Restaurant lux really set tongues wagging in Den Bosch – but in a good way. Thanks to Restaurant Lux, Den Bosch has had a great new restaurant since 2009. And Robert Kolenik’s striking hospitality design means that Lux’s interior design is every bit as mouth-watering as its menu.
Lux is located in the well-known Korte Putstraat. Until 2009 it was a brown café called De Vijf Kamers, a name that alluded to the building’s five rooms. These were split over various split-level floors. The interior designer Robert Kolenik explains: ‘The owners wanted to create a restaurant that exuded a sense of warmth. They also wanted it to fit in with the street’s convivial atmosphere, which is reminiscent of Brussels’ vibrant food scene.’ What’s unusual about Lux is that the restaurant design came about through a close collaboration between the owners and Kolenik. Because of this, the hospitality design, service and food all reinforce each other, guaranteeing that every visit feels like an extraordinary experience.
Every room has its own mood
Kolenik designed a unique signature for every room. ‘The rooms on the ground floor are intended for dining at a slightly faster pace. The rooms upstairs, however, are focused around more leisurely meals. That’s why downstairs, we opted for more modern chairs, which create a fluid look. It is a subtle difference, but without needing to say it out loud, guests feel that the tempo here is a little faster and more informal. Many people are looking for “a quick bite to eat” and the concept is ideal for this.’ Upstairs, however, there are comfortable sofas, which hint that the evening could go on for some time. What’s more, a sofa immediately creates an intimate mood. Moreover, Kolenik himself designed the sofas, as well as a series of much talked-about eye-catchers. These include the magical chandelier on the first floor. Kolenik explains: ‘This sculptural piece has been fashioned from rare deep-sea shells.’
A private dining area complements the hospitality design. ‘It’s very important to create an intimate mood here. So we chose furniture with rounded shapes. And as with the balcony in a theatre, you see guests coming in without their immediately seeing you.’ So what’s the secret behind the restaurant’s overall unity? How does it mesh so well together when each room has its own distinct signature? Kolenik: ‘It’s all down to the huge chimney, which is an original feature of the historic building. This links all the rooms together. The chimney is made of a combination of different materials, such as glass, mosaic, wood and natural stone. We have picked out one of these colours for each of the rooms, so everything hangs together well. These are earthy colours, such as brown, taupe, grey and black, which fit with the natural materials Kolenik typically uses. The colour blue is a welcome exception. ‘This is the dominant colour in one of the rooms. It’s known as the Doutzen room, in reference to the artwork by Doutzen Kroes that it features. We had the work knitted instead of opting for epoxy or standard foil. This is both an aesthetic choice and a practical one, as it greatly improves the acoustics.’