Pizza East Portobello: Get the Industrial Look

Rustic timber cladding, oversize metal pendants and subway tiles have become the hallmarks of industrial-style design, a look that’s particularly popular for bars and restaurants. Pizza East Portobello on London’s Portobello Road, designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio (MBDS), captures the look perfectly with a mix of bespoke and reclaimed pieces, rough textures and hints of colour. Here, Martin Brudnizki explains how you can take away design inspiration (as well as pizza) from this west London hot spot.

What was your brief for Pizza East Portobello?

The idea was around creating a neighborhood pizzeria that looks like an Italian café, yet feels more like a restaurant in terms of service and function. Pizza East Shoreditch already existed and also influenced the general style, but the design was tailored towards a Notting Hill audience, to create a rustic, slightly lighter and more local feel, for those who like approachable sophistication.

MBDS opted for a lighter, more rustic feel in Notting Hill than for Pizza East’s Shoreditch branch

MBDS opted for a lighter, more rustic feel in Notting Hill than for Pizza East’s Shoreditch branch

Is there a balance of reclaimed and new pieces used?

In all our projects, we always ensure we fuse a functional and efficient design with an eclectic, bespoke mixture of furnishings that we source and design ourselves. PizzaEast Portobello is the perfect example of this as the majority of furnishings are either vintage pieces we have sourced, reclaimed features (such as the timber panelling and subway tiles) or custom pieces designed by the Studio. We often customise reclaimed pieces as well, to ensure they fit with the context of the space we’re designing.

Reclaimed timber panelling and subway tiles

Reclaimed timber panelling and subway tiles

Can you give some insight into where you sourced things?

We work with lots of different dealers who source from everywhere so it’s hard to say. For instance, the reclaimed timber floors and subway tiles came from the US and the tables and chairs are sourced from all over the world, which allows us to achieve that truly eclectic look.

Mismatched chairs were sourced all over the world, for a truly eclectic look

Mismatched chairs were sourced all over the world, for a truly eclectic look

With so many reproduction industrial-style pieces available now, what’s the advantage of using genuine reclaimed pieces?

With reclaimed or vintage pieces, you give your interiors a certain authenticity and add provenance to the design. For instance, the way a patina develops is not only capable of adding character to an object, but allows the customer to trace its history and connect with a space better.

Industrial styling is often associated with hard surfaces – how did you soften that look to make it more suitable for a restaurant?

Optical texture and tactile texture are both equally important in ensuring a space doesn’t feel cold. By using different materials, such as marbles, timber and fabrics, an industrial space can feel comfortable. Colour and furnishings are also vitally important: if you look at Pizza East Portobello, we’ve managed to create an inviting and exciting space through an eclectic mix of furnishings and the bold blue leather colour that pops out at you.

Layers of texture – both visual and tactile – are built up to create a rich appearance

Layers of texture – both visual and tactile – are built up to create a rich appearance

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