Le Caveau, Lausanne | Restaurant and Bar Design Awards Nominee

So… I figured it was about time I put my own work on the line here for a change. And I am so pleased because, for the second consecutive year, one of my projects has been nominated for the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards. This year my little project made it as one of 43 European Bars, right next to Karim Hashid, Minarc (The Northern Lights Bar I wrote about just yesterday!!!) and last year’s winner, Sandra Tarruella Interioristas. Talk about playing with the big boys! DesignJoyBlog_Julia_Christ_caveau_bellini_web_6 This project is very dear to me as it was quite a challenge in terms of time and budget, which pretty much determined the style and the design process. The first step was just gathering all the elements we had at hand, like the gorgeous bar stools, copper lamps, and the hotel sign. From there pretty much the only option was to go full on bohemian style! Though I have to admit I was very stressed about choosing this particular color palette. Instinctively I knew the dark tones was the right choice, but I just feel so much more comfortable working with pastels and lighter tones. The fact that it’s a bar and a cellar (no windows) made me go for the more ‘risky’ choice and it paid off. The dark tones work really well and the reflections of light on the vaulted ceiling creates a nice texture but without attracting a lot of attention to it, which is what I wanted. If a while back someone had asked me if I’d paint an entire room in metallic taupe I’d probably have laughed…

And here’s a brief description by the designer, a.k.a. yours truly: 

Located in the basement of an 18th century building in the centre of Lausanne, Switzerland, Le Caveau is the wine bar of local italian restaurant Caffè Bellini. The owners wanted to transform this space, which had been used for storage for many years, into an intimate bar and dining area to be used mainly during the winter months.

The biggest challenge was renovating a very old cellar on a budget. The floors were recuperated but unfortunately the vaulted ceilings could not be brought back to stone, instead they were simply re-plastered and painted in a dark reflective tone and different light sources to create texture. We also worked mainly with repurposed materials – such as the wood paneling for the bar and old oak for the big tables – mirrors, colourful patterns, murals and a mix of affordable furniture and more expensive vintage design pieces.

With an eclectic bohemian vibe, cheerful murals, dark tones and soft lights, the space has a unique ambiance that is reminiscent of an old school members-only club. Complemented by colourful vintage design pieces, the big comfortable sofas create intimate spaces for small gatherings, while the more convivial wooden tables and benches are ideal for bigger groups.