For retro wine bar, Buvette Daphnée, Ivy Studio blends time and place

New Nostalgia

Francophone nostalgia has a new home in Canada’s capital of Ottawa, where Buvette Daphnée, a Montreal-inspired wine bar and fine dining restaurant, opened last fall. The interiors offer a stimulating concoction of both vintage and contemporary elements within the historic ByWard Market. The new, 1,500-square-foot establishment is run by chef Dominique Dufour who wanted to blend her personal ties to Quebec and Ottawa under one roof. Leading the design behind this Canadian cultural marriage is Montreal-based architecture and interior design firm, Ivy Studio

The tiled flooring and pendants from 1960s Montreal street lamps reference retro diner aesthetics (Alex Lesage)

A custom-designed tile floor zigzags through the restaurant (Alex Lesage)

Upon entry, eyes are immediately drawn to the custom-designed tile floor that introduces the main color scheme of the restaurant: brown, caramel, cream, and light blue. The unique floor pattern zigzags across the entire restaurant from the bar to the dining area. It unites these two distinct areas of the space while striking a retro diner aesthetic on which the designers layer contemporary touches.

The space’s original, exposed brick stands alongside contemporary touches (Alex Lesage)

Ivy Studio seamlessly coheres duality at Buvette Daphnée. Old and new collide from the original exposed brick walls that stand alongside sleek cream-painted, v-board panels, offering textural contrast. Above the bar, vastly different light fixtures complement each other: the first is a one-of-a-kind, 30-foot-long burnt orange piece by Montreal’s Hamster that slithers above the 36-foot-long, U-shaped bar; the others are frosted glass globes taken from original 1960s street lamps in Montreal.

Canadian studio Hamster designed the track light above the bar which ties into the building’s industrial past (Alex Lesage)

Vintage chairs with a pop of color add to the retro references (Alex Lesage)

Nooks are encased in vertical paneling, reiterated through the fluted light above it (Alex Lesage)

To add to the already rich material palette of the restaurant, the dining area offers a balance between rugged and soft textures. This is applied through the furniture application, ranging from the circular booth cutouts encased in vertical paneling with blue velvet seat covers to the vintage chairs complemented by a large banquette wrapped in a smooth cognac leather.

The globe pendants from Studio Botté recycle Montreal street lamps from the 1960s (Alex Lesage)

Cozy brown booths run down the middle of the main dining area (Alex Lesage)

The design team created a space that is both cohesive and unexpected. One’s eyes can easily bounce across the entire place to see all of the elements harmoniously play off each other. Ivy Studio’s design efforts only enhance the dining experience for those who want a taste of Quebec while also being in Ottawa, of being in the past but also the present.