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Vauxhall Café Milford is the sister café of Vauxhall Café Devonport
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Vauxhall Café

Milford, Auckland

Vauxhall Café Milford is the sister café of Vauxhall Café Devonport. The client’s brief called for a design that would not alter the physical structure of the existing space, but would completely change the aesthetic through the use of colour in a cost effective way. Mall management also wanted to attract a more youthful clientele.

The starting point was the graffiti element in the existing Vauxhall Café in Devonport, that led to a more fully developed concept of a new brand image for the cafe, so that any expansion in future could be developed further within the same theme. The existing graffiti in the Devonport Café had references back to the retro past, so this was played upon and connected with a feel that would enhance an eclectic retro energy.

One of the important considerations was to make a statement and stand out from a distance, so a range of fabrics and wallpapers were chosen with a play on large scale, strong bold colour and pattern. A large scale striped wallpaper was installed horizontally and the café sign placed on top of this which attracted the eye and can be seen from the other end of the mall.

A panelled wall was painted in a collection of strong bold colours to attract the eye and be used as a backdrop for blackboard comments to be written by customers. The mural incorporated the name ‘Vauxhall’ in retro graffiti style imagery and pulled all the paint colours together that were used on the panelled wall.

A series of large lampshades in a variety of shapes and sizes were designed, and upholstered both on the inside and outside with fabrics from the Scion range, which were hung on red custom colour suspensions and ceiling roses over and along the length of the counter.

Vauxhall Cafe's bright walls

Vauxhall Cafe

Wallpaper was also installed onto recessed panels along the front face of the servery counter, and the menu board painted to align with the colour theme.

There were three large wooden tables that harked back to an older era; these were painted in a selection of the colours, and then overpainted in Resene Alabaster and rubbed back to allow a distressed chipped look of colour to emerge through. These were finished in Resene Multishield+ clear glaze to protect the paint effect finish. Bench seats were also painted to fit and a selection of brightly coloured metal chairs and décor items were strategically placed to complete the theme.

The fabric and wallpaper selection provided a base for the Resene paint colour selection. From there, the paint shades that were specified in this colour palette were chosen specifically for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the palette referenced the retro past, colours such as the Resene Hawaiian Tan and Resene Avocado were often seen in this era. The colours also needed to be bold enough in their chroma to be seen from a distance to attract attention. All the colours chosen had strength and were intense enough to make a statement. Lastly, colours were chosen for their influence on our physical response to them. Orange stimulates the mind and aids conversation, it also aids digestion. Red stimulates the appetite and reflects that a café needs to be a place of socialisation with the enjoyment of food, Resene Hawaiian Tan and Resene Well Read were important colour selections to have in the palette.

The selection of blues and greens - Resene Bluegrass, and Resene Undercover - even though they were from the cooler side of the colour wheel still needed to contain enough warmth, so that they would enhance a welcoming feeling in the space. Ambiguous blues and greens created a peaceful space within the energetic environment.

Resene Hawaiian Tan
Resene Hawaiian Tan
Resene Avocado
Resene Avocado
Resene Well Read
Resene Well Read
Resene Bluegrass
Resene Bluegrass
Resene Undercover
Resene Undercover

With a very short timeframe for design and sourcing materials, the outcome has been a kaleidoscope of colour, pattern and energy that attracts the eye and makes a strong bold statement. 

Interior designer: Amanda Neill, Designworx
Painting contractor: Steven King
Photographer: First Light Photography
Supplier – lampshade manufacturer: Intalite

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