Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spirited Design

Well, we talked about bar carts yesterday, so inevitably my thoughts went to those cozy rooms that invite one to sit a while and have a few drinks. Evidently, one of the chicest places in which to see and be seen and enjoy some libations was El Morocco, above. From the photos I've seen, I wouldn't call El Morocco cozy, but I'm sure those zebra banquettes alone guaranteed an exciting time.

It may be a cliche, but "clubby" type rooms can be some of the most comfortable in which to relax and socialize. I think that the British excel at this look. Think rich dark woods, deep colors, and comfortable upholstered furniture. This type of room is perfect for a single malt scotch.

Or, you could go the exotic route à la White Webb. Once again, the room envelopes you, but this time the feel is a bit more Oriental (with some Western undertones). What to imbibe in this type of room? Something decadent and mysterious (any thoughts??).

And for something very American, look at the room below by Alessandra Branca. The look is clean and crisp, just like a gin martini.

Although many of these rooms below are rather different in appearance, they are quite similar in feeling: they have comfortable upholstered furniture, the fabric and pillows are interesting and inviting, and they beg for one to sit a while and relax.

The Brits:

A view of Annabel's in London. A rather hodge-podge mix of colors and fabric, yet it still looks quite inviting (photo courtesy of New York Social Diary)

I believe I've shown this photo before, but truly, could you not spend hours lounging in this room?? Room by John Stefanidis

The Exotic:

Room designed by White Webb. All of the fabric is a paisley print in cotton- how luxurious!

The American:

Design by Alessandra Branca (Southern Accents, Jan/Feb 08)


  1. This kind of clubbing is so much more appealing that the tabloid-reported stuff of today. Inspired post.

  2. Love those zebra banquettes!

  3. Patricia- Oh yes! My kind of clubbing too (always has been!).

  4. Courtney- Maybe this is a sign that you should upholster your bench in Le Zebre!

  5. Anonymous3:09 PM

    What made El Morocco's upholstery so fabulous was this: the zebra stripes were navy blue and white, not black and white. And all those fake palm trees erupting from behind the banquettes.

  6. Mrs. E and I have a red walled bar room with cognac leather furniture, carved wood tables and a cherry and slate bar. The photos are black and white, matted in slate and framed in simple black wood. But I have to say.... I'd take a slug out of the mug at any one of the places you show. Wow.

    You've also hit on a pet peeve of mine. Where have all the glamorous places gone? There's always something missing. The closest I've found have been the Bar Hemingway at the Ritz, Paris; Bemelman's Bar at The Carlyle, NYC and The American Bar at The Savoy, London. Not exactly places I can nip round the corner for a snootful. What America needs is a healthy number of elegant watering holes in every city.

    Until then, I'll live vicariously through this post. Thanks!

  7. djellabah- Did I read somewhere that the fabric was designed by Rose Cumming??? I love those fake palm trees!

  8. Easy and Elegant- Your bar room sounds amazing! And don't forget the American Bar at the Stafford (although it's a bit more whimsical than elegant!)

  9. POC, I'm unfamiliar with the Stafford and The American Bar, but have added it to my list strictly on the strength of your recommendations. Cheers!

  10. Yes, those zebra banquettes are to die for! I would love to have a drink in any of these places!!


  11. Ah bar carts and single malt scotches... I wonder if the bar cart will get revitalized like the vanity has these past few years?
    Love the shot of Annabels in London... Add a few palm trees the the White Webb room and you have Billy Baldwin's hair salon for Kenneth!

  12. Mister- You could be right- bar carts might become the next hot thing. There are so many fabulous vintage ones out there. I completely forgot about the Kenneth salon- that was fantastic!!!!

  13. Fabulous collection - My favorite is the red John Stefanidis room! I could indeed spend hours staring at it!

  14. How fabulous! I love that room by Stefanidis - very cozy indeed!

  15. It's a tie between the John Stefandis room and the Alessandra Branca. Hmmm, just where do I want to plop down to be served drinks? I love the wall treatment in the Branca room. What a delightful post!

  16. I agree Jennifer. I enjoy going out for drinks over here in the UK much more than I did in the US. There is just something very cozy, laid back and relaxing about dark colors, hardwoods and fireplaces.

    We must be on a similar wavelength...I just posted on libations as well.

  17. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Does anyone know the name of the fabric on the banquettes at Annabel's? I love it! Many thanks.