Restaurant upholstery that is beautifully tactile yet boasts soil and stain release finish, adds home comfort to Design Partnership Australia’s The Meat and Wine Co in Bella Vista, NSW.

The Brief

All Meat & Wine stores take their inspiration from Africa, whilst staying grounded within each site’s unique Australian surroundings. Each design draws inspiration from the various cultures, traditional architecture and expressive pattern making. There is a concept widely known as the spirit of Ubuntu – giving and sharing – and this is something that design agency Design Partnership Australia embody in each store. 

“For great restaurant design, one must firstly understand people. It’s always about people,” says Callie van de Merwe. “Your client is never, in truth, your client. His/her clients are. People are drawn to people first, then to objects and things. Understanding people first, therefore, and those subtle nuances that they reference and recognise to feel like they belong, is vitally important to understand the approach to successful restaurant design.”

Meat & Wine Co Bella Vista restaurant design
Design Partnership Australia, restaurant design
Mat & Wine Co, Design Partnership Australia

Each design concept takes it inspiration from African roots where story telling made it possible for cultures to pass knowledge, history, and significant events from father to son and from one generation to the next. In African cultures, these shared events were used as a way for the elders to teach important life lessons, entertain and invite people to participate in a significant moment. Similarly, every successful restaurant is a space used to socialise, tell fascinating stories, and entertain the people that come to them.

Restaurant Upholstery Selection Process

“When considering soft furnishings, we look at multiple aspects before selecting it for each project. We first consider if the material is fit for purpose. There would be a different range of fabric we use in a premium restaurant compared to a casual restaurant or hotel interior. Then we check the rub count of the fabric as we need to have peace of mind that the fabric can last for a long period of time in a commercial space,” explains Roberto Zambri of DPA.

restaurant upholstery

“It is important that the soft fabrics look as good five years on from the day the interior is opened to the public. Another important aspect we consider is that it is easy to clean. Most of our installations are quite large, so having a fabric which can simply be wiped down with the recommended cleaner makes it easier to maintain from our client’s perspective.”

The Colour Palette

“Taking hints from the storyline, we portrayed the riches of Africa through the colour palette. Rich golds, bronze highlights and deep browns create a balance of colour that not only accentuates the textures within the space but allows the materials to tell a story of their own,” says Calvin Janse van Vuuren of DPA.

restaurant upholstery
Design Partnership Australia

“We use colour combined with texture to create the sense of nostalgia and a deeper connection to each interior environment. In the case of The Meat and Wine Co. Bella Vista restaurant, we subtly did this with the booth seating being upholstered with a fabric backing. The soft, warm brown fabric complements the gold, bronze, and earth tones we have in the space.”

“The subtle human connection we noticed is that when customers sat down on the booth seat amongst the pillows, one of the initial comments they made is that they feel at home, comfortable and had an instant connection to the tactility of the materials and objects they were touching. The fabric has a big contribution to this feeling.”

Materialised Product

  • Booth seat backs and chair backs: Momentum’s Knotted Nougat
  • Cushions: Momentum’s Spindle Derby
restaurant upholstery design
Knotted Nougat, Momentum Textiles
Knotted Nougat, available through our Design Studios

Working With Materialised

“Working with the Materialised team is always an easy process,” says Roberto. “We normally come to them after we have conceptualised a hospitality project with the intention of finding a stock fabric that works well with our colour palette. They have an extensive and diverse range of fabrics to choose from which gives us a lot of options to work with.”

This is what we love as a designer… Options to choose from to make our designs sing. When the opportunity presents itself, we like to collaborate with Materialised and design our own custom fabric prints for special projects. This may be a simple yet effective pattern or a larger mural to fill an interior. The possibilities are endless. Keep a look out for our next project!”

Meat & Wine Co Bella Vista

The Team & Credits

Interior Design: Callie van de Merwe, Roberto Zambri and Calvin Janse van Vuuren, Design Partnership Australia
Client: Seagrass Boutique Hospitality Group
Build & Interior Fitout: Franchise Fitout Group
Furniture & Bench Seating: SKU Design
Lighting: Ark Lighting
Art installation: Kent & Lane in collaboration with Design Partnership Australia
Materialised Team: NSW