Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (which is most un-yellowtrace reader like, btw!) no doubt you would have noticed that THE food trend of the moment on the Sydney dining scene is all about South American cuisine. Brazillian, Argentinian and modern Mexican restaurants and takeaways have been sprouting up like…. umm sprouts(?) all over our fair city for a little while now. Many of these places, particularly the Mexican variety, have taken on the stereotypical “Mexican aesthetic”, unlike the interior I wanted to share with you today.



Barrio Chino in Potts Point was designed by Mandy Edge (see Mandy’s previous project featured on yellowtrace here), completed in a quick time frame and on a modest budget but with a lot of passion and heart. Mandy chose to steer clear of the more obvious visual references, and crafted an interior which references the raw, robust and gritty Mexican aesthetic subtly and effectively. Nice work lady! Another proof that budget should NEVER stand in the way of a successful interior. Below is a little Q&A with Mandy and her experience on this project.



+ What was your design inspiration for this project – i.e. was it a result of client’s brief, a particular concept, an image, your favourite song or a book etc?

A concept image I found ended up design inspiration for the whole project (see image below). We wanted to steer clear of anything too gimmicky, especially because the Mexican food trend was just starting to hit Sydney so I wanted to separate ourselves from that in regards to aesthetics. I decided to visually express the Mexican cuisine more inadvertently through use of the vibrant colours on the walls and in the furniture.


Mandy’s reference image which drove the aesthetic of the whole project.

+ Your favourite thing about this project?

Probably the level of creativity involved.

+ Most challenging aspect?

Budget and time restraints!

+ What did you learn during the project?

That I love eating Mexican food!

+ Would you have done anything differently?

Yes but I’m not going to tell you what they were :)

Mandy’s concept presentation boards for Barrio Chino.


Images courtesy of Mandy Edge. Photography by Steve Back.

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

10 Responses

    • yellowtrace

      I completely agree Lauren. The funny thing is that Mandy thought they weren’t that good and was reluctant about me including them in the post. Silly, right? Cause they are ace! Clever lady indeed…

  1. Avatar

    WOW Mandy you have done an amazing job here. Beautifully executed! PS: I bumped into your M&D the other week and they told me how well you are doing. Congrates! x

  2. Avatar
    Milo Simon

    What a great concept! Beautiful indeed! The walls really look like tipical “muros de barrios en Mexico”. I also like the name. Congrats!

  3. Avatar
    Carla Coulson

    Mandy’s reference image is fantastic and the result does look like a little space in a Barrio somewhere in Mexico. I dig how she came up with her concept….love her name Mandy Edge!!
    Carla x

  4. Avatar

    Wow, this is such an incredible space I love everything about it. Mandy should be very proud!


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