For the dining area at the exclusive Floridian Club in Naples, Florida, design firm W Design created a relaxing, coastal-inspired space that embraces the lovely Gulf views. Here, firm principal Wendy Berry gives us insight into the project.
Q: How did you get involved with the project?
A: We previously worked with the Floridian Club's beach community, remodeling several of their members condos. We were very familiar with the desired aesthetic for the restaurant.
Q: How did the location influence the design of the restaurant?’
A: We oriented the dining room so that the gulf views were maximized. We created a casual, comfortable aesthetic, echoing the beach elements of sand, water and sky in the design.
Q: What was the inspiration for the design?
A: The space is inspired by Myknoos, Greece with cool tones, modern lines and an open feel. We used a mostly neutral palette with blue accents to reflect the water views. Teak stools and wicker resin dining chairs lend a relaxed look that still feels elegant.
Q: What is your favorite design element in the space?
A: My favorite is the feature wall that includes shiplap and watercolor artwork. The combination of materials and colors—the horizontal boards, warm casual woods, pillowed slate gray tiles and cool sea tones of the artwork—creates a refined coastal look. The open concept also transformed the space. You feel like you are sitting outside even when in the middle of the restaurant.
Q: What was the biggest challenge with the restaurant?
A: Certain items we wanted were discontinued, which led us to customize pieces so we didn’t have sacrifice the design. This ended up making the space unique and beautiful.
Q: You also do residential work. What are some of the main differences between designing a home and designing a restaurant?
A: Compliance is one of the biggest differences. With restaurants, we have to ensure the space is ADA compatible and will endure commercial use. For this project, we were focused on increasing the square footage, so we bumped out the space by five feet at the back and three feet on the sides to accomodate a larger kitchen and more space in the bathrooms. These changes increased the permitted occupany by 50 people and allowed the club to function as a full service restaurant.
Q: Can you tell us about other hospitality/dining projects you have done?
A: We've done several offices and restaurants and are currently working on a surgery center.
Q: What projects do you have on the horizon?
A: We’re excited to work on a penthouse in New York City, a riverfront restaurant and new homes in Naples, Florida, and Ohio.