Caitlin St John • Photography by Mikhail Loskutov •
October 28, 2020
Contrasting yet complementary was the driving force for the design concept Yuna Megre of Megre Interiors imagined for Russian restaurant chain True Cost. Having already honed its business model—which sells everything “at cost” without markup by charging an entrance fee and service gratuity—the client brought Megre and her team in to create a distinctive look and vision for the unique brand.
Narrowing her initial idea further, the Los Angeles- and Moscow-based designer decided to divide the new 3,600-square-foot restaurant into two zones, separated by the central open kitchen and bar, which nod to True Cost’s meat- and fish-focused culinary approach. One section represents fire, while the other references water. “We took inspiration from grills and ovens as well as the sea, and unraveled that through the color palette,” says Megre. The fire-themed area is characterized by a darker color scheme with walls that feature a blurred motif reminiscent of vanishing smoke.
In the water-inspired space, raw wood tables call to mind ship decks and lamps shaped to resemble drops of water are installed around the perimeter of the room. The sky-blue ceiling paired with a cool dark blue floor creates a feeling of tranquility and elegance. “The space has rather low ceilings, which we countered by the use of colors,” explains Megre. “Basking the open vents and ceilings in the same color as the walls makes the edge where they meet disappear.” The wall treatments, however, posed one of the project’s biggest challenges. “The gradient walls, which transition from blue hues to deep red, took three different artists and six attempts to do,” says Megre. “Everything in the restaurant was ready, but we kept redoing the walls until we finally achieved the perfect effect six weeks later.”
And in the end, the persistence was worth it. “Everything is in motion and everything flows,” Megre says. “The integration of decorative elements creates an interactive atmosphere in each space.”