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Photo via V2F

Stylish restaurants constantly inspire the design of our personal spaces through texture, lighting, seating, music and ambience. I love to turn to restaurants as a source of inspiration because they are layered and thoughtful and have so many elements that can be incorporated into home decor details.

I can't count the number of times I have picked up a glass from a beautiful restaurant and immediately ordered it for my own home. Or the number of times I have replicated the flower arrangements on the table, the music playlist for an at-home dinner party or searched out the perfect bar table lamp.

I am constantly saving beautiful restaurants and bars as must-visit destinations for both the food and decor alike.

Here are some of my recently saved favorites- from a re-imagined glamorous steakhouse, to an Italian port-side bohemian eatery to my favorite restaurant discovered on a 2019 trip to Sri Lanka; all are different in style but aim to inspire just the same:

This gorgeous & glamorous re-imagined steakhouse is spread out over two floors. Designed by local Chicago firm Studio K, the warm and rich materials evoke a sophisticated warmth, like that from steakhouses of a bygone era.

The restaurant features a multitude of textures that all play off of each other seamlessly- from rich leather banquettes, to sumptuous velvet seats, wood paneling, antique mirror, satin brass and steel-framed glass doors it delivers a perfect lesson in layering proving that sometimes more is more.

In its’ handsome dining room, or al fresco under the stars in the Bowery Garden, Popular is ‘a transporting and worldly culinary tour that is good for both the body and the soul’.

The gorgeous restaurant located in the Public Hotel brings both the culinary traditions and design inspirations of Peru to downtown New York City. An inspiring tropical oasis tucked in the middle of urban sprawl, I can't wait to get to Popular for the ceviche and a side of inspiration (and of course to find out where those gorgeous green glasswares are from).

Al Pescatore: Sardegna Italy

Originally designed by Jacques Couelle in the 1960's, the Al Pescatore venue was the first restaurant built in Costa Smeralda, Sardegna Italy. Upon a recent renovation, this iconic restaurant unveils its new interior design, offering 'an authentic experience from aperitif to dinner and through the evening in a very intimate and private atmosphere overlooking the magic of the marina.'

The restaurant features sophisticated elements using unique fabrics and textured materials. It is such an interesting play on two opposing design sensibilities that actually marry perfectly: beach bohemian meets tailored chic. If I were to plan a trip around a restaurant, this would be the one.

Caffè Fernanda recalls 1950s Milanese glamour and is the perfect combination of modernism meets classicism. The building was damaged during WWII and then rebuilt in 1950 under the gallery’s director Fernanda Wittgens. Hence, named Caffe Fernanda, which occupies the gallery's former entrance hall.

Designed by Milan firm, Rgastudio, the space features bold richly pigmented blue walls that offset the classical columns, stone, and art including Pietro Damini’s 17th-century painting, the ‘Conversion of the Duke of Aquitania’, which hangs above the bar.

The pairing of the painting against the modern antique brass and ribbed walnut bar offset with midcentury tables and chairs is totally unexpected yet somehow completely works.

Along the shores of the iconic Zambezi River lies the Zambezi House – Bar & Canteen.

'Beneath a knot of ebony trees on the grassy banks of the Zambezi is a site worthy of the smartest safari lodge. Warthogs graze on the lawns where tables and chairs are set up for plates of peri-peri rotisserie chicken and wood-fired pizzas topped with artichokes and olives. In the courtyard, a wooden deck wraps around trees strung with fairy lights and baskets overflow with jungly plants'.

Inside the design leans fresh and contemporary with pink velvet sofas and black-and-white photography mixed alongside African artifacts.

File this one under number 1 bucket list destination.

A soft palette of beiges and creams showcase custom ceiling fixtures and wall sconces. The restaurant features organic touches like oak paneling, natural raffia insets, and the most incredible statement bar carved out of a solid piece of marble.

This updated contemporary brasserie also features a huge terrace with picture-perfect views of the Eiffel Tower- making for the perfect Parisian experience.

The Galle Fort Hotel, a beautiful, eclectic, eccentric gem of a place is a 13 suite boutique hotel that has gained a reputation for offering a singular experience; paying homage to Galle’s rich cultural and aesthetic values, while combining luxurious surroundings and delectable cuisine.

In Galle, fresh produce and seafood are available in abundance all year round; drawing inspiration from the famous Spice Route – the one merchants travelled from Europe to the East in search of exotic spices.

I had dinner here exactly two years ago when visiting Sri Lanka and it remains one of the most beautiful restaurant experiences I have had to date. The tropical colonial chic aesthetic was absolutely magical and has served as a constant source of inspiration for everything from antique furniture finds to garden and floral design.


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