Earlier this year we were asked to visit the new Gas Works development in Newstead where Margot McKinney & Peter Kedwell planned on opening their 4th Buzz Restaurant. It was a late Autumn afternoon and the skies were a pale blue fading into a warm soft pink. What greeted us on site was a gigantic concrete jungle with shards of aluminium, rocks, plastic, air-conditioning vents, building tools and lots of scaffolding.
The Kedwell-McKinney brief was for us to help them create a restaurant that felt comfortable, was fresh, light and open, with lots of appeal and interest for their customers and somewhere for people to also enjoy dinner (as Buzz is mostly known for their fab breakfasts and lunches) or even just a drink at the bar.
We used Peter Kedwell's history and career in the fruit and vegetable industry as our inspiration for the project. Fresh food and market produce became our main focus for the colours, materials and ideas we presented.
We also wanted the restaurant to have a warm, almost lived-in, country farmhouse-type atmosphere and this image above provided us with inspiration to use bagged brick, timber and zinc in the finishes.
The fabulous big black industrial lights we found in France look wonderful hanging in the space and have you spotted the little terracotta plant-pot lights hanging over the central bar? I came up with the idea when I was in my garden potting terracotta pots just before we presented the concept. It was like a little garden angel reached out to me and said - wouldn't they look great turned upside down and used as lights at Buzz! Again, this played wonderfully on the garden/market theme.
This fabulously detailed green door that Alexandra Macmillan posted on her Pinterest page was the perfect piece of inspiration we needed for our cabinetry design and colour.
It's just so wonderful when you start to see your ideas and vision for a project come together and just as you had planned in your head. Site visits just got better and better as each day passed just prior to the restaurant opening last weekend.
One of my favourite things we created was the old cane market basket wall. We collected up a bunch of old baskets from all over the place including a few that came from my own collection at home.
Another favourite thing is the back-lit shutter panelling we devised and installed over the large ugly round column as above.
And although in our original concept we had suggested to use old market posters adhered directly to the bare concrete wall, the wonderful vintage Queensland paw-paw girl that Margot found certainly is a fabulous fit.
As in any project, some things don't arrive on time so the stools you see in this section of the restaurant aren't permanent. We have some new ones arriving in the next little while...well actually who knows when!! Notice the lovely collection of old vintage green and white and black and white plates we hung on the wall just above the kitchen-pass....another favourite thing.
And finally, one last favourite thing is the beautiful blackboard we created. This back-piece to an old sideboard we once had found it's perfect resting place here. Olivia and I painted it with black-board paint ourselves and we asked Vanessa Macphail to do her thing with the lettering.
If you get the chance to have a meal at Buzz, I hope you enjoy what we have created there. I'm hopeful that we can add a bit more excitement to the exterior spaces over the next few months as time passes...
Thank you Margot & Peter for asking me to help you with this wonderful project. I hope it's a fabulous success!