Ballsbridge is an affluent Dublin neighbourhood in Ireland filled with tree-lined avenues and beautiful Victorian red-brick estates, and Cinnamon Restaurant which is the city’s third venue of the eponymous brand. Local based interior design studio Kingston Lafferty Design have made the most of the property’s small footprint to create a multifunctional, engaging environment that is best described as playful and feminine, loaded with pastel colours and glossy textures.The most challenging aspect KLD had to face in turning an empty shell, compact space into a restaurant was the requirement which involved incorporating a kitchen without sacrificing too much commercial space. The designers’ solution was to build a mezzanine level at the back of the space, and in effect divide it into two distinct zones: a dramatic, 4-metre-high area at the front, and a cosier, more intimate space at the back. While the former is flooded with natural light, courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling façade glazing and the wall-to-wall mirror cladding the mezzanine level – a bold gesture that completely camouflages the kitchen – the latter immerses patrons into a playful hideaway.
Taking advantage of the double height entrance space, KLD sought to emphasise its scale and verticality by designing an oversized backdrop for the bar counter in order “to offer the visitor a ‘doll house’ effect”, as they say. To achieve this, all fittings and fixtures were custom-designed to make visitors feel like they had stepped through the looking-glass into an Alice in Wonderland-like dreamscape. “We wanted to create a light-hearted and childlike space with an element of escapism”, the designers explain. From the playful light fittings that look like oversized lollipops, to the wall cladding, rounded tabletops and built-in seating, every element has been meticulously designed as part of a graphic composition of sinuous forms and geometric patterns.
The curvaceous, toy-like design of KLD’s bespoke furnishings is complemented by a colour blocking aesthetic of pink, pistachio, and baby blue pastels and darker maroon, purple and teal hues that take their cues from the brand’s existing colours. Deliberately kept simple and repetitive in order to visually connect the entire space, the colour palette is enriched with enticing textures, from soft leathers, to glistening tiles and high gloss lacquered surfaces, which further enhance the dreamlike ambience, as do an abundance of round mirrors adorning the walls.