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You know what the Kelowna food scene really needs? A bistro in the Mission area that offers healthy food made from scratch with locally sourced ingredients, including grab-and-go paninis, hot lunch specials, a large selection of homemade gelato, freshly prepared take out items for quick at-home dinners, and of course, great coffee. Well, guess what? Il Tavolino is coming to the rescue!

Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
A perspective view of the concept for Il Tavolino, an Italian cafe and gelateria under construction in Kelowna, BC. Designed in collaboration with Magpie Interiors.

Il Tavolino, the brainchild of Alessandro DeAngelis and his wife, interior designer Sarah DeAngelis came to Hatch in need of our help. Sarah has long been recognized as an award-winning residential interior designer in Toronto (and now in Kelowna) with her firm Magpie Interiors, but commercial interiors were somewhat new for her. Being that Hatch Interior Design specializes specifically in commercial projects, it was the perfect opportunity for collaboration between our firms.

Of course this blog post is all about the aesthetic design concept for the project, but we can’t stress enough how important it is to get the layout right, especially in a small café. We worked closely with Canadian Restaurant Supply to ensure the kitchen was designed in the most efficient way possible and we tweaked the floor plan until it was just so (accommodating as many requirements as possible).

The Vision

Alessandro recently came back from Florence, Italy where he was formally trained in the art of Italian cooking. It was important for him that the bistro design reflect the character and charm his family enjoyed overseas, but that it have a modern, casual, yet industrial appeal. We were able to work quite seamlessly with Magpie as our visions for the space were similar.

The inspiration behind Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
The spaces above designed by unknown (top), Takenouchi Webb (bottom), and My Beautiful (right) were a few of the inspirational projects behind Il Tavolino.

The Concept

We introduced a patterned tile with a folk flavor, but took it one step further. Magpie was able to source an encaustic tile from Cement Tile Shop that would accurately connect the space to its Italian roots. This became the backbone of the design with the pattern repeated in a motif stained into the polished concrete floor and CNC cut into some metal ceiling panels.

Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
A bird’s eye view of the cafe design shows the suspended, CNC cut metal ceiling, one of the round “il tavolino” tables, and the reclaimed shutter door bulkhead.

A lime plaster finish was selected for the feature walls to add texture and old-world appeal while softening the grey, orange, black and walnut-wood colour palette we had developed. To give the space an eclectic feel we settled on mismatched cabinetry with an assortment of different handles and pulls. An 8×8 white tile applied in a staggered pattern adds to the bistro feel while adding a bit of industrial edge. Now we just needed a touch of romance, some detail with a reclaimed element, and possibly something “green” as a nod to the fresh food Il Tavolino plans to prepare.

The Romance

Italy is a place of romance and for us designers, it was an important feeling to convey in the design. The classic café chair seemed like the perfect fit paired with marble tables and industrial stools. In fact, in Italy, “Il Tavolino” is a reference for a small, round marble table – perfect. A cabinet planned for the display of small retail items will also offer a hint of romantic charm as it will be shaped to mimic an old, curvy piece of furniture, but with an unexpected hit of orange.

Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
The view from the front entrance with display case front and centre and kraft paper menu boards.

The Details

Did someone say detail? The menu was a great place to develop a fun detail that was not only functional and flexible for an ever changing menu, but added to the authentic nature of the Il Tavolino brand. Inspired by some projects we’ve seen recently, we decided a brown paper roll menu was the perfect addition to the interior design.

Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
The pattern in the encaustic tile will carry onto the walls and floors as well as within the washrooms.

Influenced by the old wood shutters you see on historical buildings in Europe, we wanted to bring that feeling to the space, but in a different way. We managed to find some old slatted doors at (where else) Lois Lane here in Kelowna bringing our project that reclaimed element it needed. The doors had a similar feel to the shutters and we decided that by cutting them to size, applying various degrees of distressing, and installing them in a random way we could achieve that shabby-chic appeal we were after.

Now for the “green”. We have a lovely wall of windows that faces east and gets all kinds of morning sun, so we were excited by the ability for Il Tavolino to grow fresh herbs right in their space. We decided to develop a vertical garden, but in an informal and somewhat artsy fashion by hanging pots at various heights along with old wood cutting boards. It’s going to be a really nice way for the customers to enjoy a bit of greenery, but also get the home-made, fresh, authentic feeling that Il Tavolino aims to convey.

Il Tavolino Gelateria and Cafe Conceptual Design by Hatch Interior Design and Magpie Interiors
The hanging pots for growing herbs and old cutting boards will become a feature installation within the space.

Il Tavolino is currently being built by ANR Construction, and although we can’t wait to show it off, we really can’t wait to enjoy the food, coffee, and gelato. Check back a little later in the summer for an update on the completed project.

» Are you opening a restaurant, café, or bistro and need our help? Contact Hatch Interior Design located in Kelowna, British Columbia – Because Good Design is Good Business™.