Taavo Somer calls the design of his Williamsburg restaurant "primitive modernism"; an apt description for the rugged yet refined aesthetic.
Somer, an experienced restaurateur, designed the space along with Isa head chef Ignacio Mattos. Isa opened earlier this year, though Somer had been dreaming for some time of creating a restaurant built with his own hands. Cleverly making use of his woodworker and ceramist friends, he filled the former house with old wood, new wood, and firewood mixed with modern angles and shapes. Add some plywood, tree branches, and spray paint, and you have primitive modernism.
Above: The dining room's "primitive modernism" makes use of both very basic treatments of wood (hand-hewn, unfinished beams, live edges) and very modern (bentwood chairs, triangulated designs). Photo via Facebook.
Above: Terra cotta floors, live-edge tables, mismatched chairs.
Above: A detail of the ceiling's unfinished beams, many bearing marks of an earlier life. Photo via Decoration as Composition.
Above: Light streams into the dining room via double-hung windows.
Above: Speakers, emergency lighting, and credit card machines are not hidden away, but are incorporated into the design. Photo via Decoration As Composition.
Above: The angles continue into the kitchen. Photo via Full Insight.
Above: A new approach to menu design; DIY collages change nightly. Photo via Eat Big Apple.
Above: Graffiti as decor: the bathroom entry. Photo via Full Insight.