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Saigon Kingdom


The inspiration of this interior is the multi layered city of Saigon.

This refurbishment was for a new client in an existing restaurant in Queenstown where Element 17 were given free rein to create an interior that would infuse the feel of the east and entice diners inside to find out what is hidden within the interior. There is stiff competition in the locale and a real personality was needed for the restaurant.

Red and black restaurant interior

A multi-layered interior was the answer with many touch points and discoveries throughout the space so all guests could be kept intrigued when enjoying their lunch, dinner or late night cocktail. Layers of plaster and paint with multiple textured finishes and colours washed in and over the top envelop the diners and give a sense of wear and tear and authenticity to the interior. Murals, posters and large bamboo cut specifically for the project and shipped down from north of Auckland add even more layers and finishes to the space.

Saigon Kingdom

Project Description

Who said less is more, at Saigon Kingdom more is more!

Faux greenery, orchids, bamboo bird cages, umbrellas and bamboo shoots wrap and hang around booth seating areas to create private dining spaces. Purpose built lights and coloured furniture add to this explosion of vibrancy. Saigon Kingdom reflects the multi-cultural, historical and layered city it is named after. A real tapestry of finishes, colours and textures.

Saigon Kingdom - restaurant interior

Award winning restaurant interior design

The inspiration of this interior is the multi layered city of Saigon. A mix of culinary art, an infusion of past cultures and a rich history. That vibrancy is captured in the many Resene colours used and the hustle and bustle of Vietnam is reflected in the use of colour with those crazy names to match the explosion of those colours. The bold palette includes Resene Turbo, Resene Bright Red, Resene Jalapeno, Resene Hyperactive, Resene Bilbao, Resene Goblin, Resene Space Cadet and Resene Picton Blue, all painted using Resene Lumbersider low sheen waterborne paint. All were either 'smeared' into the wall textures and finishes or used as a base coat on the ceiling then 'aged' down with a wash effect by diluting the Resene colour used. The application and use of colour here is a prime example of thinking outside the box with what paint can actually achieve.

Saigon Kingdom - interior artwork

Saigon Kingdom - interior artwork 2

This flip was carried out in under a week. The client went on holiday and came back to a memorable interior!

This place constantly gets great trip advisor recommendations that comment about the atmosphere. It is great to see people coming to see the interior and then staying around for the incredible food.

This project won the Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior + Public Space Colour Maestro Award. The judges said "historical and antiqued notes thread through this thematic space. Colours are at one with the surface giving the appearance they have been there forever as if engrained with a painterly look. The colour use and theming cleverly define the space and bring a distinctive taste of international inspiration home to enjoy kiwi style. It is a feast for the eyes."

Client: Danny Nguyen
Colour selection: Element 17 Limited
Painting contractor: Dream It
Photographer: Steve Rosling
Winner: Resene Total Colour Commercial Interior + Public Space Colour Maestro Award
Project: Resene Total Colour Awards 2020

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