Main Course | October 2011
Shweta Kaushik and Dr Art + Design add oodles of creativity to the design of the new Out of the Blue at Powai in Mumbai, giving it a different look but the same vibe as its Bandra cousin.
Blue denotes calmness, and when you enter the second branch of Out of the Blue at Powai in Mumbai, one is enveloped in a sense of tranquility. But, it is not just the colour that must be given the credit for this nerve-soothing ambience - the design of the restaurant collaborates with the colour to enhance the blue aura. "The starting point for the design was the desire to recreate the positive, relaxed vibes that Out of the Blue, Bandra has," says Shweta Kaushik, the lead designer on the project.
Kaushik underlines that it was the feel, and not the design, that was to be replicated. For this, the space was first divided into two sections - the indoor restaurant seating and the courtyard seating, with gorgeous bay windows and generous natural light. Although this is also an indoor space, the large windows and the streaming sunlight give it an outdoor feel. The two spaces have been treated differently - the restaurant area has rustic wood chairs with a natural melamine finish, criss-cross rafters on the ceiling, a cement-finish bar with a stone-finish background; the courtyard area has white and blue distress finish and melamine wood furniture, a fence around the periphery and some touches of green. Shades of blue - a turquoise blue for the restaurant seating and a grey-blue for the outdoor - form the common element of design.
The site had some disadvantages, which were artfully designed to turn them into unique features. "Since the entrance was small, we have created a tunnel-like passage with blue wooden rafters welcoming the visitors," explains Kaushik. The blue used there makes a statement, and the tunnel incites one to explore what lies within. Once in the restaurant, one can view the entire space, including the courtyard, at a glance - and choose the most delectable spot. One can dine at the private tables or at the large community table. The latter is placed between two pillars that segregate it without physically separating it from the main dining area. The lights above this table resemble black hats and add a kitschy touch, just like the white umbrellas and hanging parrots in the courtyard. Kaushik believes that it is these elements that create an out-of-the-box experience for the customer.
Out of the Blue is known for organising events and art shows and to facilitate the same, Kaushik has created a stage for live performances. The stage comes with a flexible trellis, which can form a backdrop or be used to display art or apparel as required. A separate trial room has also been provided for customers. The lighting throughout is indirect to maintain a soothing feel. The space is pretty active even in the day, so a day ambience has also been arranged for. There is also a wine rack where the Out of the Blue house brand can be displayed. Smaller elements, like the palm tree sculptures created by Dr Art + Design, give the finishing touches to the design.
With this fantastic combination of kitschy elements in a classy ambience, this stylish eatery makes it easier to banish one's blues!
Meet the designer: Shweta Kaushik
Firm: Dr Art + Design founded in 2009.
Firm specialisation: Aesthetic-design management, giving lifestyle projects and aesthetic touch by fusing art, sculpture and design into spaces right from concept to implementation.
Design philosophy: Spaces are not just a canvas to show creativity but a medium to project design sensibilities and interpretations of the factors that influence design decisions; therein lies the challenge of the craft.
Philosophy towards life: Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life.
Favourite designer/architect: Charles Correa and Droog Design.
Total Area: Approximately 4,200 sq ft
Total Cost: Rs 3,500/sq ft
Text: Sumisha Arora
Photos: Indrajit Sathe
Out Of The Blue Restaurant, 1st floor, Haiko Mall, Opp Rodas Hotel, Powai, Mumbai-400 062.
Tel: 022-4071 7344.
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