A Symbol of Minimalism in USA: The Onda Restaurant by Kelly Wearstler
When it came time to build up a modern restaurant in Santa Monica’s Kelly Wearstler designed Proper Hotel: the inspiration was a group effort between Jessica Koslow, the chef of L.A. favorite Sqirl, and Gabriela Cámara, the chef of Mexico City’s famed Contramar. The top interior designer Kelly Wearstler led the design for space, working in coordination with both chefs as well as Sqirl creative director Scott Barry.
Gabriela Cámara (left) and Jessica Koslow (Right)
According to Kelly Wearstler “Onda is reflective of both chefs’ combined distinctive cultural and food styles: minimal, inviting, and modern. This is telling their story through my eyes. It was a very fluid, engaging process.”
Onda is situated in a landmark building, which is a beautiful Spanish Colonial Revival style one, built in the 1920s. You can find a contemporary interior design restored and refreshed with its original rich materiality, architectural details and a lot of craftsmanship techniques.
The beauty of this modern restaurant is in the juxtaposition of the original detailing with the materiality-forward unique design of the restaurant. The open kitchen was an idea that had the goal of adding something exclusive to the casual nature of the restaurant.
To achieve a beautiful result in the design, it was shared a palette with natural, raw materials and a rich patina. The space designed by Kelly Wearstler is thoughtfully layered with ceramic terra-cotta tiles from Mexico, as well as beautiful vintage and locally crafted pieces by California modernist designers.
“People in San Francisco have no leisure time that they are willing to spend after dinner”
All of the seating in the space is vintage, including dining chairs from Børge Mogensen and Alvar Aalto and bar stools by midcentury American maker Arthur Umanoff. The main dining area features hand-carved oak tables, a custom reclaimed Douglas fir wooden communal table, and custom elm and leather banquettes.
This splendid restaurant has its greatness and fame not only for his unique design but for being in the lobby of Porter Hotel contributes a lot to that.
The Hotel’s Palette is nature-inspired and earthy, raw materials and organic textiles, art and landscape bring a rich sensory feeling into the hotel. Kelly Wearstler intentionally worked with local artists and artisans to bring a true localized experience within the spaces.