Sarah Peters of Calgary’s Amanda Hamilton Interior Design doesn’t often work with chefs directly—since restaurant design often happens between the firm and restaurant owner, long before the staff is hired. But in the case of Kama, a Mediterranean eatery in downtown Calgary, the chef was involved from the start. Chef Kenny Kaechele was “front and centre,” according to Peters, meaning that the restaurant’s design was heavily based on the menu. “He had a vision in terms of both the food and how he wanted the space to feel, which was such a treat,” says Peters, “because in you really need the space and the food to work together in order to have cohesion.” 

Kama Restaurant Design Calgary
Photo by Joel Klassen

Inspired by the bright colours of Mediterranean cuisine, the walls of Kama restaurant burst with bright blues and oranges. “We wanted old world charm, but in a modern setting,” explains Peters. The exposed, industrial-style ceiling was painted dark navy to conceal fans and pipes, and the team used a textured wallpaper to bring a storied mood to the space. “It almost looks like raw concrete,” says the designer. 

Arch restaurant design
Photo by Joel Klassen

Instead of entering Kama all at once, guests come in through a separate vestibule, which adds an air of mystique to the restaurant. Arched wood doors (and arched detailing throughout the lounge and bar area) add a little whimsy. And the bar itself is a spectacular focal point: think heavy profiled marble detail, intricate tile, a patinated brass rail and stunning pendant lighting. 

Vestibule Mediterranean restaurant design
Photo by Courtney Molyneaux

Pendant lighting in modern Mediterranean restaurant

To further transport diners, Peters and her team blocked the windows with screen detailing and soft drapery— “We didn’t want you to feel like you were looking out into a courtyard that was inside a building,” she says. “It feels like a restaurant that you wouldn’t necessarily find in Calgary—the colour and details feel really vibrant.” 

Restaurant lounge design calgary
Photo by Joel Klassen