Heavily inspired by the art deco style of Bombay’s old aesthetic, Asha’s Abu Dhabi incorporates the revived identity of the iconic chain of restaurants. With the restaurant serving some of the most interesting blends of Indian cultural food in a lavish setting, the designers at LW offered an incredible opportunity to work on the interiors of this incredible restaurant.

In the brief, the client mentioned that they were looking for a cultural yet modern twist to their restaurant in Dubai that offered mainly Indian cultural cuisine. The design would have elements heavily inspired by Bombay Deco, making it an inviting yet sophisticated space for a pre-movie dinner or a reprieve for shoppers.

The designers at the helm of Asha’s restaurant were especially fond of art deco styles and found that Bombay deco would very well represent it. The concept behind this particular project was a sophisticated yet culturally expressive space that would wow its audience with a unique aesthetic. The décor and the interiors would complement the aesthetic perfectly, yet would not overwhelm or alienate visitors.

Project description
LW’s design team had to transform an iconic restaurant into a timeless space that was reminiscent of Bombay deco. The client also had a signature orange color that they wanted us to keep for the interior while adding a unique blend of art deco and contemporary modernism to the mix. The combination of these elements created a wholly unique sight for visitors, who would be awestruck by the changes to this iconic restaurant.

Subtle rattan details, crittled glass screens, and curved banquets grace the design to create an inviting atmosphere that is sure to tantalise visitors’ senses. Moreover, the client was pleased to see their signature orange color integrated throughout the restaurant. The eatery will also feature more enclosed spaces that allow for intimate meetings and gatherings.

As with every project that we take up, Asha’s Restaurant offered its own fair share of challenges to the LW design team. One of these challenges was to create a bar that would reflect the expressive art deco interiors within a restrictive space. The bar was a necessary part of the overall aesthetic, mainly because of the brasserie atmosphere that our team was going for.

The design team curated a smaller yet expressive bar to complete the aesthetic. The bar is right at the entrance, which sets the visitors’ expectations and allows them to take in the ambiance of the restaurant as they enter.

Another major challenge was to find décor and furnishings comprising the vibrant touch of India, along with the sophisticated nature of art deco. Dedicated furnishings and décor were essential for an immersive ambiance. The team was able to overcome this hurdle by turning to local markets instead of major chains. Surprisingly, they found thematic furniture that was as expressive as art deco, yet displayed a slight touch of Indian culture.

Material specifications
As mentioned above, finding the right materials for the project was a major challenge. However, the team was able to overcome these challenges with the help of various local markets and major chains. These sellers were able to provide the décor for the job. One of these sellers was Huda Lighting that provided bespoke pendant metal lights. These metal pendant lights offer incredible immersion and add depth to the ambiance.

The concrete planters throughout the space are courtesy of La Veranda furnishings. On the other hand, the wood-grained full-bodied porcelain tiles give a very natural look to the restaurant, without the hard clacking of a visitor’s feet that they would otherwise hear on a regular wooden floor. Vintage Indian accessories came through local markets, adding a nice charm to the explosive personality of the restaurant with their cultural motifs.

Finally, the feature rattan screen, which is one of the highlights of the restaurant, came from the Tribe Dubai furnishings store. The rattan screen is a nice touch to the interiors and adds a lot more intimacy to wherever the visitor is sitting.

Photo credit: Natelee Cocks