With their new restaurant Basic Kitchen, Kate and Ben Towill, the married creatives behind design and development company Basic Projects, are bringing something unique to downtown Charleston: a relaxed, all-day bistro-style cafe serving decidedly healthy “fuel.”
“We wanted to create a neighborhood place where locals and tourists could visit for a delicious, clean meal in a cheery environment,” Kate says. “Charleston has some unbelievable dining spots, but not enough with a casual, home-cooked vibe.”
The duo approached the project with three words in mind: “colorful, energizing, and essential.” They gutted the historic space, leaving only the fireplace as a compass while they worked from the floors up, painting the walls in a crisp white, anchoring the space with custom-made wood furniture, and accessorizing with characterful vintage pieces. “We wanted the interior to feel as bright and colorful as the dishes look and make you feel,” Kate says. Here’s a look.
Photography courtesy of Basic Kitchen.
Function was a priority for Kate and Ben, who worked in interior design and the restaurant business in New York before moving to Charleston (they co-own Remodelista favorites The Fat Radish in NYC and The Ferry Boat Inn in Cornwall, England). “Ben’s restaurant-operating background drove a lot of the practical design,” Kate says. “There are so many moving parts of a restaurant; we’re getting better with each one we design, but things always end up moving when it starts running. I’ve learned you have to be flexible.”
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