The client and CEO of the Rare Restaurant group, Martin Williams had a strong vision of what he wanted the new M at Canary Wharf to be inspired by. South of France, Classic yachts and water to name but a few. This essence spilled over into all the schemes from the main bar to the private members club.
The team at René Dekker Design, one of London’s top interior design studios got straight to work on this most exciting project, adding exciting finishes and textures into the mix. It was the creative Directors aim to really push the boat out with this project, more so than the previous ones, as the relationship was strong and the client now had full confidence in his designer. Whilst each restaurant design is stand alone, there are a few elements that are ubiquitous in all of their locations, the main one being the teal faux eel skin wall covering. This dark green/blue colour set the tone for the entire restaurant and was used in smaller or larger degrees throughout. The palette also made use of exotic (but not endangered!) timbers such as Pau Ferro as well as hard wearing faux timber such as Amtico. The idea was to present an understated nautical theme where floors might look like the deck of a yacht and banquettes might resemble a yacht interior. We also added porthole mirrors to all the doors in a tongue in cheek nod to the yacht theme. Gradually a palette of teal, umber and shades of blue began to take shape.
The Reception space you ‘land’ in when you arrive at the first floor, has an incredible polished blue onyx ceramic tile. The sheen and colours provide a fantastic first impression of the space all shimmering and exciting! The scheme also uses a ‘wave’ design wall covering on the walls in the reception and lounge, emulating the movement of water and further strengthening the first impression.
The restaurant floor is made up of 3 types of faux timber, each with a distinct colour and texture. The idea was to create a take of a deck on a boat, but chopped up into irregular quadrilaterals. In this area we hung the walls with a large scale free-hand mural in shades of blue and white, appropriately called Splash! And the piece de resistance were the Brokis Night Bird pendants. The design team also came up with a water inspired carpet design, with a dark blue field and using several neutral colours all found in the surrounding scheme.
The design for the wine tasting area made use of a wonderfully dynamic silver laminate which looks just like water, which was added to the sides of the island unit! The private members bar took its inspiration from a Slim Aarons photo called Monaco, an iconic image of three well-tanned jet setters lying in a classic Riva on turquoise leather upholstery. This was a great opportunity to maximise the turquoise colour and it was used not only in the leather banquette but also in the velvet on the bar stools as well as the faux marble bar top.