Melburnians love a hidden bar – somewhere tucked away, intimate, a little arcane. Melbourne also has a long history of fine Italian dining, so when you find your way up the stairs at South Yarra’s hippest eatery, Bar Carolina, you’ll be rewarded on both counts. Here, on the tetto (a much lovelier word than roof, right?), overlooking the bustle of Toorak Road and the number 78 tram line, is her sibling venue, the appropriately named, Tetto di Carolina.
The fit-out, by Chris Connell Design (also responsible for Bar Carolina) takes its cues from traditional Italian bar style. With three unique spaces, there’s a lounge, a bar and a terrace with a retractable roof for alfresco dining during Melbourne’s more clement spells.
Anchored by a six-meter long solid walnut-topped bar clad in handmade porcelain tiles, the bar area is subtly lit from above by a hand-blown linear glass pendant. Opposite the bar, concealing the staircase and hanging like a Brutalists curtain, is a full height, pleated steel screen. The intimate lounge features walnut tables, deep grey-green velvet banquettes and bespoke dining chairs, inspired by the bucket seats in mid-century European sports cars.
Chris Connell Designs’ considered and highly bespoke approach to the interiors is highlighted in the flooring, featuring Fibonacci Stone’s Freckle tiles, cut to a custom 400mm x 200mm. “We liked the Freckle tile for its mix of coloured stones and how they related to the overall palette of the rooms – the deep green of the carpet and banquettes, tan leather chairs, the primer red steelwork, the greys of the polished plaster and the handmade porcelain bar tiles,” says Ben Hutton, architect on the project.
“We actually laid the Fibonacci Stone Freckle combined with a Honey Onyx stone in a 1/3 offset pattern, with the tile picking up on the golden yellow of the onyx,” says Hutton. Hand-tufted carpet was then designed in a grid pattern to match the layout of the terrazzo tiles, creating an elegant link between the two flooring materials.
Reflecting on the unique colour palette contained within Freckle, Fibonacci Stone’s Creative Director Michael Karakolis comments, ”I love it when the distinctive range of colours contained within our products become a founding reference for other material considerations, from paint, to upholstery and hard finishes. The creams, warm greys and hints of burgundy in Freckle are a perfect example and have been used so beautifully in this stellar project by Chris Connell Designs”.
Like all of the products in our range, Freckle is a stocked item, with NO LEAD TIME which means no need to re-select, no project delays and importantly – no disappointed clients!