This week's stealth luxury theme at Remodelista put us in mind of Kettner's, a London lounge, brasserie, and collection of private dining rooms in what was once the French Quarter of Soho. Founded in 1867 by Napoleon III's former chef, August Kettner, the sprawling venue is set in a row of Georgian townhouses that were masterfully reinvigorated in 2008 by designer Ilse Crawford of Studioilse.
At once inviting and quite elevated, Crawford's design style is synonymous with careful detail and understated luxury. Her approach proved the perfect counterpart to Kettner's historic backdrop—its quarters over the decades have been known to inspire gossip and scandal. Jess Tully at Studioilse told Design Week, "The idea is play on the creative life within the building and give it a new identity by building up its past. We wanted to create the restaurant’s future story."
Photography by Paul Raeside for Yatzer.
Above: Kettner's brasserie, located on the lobby floor, features a marble island down its center and mauve upholstered bar chairs. Kettner's was historically a place for aristocratic men; Studioilse had the intention of making it, as Tully says, "more of a female-friendly venue—somewhere where people can use the space flexibly, by having breakfast, holding a business meeting, or just hanging out with friends."
Above: The brasserie and pudding bar (not shown) occupy half of the lobby floor; a Champagne bar fills the other half.
Above: Padded velvet sofas in the Champagne bar stand ready for 21st century gossip and scandal.
Above: The Apartment, one of Kettner's private dining rooms, was once frequented by Edward VII and his mistress. Edward VII was responsible for the creation of a secret passageway between the Palace Theater and Kettner's basement.
Above: A gray suede sofa and love seat in The Apartment's lounge.
Above: Crawford furnished the Apartment with surprise hits of electric blue.
Above: A large private dining room in the Studio Room seats 40.
Above: The Salon is a dining room with the feel of an elevated conference room.
Above: The Attic Den on the top floor is possibly the most understated dining room of all, appointed with a series of simple caned dining chairs, a few palm plants, and an upholstered wooden bench.
Above: Another private dining area on the top floor, the Cabinet Particular, features white-painted bentwood chairs surrounding a candelabra-filled oval table.
Above: The third room on the top floor, the Salle de Fête, is all white save for a collage of vintage composition books—something we'd like to copy at home.
For more designs by Studioilse, see our previous posts: A Glamorous Hong Kong Flat, Subtle Splendor at Stockholm's Ett Hem Hotel, and The Olde Bell Inn Dining Room. For another London spot not to be missed, read about FARM:shop on Gardenista.
Location of Kettner's in Soho, London: