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Online Exclusive – 121 Restaurant, North Salem, New York

Jul 29, 2014

North Salem, New York’s 121 Restaurant already had a crowd of regulars, but its design lacked the chic and inviting feel the cuisine offers. “They wanted the space to feel cool again,” says Beacon, New York-based designer Pamela Dailey, who entered into the restaurant design field with the project. “The restaurant has been a staple for the area, and it was time for a facelift.”


The town’s equestrian lifestyle took precedence in the redesign. “I always want spaces I design to reflect a sense of place,” says Dailey. “In this case, the aesthetics relate to the fact that the restaurant is situated in horse country—it’s chic but casual, elegant and easy going.” The warm color palette, made up of earthy materials like buttery leather and brass accents, ties into materials locals relate to outside the context of the restaurant.


For example, the 17-seat bar—the focal point of the space—features a bottle display suspended from a custom-built metal structure. The display’s orange band lining echoes the fencing at the nearby horse farms. “Since the ceilings are low, I wanted to raise the eye up and get all of the bar clutter off the bar surface, which also freed up valuable real estate,” explains Dailey. A slick black paint covers the existing wood bar, which is now topped by a thick white marble counter and illuminated by copper brass pendants.


To the left of the central bar, a bright dining room looks into the kitchen. The creamy walls complement seating upholstered in tobacco-colored linen with white aluminum bases. “All the seating has a mid-century vibe,” explains Dailey. “The forms and materials really lent themselves to the idea of merging country warmth and modern cool.” Dailey also integrated live-edge wood slab tables with blackened steel accents. Rustic metal sconces pop from the white walls and provide punctuation between the windows.


In the stairway, a custom photomural of a grain field carries the country chic aesthetic downstairs into the Ridge Room, which was formerly an overflow space. “The Ridge Room is a moodier, sexier dining room,” Dailey describes. Inspired by the crisp interiors she found in the Standard in Copenhagen on a recent trip, Dailey’s design of the Ridge Room combines modernist banquettes with a backdrop of vinyl made to look like eel skin.


Cove lighting gives a dramatic glow to the room. “We were pretty minimal with the lighting, mostly preserving what was there in terms of recessed lights but adding a few key elements,” says Dailey. A forged metal chandelier centers the room, which is also lit by petite sconces. “It’s all about contrast and balance,” she adds.


hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



Produced by: Emerald Expositions
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