• Upstairs Beresford, Sydney | Kerry Phelan Design Office.

    Posted on 26th August, by Dana Tomić Hughes in interior design. 5 Comments

    Ooh la la! I have a sexy little interior to show you today which I recently received via a submission. Ok, shall we?

    Upstairs Beresford is a glam new live music venue located above The Beresford Hotel in Surry Hills. Designed by Melbourne based Kerry Phelan Design Office in collaboration with Sydney super stylist Sibella Court, this interior looked to venues in London and NYC for inspiration. K.P.D.O were keen to retain the laid back feeling of the existing pub downstairs, but since the the new venue was going to be attracting international acts, the ideas was to glam things up a little. And that they did! The main challenge was to make the venue look undesigned, almost as if each room was conceived by a different person at a different time. K.P.D.O wanted the spaces to appear as if they’d evolved over a number of years.

    Some of the things I love about this project – oversized herringbone cladding to ceiling bulkheads which were repeated on the bar and joinery walls in smaller scale. Red ceiling in the lounge area – grrrr, baby. Brass mesh insert to cupboards doors containing a whole bunch of weird and wonderful objects. Amazing art deco lamps. Beethoven bust behind the bar. Beautiful shibori (if I’m seeing it correctly) curtain fabric in deep ink. Outdoor courtyard with a forrest of plants. Etc, etc.



    Below is a little Q&A with the project team from K.P.D.O (Kery Phelan, Hugh Lane & Erin Gannon).


    + Your favorite thing about this project?

    The zig zag paneling is an inexpensive detail but the impact is priceless! And, of course, the tie dye curtains and leather ottoman! We can’t forget about our Mozart and grumpy Beethoven busts that we found in a junk shop. What a shame we couldn’t find a grumpy John Lennon bust.

    + Most challenging aspect?

    Cutting the budget in half and still achieving a spectacular result.

    + What did you learn during the project?

    We had to work hard to pare back detail in order to bring the budget under control. We found other ways to achieve the same results with standard products used in a different way ie: skirting’s running vertically on the bar front instead of our original custom solid timber detail.

    + Would you have done anything differently?

    We may have used less white on the walls. Since the opening, we have looked at ways to reduce the amount of white. It’s a night time space really so we introduced more timber paneling to some areas to cover up the white.

    + Any interesting/ funny/ quirky facts you could tell me?

    We designed a beautiful, huge, brass chandelier with 50 globes over the stage that would have been a showstopper. Our client removed it because of concerns the artists would try to swing from it during their acts. Hopefully it finds a place in one of Merivale’s other venues.

    [Images courtesy of K.P.D.O. Photos by Sharyn Cairns.]

  • 5 Responses to “Upstairs Beresford, Sydney | Kerry Phelan Design Office.”

    1. Ella says:

      Beautiful work from Kerry & her team, as always. Congrats guys!

    2. HT says:

      bit of a disapointment, it’s definately not the Ivy. Not a good look to have the designers public complaining about the budget either.

    3. yellowtrace says:

      Thank you for your comments guys.

      HT – to be fair to the designers, I really don’t think they were “publicly complaining” about the budget. They were responding to my question about the most challenging aspect of the project and having a budget cut in half would definitely be very difficult for any designer. I saw this as a “comment”, not a “complaint”.
      Also, I agree with you that this is not the Ivy, but I have a feeling that the brief, the context, target audience and a whole bunch of other factors would have directed their response in a completely different direction. Nobody would want to see a mini Ivy repeated in any case, don’t you think?

      Cheers, Dana.

    4. HT says:

      I agree no one wants another Ivy. Pity Hemmes couldn’t use a firm that could meet the new brief.

    5. hannah says:

      I think the venue looks fantastic! I wouldn’t even bother comparing it to the Ivy, such a different aesthetic, location and overall concept! The designers did an amazing job in my opinion. Great to see Kerry and her new team back on the Australian Design Scene – can’t wait to see more projects!

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