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Case Study: Elixir Restaurant, Richmond North Yorkshire

This restaurant project was inside a really interesting, listed building right on the main square in the heart of Richmond. It hadn’t had the best few years and was feeling rather neglected.

My client came to me wanting to give the people of Richmond something they didn’t already have - something special, glamorous, and luxurious. The local competition is often traditional in style, so we intended to design something contemporary and different from the rest.

He handed me 1 inspiration image, which is often all I need to get an idea of what my clients are looking for. From the inspiration image I became absorbed with looking at bold colours, bold shapes, curves, gloss v matt, and interesting lighting. The ceiling was also key to consider as it had many different levels including dramatic a curved high area.

The first step was getting the space planning right, my concept plan looked something like this:

But my client had decided he wanted a very large bar and requested its location moved to an area with a lower ceiling. And so, the plan was changed:

In order to embrace the mood of the inspiration image, I created a moody scheme of red, gold and charcoal grey. I was really inspired by local artist Helen Steven, aka Surfacephilia, and her wallpaper design Onyx. And I was thrilled when the client agreed that it was perfect.

We really wanted to create an exciting view in to the restaurant from the street and the plan was that this wallpaper, some statement lighting and built in seating would really entice you in.

And with a name like Elixir all my inspiration came from the movement of metals and liquids blending and swirling together.

The build itself was pretty challenging due to the age of the property, some unforeseen damp issues and the general chaos that the pandemic brought. However, the team persevered and it slowly came together:

The ceiling chains and decorative metal artwork, designed by me and made onsite by the team, are some of my favourite features:

If you’re on Instagram you can follow along with Elixir, the food gets amazing reviews and occasionally the interior design is commented upon! My favourite description of it is ‘electric’. I wish my client and his team the very best of luck with their ongoing journey.

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