 1,500-square-foot commercial space within an old industrial building in the city’s historic ByWard Market district.

Interior of Buvette Daphnée restaurant in Ottawa's ByWard Market district
The Buvette Daphnée restaurant in Ottawa’s ByWard Market district takes cues from colourful retro diners

“The establishment, led by a head chef with deep roots in Quebec and years of experience in Ottawa, aims to showcase a blend of both cultures through the eyes of a nostalgic francophone residing in the country’s capital,” said Ivy Studio.

The studio therefore looked to Montreal’s vibrant retro diners for design references, pairing a caramel, brown and cream palette with contrasting blue and burnt orange accents.

Restaurant interior with glossy cream ceiling, exposed brick walls and brown banquettes
The restaurant is divided into two areas, including a space with lower ceilings on one side of the entrance

Highly visible from the street, the dining area at the front is divided into two main sections.

A lower, more intimate space with eight-foot ceilings is to the right of the entrance, while a loftier 15-foot-high space where the open kitchen, a 36-foot-long U-shaped bar and high-top counters can be found to the left.

Exposed brickwork, natural walnut and cognac-toned upholstery within a restaurant interior
Exposed brickwork, natural walnut and cognac-toned upholstery all feature in the restaurant

In the taller portion, the ceilings are painted black to obscure the extra height and the walls are clad in cream-coloured, v-board panelling that continues overhead in the lower area.

Both the bar stools and the semi-circular seats tucked into tambour-lined booths are wrapped in blue velvet, while vintage dining chairs feature orange seats and banquettes are cognac and chocolate-toned.

Semi-circular booths with blue velvet seats lined with tambour panelling
Semi-circular booths with blue velvet seats are lined with tambour panelling

Natural walnut was used for the majority of the millwork, and portions of the building’s original brickwork were left exposed.

In front of the entrance, a lacquered server station with a pill-shaped plan and tiered shelves draws the eye to the restaurant’s centre.

“To tie everything together, a vibrant custom-designed mosaic with the main colours covers the entire restaurant floor,” Ivy Studio said.

“Various light fixtures in the space each tell their own story,” added the team, which installed a 30-foot-long bespoke tubular piece by Montreal-based Hamster above the bar.

A burnt orange host stand on mosaic tiled floor
A burnt orange host stand catches the eye, while mosaic floor tiles combine all of the hues used across the interior

Meanwhile, frosted globe-shaped pendants that are recycled by Studio Botté from Montreal’s 1960s street lamps hang from the black ceiling.

“Much like its celebrated menu based on locally grown ingredients, Buvette Daphnée’s design offers Ottawa an authentic taste of Montreal’s rich culinary culture,” the studio concluded.

Tubular orange light above a bar counter with blue seating
Bespoke lighting fixtures created for the space include a tubular design by Hamster that follows the shape of the bar

Ivy Studio has completed several restaurant interiors in its home city of Montreal, including the recently completed Middle Eastern eatery Hayat, which features a colour palette based on “the earthy tones of the Syrian deserts”.

Earlier examples range from Piatti, an Italian spot that the studio renovated after fire damage, to the tropical-themed Jack Rose in a former auto body shop.

The photography is by Alex Lesage.

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