Site Visit :: West Village Eatery Finds Its New Vibe

by Shera Nuss

A few months ago, the owners of this West Village Italian eatery posted on Sweeten with an amusingly candid request for their space, ‘please… Bring the Vibe.’ After having already spent time and money on a failed renovation, the business owners needed to find a designer who understood the neighborhood and clients of the West Village. We matched them with three great members of the tS network. In the end, the owners choose Maneli Wilson, tS member and owner of Maneli Wilson Interiors, whose specific experience studying interiors in Italy was the icing on the cake for this perfect match.

Here is a first look at the renovation process of Sotto 13.

In their project post, the restaurant owners explained that, “we want this space to feel warm, welcoming and like a social place.” At the time, they had just completed this ‘before’ renovation which did not work –they knew they needed help!

Here’s what we found walking in the door on the first week of construction. The bar/lounge area was still undergoing demolition.

Maneli’s design storyboard includes samples of the surface treatments, textiles, furniture and fixtures that have been selected for the new restaurant, Sotto 13. The designer combines and layers textures to create a rich, warm aesthetic full of character and depth; she describes her vision for the redecorated restaurant as an “informal, rustic venue combined with a chic, modern edge.”

On site, Maneli showed us how each material and inspiration would be applied to the restaurant’s new design. The contrast-painted coffering design here will be used in the main dining areas.

The coffers were already being worked on –and what a difference paint makes! Maneli selected Benjamin Moore hues city shadow and seapearl.

The restaurant’s main dining space is separated into upper and lower portions which will be partitioned with decorative metal screens to add a subtle sense of intimacy. The lower dining area will be lined with banquettes and have a large hightop table in the center, perfect for Sotto 13’s communal dining concept. The upper portion will feature a series of 3/4 round and u-shaped, Hollywood style banquettes; lighting here will be slightly dimmer and the vibe a little more intimate.

We absolutely love Maneli’s hand-drawn elevation of the upper dining space, showing a wall of rounded banquettes, lighting fixtures and artwork. Maneli selected paintings by TriBeCa-based artist Jenna Snyder-Phillips, chosen from the artist’s series of depictions of Romanesque buildings from around Tuscany.

In the coming weeks, we’ll show you all the details of the completed space (–including herringbone floors & antique mirrors hung on faux bois ceilings), and reveal the new ‘vibe’ of Sotto 13.

Many thanks to Maneli Wilson & Sotto 13!

Does your home or small business need a new vibe? Post your project to theSweeten!

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