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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Juno Omakase by Hamilford Design

Hamilford Design completed the rich and luxurious interiors for an Omakase restaurant in Notting Hill, creating a space that is a jewel box of treasures.

Behind a velvet curtain in the heart of Notting Hill is the country’s smallest Omakase, designed by Hamilford Design. With only six seats, Juno provides an intimate dining experience and the chance to watch world class chef Leonard Tanyag prepare his carefully crafted 15 course menu.

Guided by the brief of balancing Mexican and Japanese influences, Hamilford Design created a speakeasy-like aura, with an atmosphere of both privacy and exclusivity.  The walls mirror delicate fish scales and waves, immersing guests in an underwater ambiance, transporting them away from central London and creating a unique adventure.

The Omakase experience is unique and steeped in tradition, putting the chef in the limelight during this immersive dining adventure.  Hamilford wanted to create an ambience which allows a convivial eating atmosphere, a space that encourages interaction with the chef, whilst feeling both inviting and exclusive. “Omakase” translates as “trust the chef” and the impressive, solid wood Omakase table is his stage, where he can be seen preparing the dishes fresh and directly handing them over.

The Omakase table doubles up as a dining and food preparation area and is an important design feature. The table fosters communal dining and shared experience; classic timber was selected as the material to add a traditional touch, honouring the rich history of this ritualistic experience. With the table, seating and shelving, Hamilford kept clean lines and strong shapes. Harmony is essential to Japanese culture, seen in the clean lines and understated nature of Japanese architecture, which inspired this small space.  With a nod to tradition, Hamilford also wanted to infuse a sense of modernity, with lush fabrics and feature lighting.  Rich velvet seating was used in the small bar area, with warm, gold toned metalware to add an element of glamour and luxury. Whilst some features were kept simple, it was important to have an element of decadence and splendour.

When designing home interiors Hamilford strive to incorporate their clients’ stories and lives in the design. This can be applied to commercial work also, with Juno’s overall design mirroring the Japanese-Mexican fusion food.  The atmosphere combines the vibrancy of Tokyo with the relaxed charm of Tulum. Hamilford used highly textured, natural materials such as seagrass wall coverings, (by Casamance, Pierre Frey and Arte) bespoke timber worktops and bamboo elements to bridge between two design cultures. The choice of design materials; earthy elements such as linen walls juxtaposed with smooth metals and woods, all contribute to a sustainable design approach aligned with Juno’s commitment to sustainable fishing practices. It was important to the design team that the ethos of the restaurant was mirrored in the design itself. Only a certain number of fish are caught to prevent overfishing, to protect species.

Previously a storage cupboard, in just a matter of weeks, the design team transformed the space with the help of curves to create a sense of flow from the main restaurant. Creating an archway and smooth wall cut outs, Hamilford achieved a sense of movement and stopped the small space appearing boxy. The curves also give the illusion of water, tying in with the fresh seafood served.  Continuing the marine theme, elements reminiscent of the ocean were intertwined, with fish scale accents, evocative of the Koi fish in Japan.  Hamilford used a very reflective ceiling wallpaper to make the room feel taller, it also gives the feel that you’re submerged, looking up at the water’s surface.  The carefully crafted acoustics add to the feeling of being submerged, with the bamboo wall covering insulating sound and adding to the sense of intimacy.

The centerpiece upon pulling across the curtain is a stunning bamboo light fixture on the back wall. It sits in a curved recess and provides an interesting shadow on the back wall. The design team wanted to create a discussion point for diners, the light can be perceived to be like an eye, however some people think it is reminiscent of the sun seen through water.

Juno is a realm of darkness and drama, deliberately setting the stage for a captivating dining experience.

www.hamilforddesign.com | IG: @hamilford_design

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