Located in the Ballard neighborhood, Staple & Fancy is a restaurant among celebrated chef Ethan Stowell’s extensive repertoire. Housed within the century-old Kolstrand Building in the old industrial area. With a space already filled with so much character, the design strategy was to respect the history and personality of the place. The existing painted brick walls and rough timber framing were left exposed, with the brick wall becoming a main focal point of the restaurant.
A banquette was designed along one of the brick walls, allowing diners an unobstructed view of the artistry unfolding in the kitchen. Sliding timber and glass doors in the back connect Staple & Fancy with a neighboring restaurant and create a detailing vocabulary. That language is carried through in the dividers between seating and the server station. The banquette and booths were conceived as objects and furniture sitting lightly in the space.
Part of the design challenge was to respect and celebrate the amazing qualities of the existing space. Together with designer Mark Wolf, light was placed strategically; an original painted wall advertisement is bathed in a warm glow, becoming the focal point for the space. Watching the chef and crew prepare delicious dishes using fresh local ingredients is part of the experience of dining at Staple and Fancy. The storefront opens completely to the sidewalk and an outdoor seating area. This allows diners to enjoy people watching and that rare Seattle good weather, while also providing pedestrians a glimpse into the action inside.