Nautical Restaurant Re-Do

So a friend came to me with a proposition, they run a Nautical themed restaurant and needed some help with the design. With them being a close friend of my fiancée and not a client, I saw it as something that wasn’t a personal conflict of interest with my current job. Like when you lend advice to a family member about what to paint their living room or where to move their furniture. Plus, I love the opportunity to do some design work commercially, since it is what I love and went to school for.

The restaurant is hoping to class themselves up a bit, new design, new menu. My fiancée is a chef, and a good one at that, and will be consulting in the menu, and I will be helping with the design. What a great combo! We should have our own show.

The Bar

Being about 15 years old, the restaurant is in amazing shape, and just needs a little update. New chairs, new paint, and something must be done about the blue fabric walls! Yes, those are fabric.

Fabric Wall Before

Just in case you didn’t believe me. It’s sound absorbing foam panels wrapped in some kind of carpet material for when they have live bands play. We have gone back and forth on what to do here for a few weeks and finally came up with a solution. I’ll post more on that soon since it’s a whole project unto itself.


This area here is where the bands play, and the walls again, are fabric. I LOVE this fireplace. Matt and I got some beers here the other night and just sat on the ledge talking and getting warm. My suggestion is that they put some cozy furniture on this rug so people can just chill out here on cold winter nights. Move the furniture when there is a band.


The ceiling is in perfect shape and doesn’t need to be touched, say for a good scrub from when smoking was still allowed here.

Server Station

This is the server station. My suggestion? Get rid of that copper monstrosity and get some awesome framed art of the Door County area. Get a new floating shelf for the servers, and hang it a little higher up. You want to go for classy, you have to class it up!


Mood Board #1


Mood Board # 2

Here’s the plan:

  1. I want to cover the fabric walls with a restaurant grade linen so they still absorb sound, and are easy to wash.
  2. I would love to get photos of Door County and the Green Bay area (Nautical Themed) to put up in black and white. Print at Kinko’s and get frames from Hobby Lobby.
  3. Paint the walls in a subtle slate brown to go with the stone and the wood tones of the ceiling. Colors: Sherwin William’s Universal Khaki and Benjamin Moore Raccoon Hollow.
  4. The restaurant is getting new wrought iron chairs and bar stools in black with a gray seat cover. They are also getting booths to look along the water on the inside of the restaurant.
  5. I would get adorable little black iron lanterns from IKEA for the tabletops.
  6. The restaurant is also getting cute jar lights to replace the dated blue ones above the bar.
  7. Would love to do some Linen-y drapes that look like ship sales, but know they would get dirty. Possibly in a white so they can be bleached. That would help absorb sound.

I’m pretty excited to see the progression, and will keep you updated with photos, and tutorials on the things we do here. Happy Sailing!


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