Architect Kristin Utz, from Utz-Sanby, tells how she transformed a dark, dingy space into day and night contemporary eateries using some slick finishes and stylish lighting.
“Coming up with a look for Tryst Food and Wine was a challenge. Basically, it’s two businesses in one: it does coffee, cakes and takeaway till 9 pm, and it also does à la carte dining. Because it’s on the ground floor of an apartment building, it also provides room service and catering for the residents.
‘‘Luckily, I had worked with chef/owner Tristan Hope on his previous venture, and we have a great working relationship.
The brief was to come up with something fresh and appealing during the day, and sophisticated and warm at night. We changed the mood with the flick of a few light switches.
‘‘To keep costs down, we kept the existing layout, creating a new look with cosmetic changes. Previously, it had been a dark place with lots of wood—even the ceiling was painted a dark colour.
‘‘As you enter, the first thing you see are the long refrigerated cabinets in the takeaway section—these were an obstacle, but they became my starting point. We gave them a makeover by using Miro graphic glass (manufactured by Australian company Axolotl Ozone), which features Tryst’s logo, created by blueandbrown graphic designers. This glass is also used on the sliding doors of the overhead cabinets.
‘‘The circular motif of the logo is instantly recognisable, and its colours—silvery grey, pale taupe, green-tinged brown and shades of a fresh citrus green —are used throughout. The citrus greens work well in the daytime in the busy takeaway section, while the darkest colour, green-tinged brown, -was used on the walls of the à la carte dining area, lending a more formal feel. The pale taupe was used on the joinery.
We painted the ceiling white and installed low-voltage, recessed, halogen down lights in brushed aluminium, replacing big red pendant lights. Streamlining the lighting created an inviting, relaxed atmosphere.
The lights can also be angled to highlight artworks and focal points, such as the crushed silver-mesh screen that divides the waiters’ station from the dining area. Especially made for the restaurant, it’s unobtrusive by day, but at night it creates a refined ambience.
We used this colour to great effect on the tabletops. Previously, they had been a dark wood laminate. Changing them to a silvery grey melamine finish increased the brightness of the place tenfold.
The dark grey of the existing carpet proved an easy colour to work with, so we didn’t need to replace the flooring. We just added a polished concrete doormat, which features the Tryst logo in stainless steel.
I’m thrilled by what we were achieved on a modest budget. We were able to give Tryst a fresh look that’s both relaxing and invigorating.”
Tryst Food and Wine
Shop 1, 21 Elizabeth Bay Rd, Elizabeth Bay, NSW 2011
Ph: (02) 9358 2600
Level 1, 4 Young St, Neutral Bay,
Sydney, NSW 2089
Ph: (02) 9904 2515