Jessica Rabbit Meets Madmen, Social II
The second reinterpretation of Social came very quickly on the heels of the first as the owner had the opportunity to annex the space next door. This possibility had been floated before the first redo of Social and so Southam kept the “hard” finishes (floor and backsplash tiles, upholstery, tables, chairs, lights) as neutral and timeless as possible. Flexibility of her design mind is best shown here as her adaption to a second configuration was assembled in less than three weeks. Opening up the space meant the restaurant went from an “L” shape where light did not reach the back, to an open and noble space filled with it. This allowed Henrietta to finally darken the colours into rich sophisticated hues of navy blue and chocolate browns punctuated with bronze and gold elements. Two new spaces were added: a front and back dining room. The front took up all of the grey diamond studded banquettes from Social’s first iteration as well as the harvest tables and Belgian slipcover chairs. The added drama came courtesy of huge brass drums from restoration hardware. The new space was clad with wide plank oak floors and lush carpets in a grey and black antiqued kilim print as well as a felt navy blue wall, creating a much needed sound dampening layer. Beautiful arches that echoed Social’s historical windows were mounted between the front and back dining room as a physical partition in order to create distinct spaces that would cater to private groups. Grey velvet curtains and red velvet booths were added to the bar and brown retro club chairs were added to the rear dining area. This renovation also brought the opportunity to change the art that was on the wall. The honour went to the talented emerging Ottawa based artist Whitney Lewis Smith whose fragile utopian black and white photographic “Natures Mortes” enhance the sensuality and mystery of the elegant ambience.