Ella Dining Room and Bar / UXUS

© Mathijs Wessing

Design: UXUS
Location: Sacramento, California,
Client: The Selzim Restaurant Group
Project Area: 710 sqm
Project Year: 2007
Photographs: Mathijs Wessing

The Selzim Restaurant Group commissioned to create a world class environment for their new restaurant, Ella Dining Room & Bar, located in the heart of Sacramento California, two blocks away from the State Capitol Building. The restaurant is named after the granddaughter of executive Chef Randell Selland, of the Kitchen Restaurant and Selland’s Market-Café. The 4 million dollar project has a capacity for 250 diners and serves “Modern American Bistro” cuisine. The owners wanted the restaurant to become “Sacramento’s living room,” an urban oasis where lawmakers and other diners can go and unwind after a long day’s work.

© Mathijs Wessing
© Mathijs Wessing

With the principles of “Rustic Luxury” in mind, UXUS designed a dining space that celebrates the essential beauty and goodness contained in simple things, a principle that is similarly reflected in Ella’s menu, which promotes local growers, seasonal ingredients and pure, simple dishes. “Rustic Luxury” synchronizes simplicity and complexity, the traditional and the contemporary, to define an elegant, relaxed lifestyle and the pleasure and sensuality of real materials.

In keeping with these principles, UXUS beautifully intertwines the old and the new. 500 salvaged antique Hungarian shutters line the walls and ceiling, enveloping diners in rustic textures and colors, whilst billowing white curtains punctuate and soften the space. Plush, luxurious ottomans and a light, contemporary palette balance reclaimed wood stools and traditional country tables. Simple white pendants dramatically sweep through the space; their gold interior complementing the custom LED gilded steel discs on the wall.

© Mathijs Wessing

Rustic Luxury, as defined by Ella’s, offers its guests an experience that combines the simple and natural pleasures of dining at a dear friend’s home, at their table d’hôte or host’s table. The “Host’s Table” is a French tradition of eating in the kitchen while the chef is preparing dinner. It is a very welcoming and intimate experience, usually reserved for honored guests and close friends. The owners of Ella wanted to create that level of intimacy at their restaurant. UXUS cleverly opened the kitchen to the dining area with two large communal tables forming the table d’hôte area. Diners can experience the thrill of watching the chefs at work, and taste the results of their culinary efforts.

© Mathijs Wessing

Next to the table d’hôte, ensconced within the 4-meter high white pantry, a glass door leads to the private dining area: a luxurious yet whimsical space lined with hand-screened wallpaper by English designer Tracy Kendall, where guests dine amongst images of giant golden knives, forks and spoons. In line with the restaurant’s mood, the private room provides a feeling of elegance and relaxed intimacy.

All of these elements come together at Ella Dining Room & Bar to form an intimate and convivial dining experience, the embodiment of “Rustic Luxury” right at the heart of California’s State Capital.

Founded in Amsterdam in 2003, UXUS is an independent award wining design consultancy specializing in strategic design solutions for Retail, Communication, Hospitality, Architecture and Interiors. UXUS creates “Brand Poetry”, fusing together art and design, and creating new brand experiences for its clients worldwide. They define “Brand Poetry” as an artistic solution for commercial needs.

Cite: "Ella Dining Room and Bar / UXUS" 05 May 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=58292>
  • sullka

    Beautiful!

    I’m not that sure about the flooring material though, and the booths seems to be too high, shoulder height looks better to me.

    Nice place none the less.

  • Josephiklein.com

    O thats nice It thematic without being tasteless.

  • architist

    Beautiful interior, nice lighting. The architect chooses the right material combinations that works perfectly well together. Well done!

  • Chris

    Hey this project reminds me of a restaurant in Jakarta opened about 2 years ago!
    http://www.ptthead.com/

  • bobz

    rite chris!! Andra Matin is the architect!

  • Pingback: World Class Environment by UXUS | Interior Design, Interior Decorating, Trends & News - Interiorzine.com