DESIGN MEETS LITERATURE

Singapore, F&B Design 

SET OF SIX COCKTAIL PARLOUR captures the adventures of sea voyage in Joseph Conrad's collection of short stories

Circular mirrors elude to porthole windows on a marine vessel

Left: Blue green hues are reminiscent of rolling ocean waves Right: Jars filled with spices and timber apothecary drawers in the welcome area start you off on your voyage

 

 Cheeky Seletti Monkey lamps work together with mirrors, accent wall lights
"I believe that every good design starts with an even better story. And this is especially relevant in F&B design. Customers savour stories, discovering the context behind the concepts in hope of finding more depth behind the surface. Good design tells stories that parallel literature. Creating an F&B concept, a cocktail bar or a restaurant is very much like writing a book: you start with a foreword – the first impression of the concept. This is your branding and social media marketing that shares a glimpse of the concept, just enough to help build up curiosity and anticipation. Then comes the intriguing and powerful introduction – the guest experience on arrival, where first impressions are shaped by the welcome at the entrance. This, combined with special scents, mood lighting and sound, whets the appetite and builds up excitement."
EVGENIYA LAZAREVA
Founder and Head Designer at HOT DESIGN FOLKS on the Set of Six Project

Set of Six won Gold for Best F&B Design at the Interior Design Confederation Singapore Awards 2021

READING A STORY conjures up tastes and smells, light and darkness, a whole spectrum of emotions. In the same way, design makes a space tell its own story.

A dining concept in the Duxton area of Singapore mirrors Joseph Conrad’s collection of travel tales to take you on a journey. It took a whole year of conceptualisation as interior designer and founder of Hot Design Folks, Evgeniya Lazareva and head chef Gonzalo Landin worked together to harmonise space with culinary and mixology fare.

Set of Six is a collection of stories set in six different countries with Conrad capturing experiences at sea on the sailboat Vidar captained by James Craig – the same Captain who gave the name to Craig Road, where the cocktail lounge is situated. Unique decorations and found antiques convey the aesthetic of the colonial era of the 1880s as the journey begins in Italy, and sails on through to France, South America, Britain and Spain.

Velvet curtains, traditional spice jars and a vintage apothecary cabinet dominate a front room that disguises the entrance to the lounge. Through a concealed door, a hidden private room allows you, if you’re lucky, to indulge in a bespoke cocktail and champagne order by calling a quirky “Call For Champagne” button.

Blue green hues reminiscent of rolling ocean waves and lush palms inspire a tropical atmosphere as the design language captures elements of a ship with circular mirrors hinting at porthole windows and rounded detailing of woodwork, curved bar and sinuous floor patterns alluding to naval architecture swollen with exotic cargo.

At the centre of the lounge is an antique map of IndoChine, a reproduction of the original which dates back to the 18th Century and was created by Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon d’Anville, a cartographer to the king of France.

Hot Design Folks founder Evgeniya has woven everything together into one whole balanced concept as her spatial awareness of 1880s colonial era travel comes alive with every detail from the unique decor and textures to the bespoke furniture design, lighting and colour palette.

Fast facts

HOT DESIGN FOLKS

Singapore based boutique design studio, Hot Design Folks specialises in hospitality, commercial and F&B interiors, with a strong focus on brand identity and customer experience. The studio won Gold for Best F&B Design for Set of Six restaurant at the IDCS Design Excellence Awards 2021 in Singapore.

 

Hot Design Folks was founded in 2017 by Evgeniya Lazareva, and is led in partnership by Aleksandra Koroleva, the studio’s creative director. Lazareva and Koroleva, originally from Kazakhstan and from Sweden, both call Singapore home today. Prior to setting up Hot Design Folks, Lazareva worked on the iconic Four Seasons Singapore, Grand Hyatt Shanghai, Fountain Views Dubai and Lotte Haeundae Busan to name a few.

Evgeniya Lazareva (left) founder and lead designer at HOT DESIGN FOLKS. Aleksandra Koroleva is the studio’s creative director.

Story by Carol Kraal. Photographs by Marcus Lim