It’s usually the case that seafood restaurants tend to be filled to the brim with marine and maritime references. Refreshingly that’s not the case with Rosamar Seafood Grill & Oyster Bar in Lisbon, which was conceived by interior designer Perrine Velge, founder of Studio Pim, as a sophisticated yet relaxed venue whose nautical theme is subtly implied rather than explicitly stated. Velge drew inspiration from an imaginary image of an old timber sailing boat set ashore on a sandy beach with the deep blue sea looming in the background, inspiring her to use warm timber, dark blues and sandy tones throughout the venue. Coupled with lush vegetation, ceramic accents and striped patterns, plus plenty of daylight filtering in from the pergola-like roofing, Rosamar is imbued with a beachy, seaside ambience that evocatively reflects its culinary offerings.
Studio Pim completely overhauled the space, reconstructing the building fabric and introducing a new layout. “At some point we only had four walls and a few steel beams”, says Studio Pim’s founder Perrine Velge, whose pregnancy didn’t stop her from overseeing the works. Most notably, the first floor was opened up to create a mezzanine that flows into the main space on the ground floor. One of the few things that the team did preserve was the huge Crittall glass ceiling structure at the back of the venue, now covered with long stretches of undulating sheer fabric that soften the brightness of the hot Portuguese sun whilst alluding to the sails of its sail boats that once voyaged around the world.
Running throughout the restaurant, including the bar area, main dining hall, outdoor terrace and mezzanine, warm timber reed wall panelling and matching timber furniture have been paired with fabrics and tiles in dark blue hues, with sandy tones forming a soothing backdrop that extends from wall plastering to the marble counters and table tops. Nautical references abound, albeit in subtle ways, as seen in the large Murano vintage wall-light shells, a collection of framed posters, photographs, drawings and objects exploring maritime themes, all the way through to the hand-painted tiled panel by French illustrator and ceramist Henriette Arcelin who drew inspiration from the ornamental and figurative scenes depicted in azulejo tiles dating back to the seventeenth-century. Custom-designed furniture, including the banquette seating upholstered in specially made Pierre Frey fabrics, marble topped timber tables and Arts and Crafts-inspired chairs, complete the bespoke interior, further enhancing the restaurant’s artisanal sensibility.
Extending above the entrance bar area and adjacent open kitchen, the mezzanine level features small banquette nooks that allow diners to oversee the entire scene as it unfolds below, while the courtyard at the back of venue has been transformed into a tropical sanctuary with blue ceramic floors, reed pergola roofing, rattan lights and climbing plants. Wafting through the space, a jasmine scent underlines the evanescent ambience of Velge’s interior design.