Winner Best Café Design: Pot Bellied Pig

Announcing the winner of best café design at the 2018 Restaurant and Bar Design Awards: The Pot Bellied Pig.


Restaurant and Bar Design Awards Winners Logo

What a week that was. After a few intense and long days organising and executing a photoshoot at a recently completed London residence, we headed to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards 2018 on Thursday evening. Our design for the Pot Bellied Pig was up for best café design in the UK/International category. We had been looking forward to the for many months having received news of the shortlist all the way back in June.

Pot Bellied Pig
Front of Pot Bellied Pig


Pot Bellied Pig

Front door entrance

Needless to say the Pot Bellied Pig has always been close to our hearts. Lema Murphy is one of those dream clients that we love to collaborate with at KLD. Lema was invested, creatively driven and open-minded to the possibilities. She had lived and worked in Melbourne after college and was really taken by how social their cafés were for groups and individuals alike. They catered for groups but also for the individual who would come and read the paper or gaze at their phone.

KLD Creative Director, Róisín Lafferty with Pot Bellied Pig owner Lema Murphy


The two ‘before’ photos below give you an idea of the transformation that took place with the design. The space is long and narrow with limited light and had previously been an off-licence, so turning it into a restaurant where people would sit and spend time was indeed a challenge.

Front of building, view out on to the street


View from front of building towards the back


A large part of the brief was that the business would be focused on catering to the young, professional, brunch market so the design required a cool aesthetic with maximum capacity for covers, providing both takeaway and eat in options, as well as an outdoor area.

Outdoor area at rear of building


It was with this in mind that we set about the design for the Pot Bellied Pig. The main challenge was the small space and how to create multiple experiences within this space. The solution was clever zoning, identified by stark changes in materials and an innovative design installation of tubed lighting was designed by KLD for the front, initial entrance part of the café.

PBP Main pink booth angled
Luxurious pink booth


From the photographs, taken by best in the business Barbara Corsico, you will see we used a mix of tiles, brass, velvets, leather and lush planting which deliver interest and excitement throughout. Nature and greenery were drawn in to enhance the palette of pink and green. The building’s limited natural light and a long orientation demanded we add a lot of mirror in order to bounce light and reflect the space, giving the illusion of a wider frame to the café.

Tile and lighting detail


At the time of its opening we were thrilled to have such fantastic write ups in the Irish Times and countless blogs, with one describing it as “a swoonworthy addition to our Instagram feeds.” More recently, The Pot Bellied Pig also featured in the October 2018 edition of Architectural Digest Mexico.

Pot Bellied Pig, featured in the October 2018 edition of Architectural Design Mexico


And so to the awards in London at Kings Cross on Thursday 4 October 2015. Quite a surreal experience. Dedicated to the design of food and beverage spaces, they are now in their tenth year and globally recognised. This covers every imaginable hospitality space, from ships to airports, museums to burger vans, and from revered Michelin-starred establishments to the fleeting dynamism of pop-ups. I could hardly believe it when the Pot Bellied Pig was named the winner of best café design. It was such a strong category and our fellow nominees were design houses whose work spans the globe and who I truly admire.  It was a huge deal to be even at the awards and be in such company and winning was a wonderful bonus.

Róisín Lafferty and Becky Russell at the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards


It is a huge honour to win this award, I am also delighted for Lema, as the Pot Bellied Pig is her baby and it is wonderful that it has received this recognition. We are so very proud of this collaboration and look forward to many more daring, inventive, bold and brave restaurant designs.

Thank you to everyone involved in the design and build and thanks to the Restaurant and Bar Design Awards for the recognition.