restaurants should look good

Don’t you think?

Aren’t you so happy when the look & feel of a restaurant are as pleasing as the food?


I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a dream come true for both Anisa and me to help design a restaurant.  We say “help” because the owners have pretty stinking good taste as it is.

They own La Crema Tapas & Chocolate in Rosemary Beach, Florida, and their new restaurant, Aqua Coastal Sushi, is just across the street.


 La Crema

While working here last weekend, Anisa, Rosa (her new little one) and I stayed in the loft above the restaurant.  We would sit on the little balcony with our computers, a glass of wine and some tapas from downstairs (the steak empanadas and La Crema salad were our faves) and people-watch.


The gorgeous people strolled up and down the cobblestone road.  If you picked downtown Rosemary Beach up and placed it an old village in Europe no one would be the wiser.  Even the town’s clock chimes on each hour.

I am glad our country is getting back to village greens, living where you work and eating local.  How ironic that simple living is actually progressive thinking?  Our great-grandparents would laugh at us.


A pic of the night we arrived.


I know our clients & Anisa and me are inspired by the simple, good life in thinking about the design for the restaurant.  Wood, metal, glass, subway tile, and even Edison bulbs in the light fixtures bring us back to the days of a local general store or butcher shop.  You want a restaurant to be warm, comfortable, clean, fresh, with ambient lighting and good acoustics.



our tools… 


the befores….



The concept:

minimal, industrial lighting

deep grays & creamy whites

walnut & lacquer

antique brass & iron

lucite & wood

Just all things simple & yummy, right?

Oh, but an 8-foot-tall banquette is absolutely necessary!!


The sconces will be installed a lot like the headboard below:


And super-dark walls in the bathroom with a floating wood shelf:


I now want to share some of the most beautiful restaurants:

Abattoir in Atlanta



 Sarah Dorio Photography

I am seriously in love with this design.

The Optimist:

Star Provisions

(the mediterranean salad is my favorite)



Cakes & Ale

the real chocolate chip mint ice cream will knock you out


West Egg Cafe


Sarah Dorio again

She is one of my favorites!

Hope y’all are well…..



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  1. I love the creatitvity found in good restaurant design. Makes the food even taste better. Love your design ideas and that first place you showed photos of looks like somewhere I’d love to spend time.

  2. Oh gosh I hope I get lucky enough to be seated at the big banquette! You picked all the good ones girl. I’m starving and cannot wait for December!!! Love you girls to pieces! Keep rockin it!


  3. I’m so bad about leaving comments but I’m a long time follower of your blog and just love the work that you and Anisa do. We have vacationed in Rosemary Beach for the past three summers and have completely fallen in love with it. I love La Crema and CAN’T WAIT to see the new restaurant! Based on your design boards, it is going to be amazing!!

  4. I always tell my Mom (and business partner) that my dream is to do a restaurant. HOW TOTALLY FUN!? and your choices are just so spot on and relevant. cant wait to see more. so happy to have found you guys :)

  5. So glad you were involved in the project. It is beautiful. La Crema and Aqua Coastal Sushi are inspiring places serving delicious fare. We have some great restaurants on 30A, which I write about often. Love your work and this site. Best, Susan Benton

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