New York, NY


The Wesley

The Wesley features three distinct spaces, each of which embodies a natural environment that reflects a main food group featured on the menu – Greens, Grains, and Roots.  Using the menu ingredients as design drivers allowed Elmo Studios to juxtapose rich and otherwise conflicting palettes consisting of deep browns, bright greens, and mellow ochres under a single cohesive narrative. 

This resulted in the creation of three very different yet linked environments within a small footprint which provokes excitement and wonder as one dines at The Wesley. 

The design of the restaurant intentionally overlays clean and simplified geometries with textural materials and organic elements. Lighting is carefully calibrated to highlight and dramatize this relationship; sometimes accentuating the straight edge of a corner while other times highlighting the soft fold of a textile. This creates a layered experience that feels both minimal yet comfortable. 


The Green Room: 

The bar or “green room” at the Wesley greets guests at the entry with a 7-foot living plant wall. Against the dark charcoal limewash of the room, a glowing pane of light is used behind the bar to create a soft glow simulating a constant warm daylight.  The bar is built of dark stained oak with a heavily brushed surface in contrast with a smooth white Carrara marble. Opposite the bar are smaller niches designed for more intimate and private conversations. The niches feature custom steel drink ledges and bar stools by New Tendency.

Between the bar and the Dining Room is an elongated threshold dipped in black. This in-between space acts as a visual palette cleanser as diners pass from drinks into dinner.  

The Grain Room:

The Dining room or “grain room” is coated in a honey-colored palette to evoke the feeling of being in a wheat field. Warm limewash walls, woven rattan ceiling, and an ochre velvet banquette act as backdrop to a continuous illuminated installation of dried grain which wraps the room. Consistent with the overall design approach, these natural elements and textures are balanced by cleaner architectural moves. Arched frames backed with alternating mirrors create a rhythm and order while also expanding the room and allowing natural light to bounce throughout.  


Root Room:

The back dining room is dark and moody inspired by the colors and feeling of displaced earth. Light washes over velvet draped walls, terracotta limewash, and rich mahogany wood to create an intimate and nocturnal ambiance. A custom commissioned plaster artwork floats atop the main wall harkening back to a piece of earth that’s been excised from the ground and put on display.  

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Status: Built
Location: New York, NY, US