Studio Paolo Ferrari transforms Toronto restaurant with cinematic interiors

Toronto’s downtown area is now home to a cinematic dining experience unlike any other, courtesy of the innovative vision of Studio Paolo Ferrari.

Daphne, the latest culinary venture to grace the city’s vibrant food scene, transports guests into a world of film-inspired design, seamlessly blending the aesthetics of renowned directors such as Stanley Kubrick and Nancy Meyers.


Unlike traditional restaurant layouts, Daphne unfolds as a series of meticulously crafted rooms, each boasting its own distinct identity drawn from various cinematic styles. From the moment the guest steps inside, they are enveloped in an atmosphere that pays homage to the art of filmmaking.

“Daphne is an elevated and exceedingly creative take on the American bistro, fusing the nostalgia of New England prep with wonder and eccentricity,” said Studio Paolo Ferrari. “At once intimate and grand, eccentric and sculptural, convivial and experimental, the deeply imaginative space is reminiscent of a great residence that’s evolved over time.”

The journey begins in an intimate space adorned with a transparent full-height wine cabinet, offering tantalizing glimpses of the dining area beyond. As patrons traverse further, they enter the Great Room, characterized by a dramatic vaulted ceiling and a warm neutral palette that sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience.

In this cavernous chamber, custom-designed furniture steals the spotlight, with dining tables paired elegantly with rounded striped sofas and boucle-covered chairs, inviting guests to unwind in comfort while enjoying their meal. The open kitchen, a focal point of the room, adds an element of theatricality as diners witness culinary mastery in action through the arches.

“The grand space is reminiscent of the warmly luxurious spirit of a Nancy Meyers film, with custom furnishings that are deeply residential in feel and varsity-inspired checkerboard tiling,” said Studio Paolo Ferrari.

For those seeking a more intimate ambiance, a darker, cosier dining area awaits, awash in a rich burnt orange hue that evokes a sense of warmth and sophistication. The Drawing Room beckons beyond, enveloping patrons in a monochromatic embrace where every detail, from the walls to the seating upholstery, is meticulously curated to immerse guests in a cinematic experience.

The snaking glass-topped bar counter is illuminated from within, as a nod to the bar in the fictional Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s movie The Shining. The counter front is fluted in reverence to Beaux-Arts architect Henry Bacon, while reflective stainless steel across the back bar matches the circular tables and chair feet in the room.

Not content with mere aesthetics, Studio Paolo Ferrari has also integrated innovative lighting solutions throughout Daphne, with cove lighting casting textured shadows behind louvres, reminiscent of “Cape Cod Americana.” The journey culminates in the bar area, accessible via a mirrored corridor adorned with a hand-painted landscape mural, offering a final flourish to this cinematic masterpiece.

With Daphne, Studio Paolo Ferrari has not only redefined the concept of restaurant design but has also elevated the art of dining to new heights, inviting patrons to immerse themselves in a world where every corner tells a story, and every meal is an unforgettable experience.

Images by Joel Esposito via Dezeen

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