Ivy Studio brings retro flair to Ottawa's Buvette Daphnée with retro colour palette

Ivy Studio, a Montreal-based design firm, has infused the essence of Quebec’s colourful retro diners into the heart of Ottawa with its latest project, Buvette Daphnée wine bar and fine dining restaurant.

Situated within a 1,500-square-foot space in the historic ByWard Market district, this restaurant blends nostalgic charm with modern aesthetics, creating a vibrant and inviting atmosphere for patrons.


Drawing inspiration from Montreal’s lively retro diners, Ivy Studio opted for a warm and inviting colour palette consisting of caramel, brown, and cream tones, punctuated by contrasting blue and burnt orange accents. This combination breathes life into the interiors, evoking a sense of nostalgia while maintaining a contemporary feel.

“The establishment, led by a head chef with deep roots in Quebec and years of experience in Ottawa, aims to showcase a blend of both cultures through the eyes of a nostalgic francophone residing in the country’s capital,” said Ivy Studio.

The layout of Buvette Daphnée is thoughtfully designed to offer distinct dining experiences. As patrons enter, they are greeted by a visually striking dining area divided into two sections. To the right, a cosy space with lower ceilings provides an intimate setting, while the left side features a lofty 15-foot-high area housing the open kitchen, a U-shaped bar spanning 36 feet, and high-top counters.

In the taller section, the black-painted ceilings create a sense of intimacy, complemented by cream-colored v-board panelling that extends overhead into the lower area. The seating choices further enhance the retro ambiance, with blue velvet adorning bar stools and semi-circular seats within tambour-lined booths, vintage dining chairs boasting orange seats, and banquettes in rich cognac and chocolate tones.

“To tie everything together, a vibrant custom-designed mosaic with the main colours covers the entire restaurant floor,” Ivy Studio said.

The use of natural walnut for the millwork adds warmth and sophistication to the space, while exposed portions of the original brickwork pay homage to the building’s heritage. A focal point near the entrance is the lacquered server station, featuring tiered shelves that draw attention to the heart of the restaurant.

Adding a touch of whimsy and history are the recycled frosted globe-shaped pendants, repurposed from Montreal’s 1960s street lamps, hanging elegantly from the black ceiling.

“Various light fixtures in the space each tell their own story,” added the team, which installed a 30-foot-long bespoke tubular piece by Montreal-based Hamster above the bar.

With its blend of retro charm, vibrant colours, and thoughtful design elements, Ivy Studio has transformed Buvette Daphnée into a captivating destination where culinary experiences are elevated by the surrounding ambiance, inviting patrons to step back in time while enjoying modern comforts.

Images by Alex Lesage via Dezeen

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