Western Living Magazine
Protected: Work where it feels like home, say goodbye to the commute
The Ultimate Home Design Guide: Top Designer Tips for Every Room
You’re Invited: WL Design Talks With Trish Knight and Nicole Varga
5 Incredible New Wineries Have Hit the Okanagan
The Grape Escape for Wine Enthusiasts
The Gin of the Summer (and Fall, Winter, Spring) Is on Sale
Dark Skies in Utah: Chasing Cosmic Connection on the Road
Cycling the Emerald Isle: A Windy Adventure on Ireland’s Greenway
Glamping Utah: Adventure Has Never Felt So Good
Trending Now: 10 New Furniture and Homewares for Fall 2023
Paint Trends 2024: No One Can Agree on the Colour of the Year
Discover California Closets – BC
Q&A: Meet the Texas-Based Contemporary Artist Dan Lam
5 Reasons to Enter the WL Design 25
Introducing Western Living’s 2023 Designers of the Year Award Winners
Calgary taqueria Native Tongues reinvigorates the shabby-chic trend.
When Cody Willis, Kelly Black and Jayme MacFayden opened Native Tongues taqueria last fall, their dream was to recreate the charm and authenticity of the casual taco joints they loved to visit in Mexico. So they issued designer Amanda Hamilton an interesting challenge. “The goal was to make this look like a hole in the wall,” she laughs.
To bring the rustic cantina look to downtown Calgary, Hamilton and her team focused on “thoughtful disharmony.” The back wall got a custom paint treatment that mimics worn-down layers of plaster (a casual-looking finish that actually had to be done three times to get it just right), and paintings were hung helter-skelter. Raw, chemically treated wood was fashioned into a banquette, while imported Mexican tiles in the kitchen and servery were chosen for their varied, unstandardized sizes, making for an intentionally off-kilter installation.
The secret to that perfectly imperfect look? “There has to be a balance,” says Hamilton. “The finishing has to be thoughtful.” So among the rescued pieces (like the metal cornice over the bar) and worn finishes, there are also elements that keep the space on the chic side of shabby chic. The lab stools that line the counter are brand new (though their cork seats are intended to weather and patina over time), and reclaimed work benches have been turned into tables with new, sturdy steel bases. “It’s the little elements that tie things together,” says Hamilton.
Are you over 18 years of age?