Posts tagged Tooting
Posts tagged Tooting
So TOTA has opened, finally! Now most people have had a few weeks opportunity to visit themselves I can blog about the design and branding.
So how did we go from this…
Let’s start at the beginning, how did Colporter get this gig? Well it is all thanks to this blog. This time last year I blogged about Tooting and what I love about it. Someone posted that blog to Streetlife where Victoria and Gary (The TOTA owners) read it. Victoria had never read a blog before but got a bit sucked in and read back through my archive of posts. She decided that we had a similar aesthetic and that she would get in touch to talk about the interior of their planned restaurant.
My husband and I went to have a dinner, cooked by Gary of course, where they told us the plan to bring a neighbourhood restaurant to Tooting. We were so excited to get some Tooting goss, let alone to get the job to pin a design down.
Many coffees and Pinterest boards later I came up with a mood board which had to try to marry up two people’s needs and wants for the restaurant. Victoria fancied a smart Farrow and Ball paint job but Gary wanted industrial, urban, warehousey feel.
What about budget? What about living with some parts of the unit from the Spice Lounge days? All considerations. And when would the lease exchange. It came in handy on occasion that I am also a property lawyer as well as an interiors addict!
Working from the outside in.
We knew from day 1 this place had to have major kerb appeal. Tartine is nearby and nice looking, but the rest of the block is a bit bland and we wanted to stand out. We had to “arrive” in style. The vital ingredients were as follows:
Check out my little pen and ink drawing on the mood board. Spookily like how we ended up.
TOTA Main Restaurant
Lighting plays a big part in TOTA. Gary loves factory lighting so I took him off hunting for vintage goodness at my favourite antiques markets.
I got them rewired and now they look like this.
Mixed in with some smaller french disc pendants and some bare bulbs on different coloured flexes and spot lighting. And the “chandelier” we had “Mark the Spark” make us.
We wanted a stripped wooden floor but as Spice Lounge had a perfectly serviceable, albeit cherry wood, engineered wood floor we thought we might be able to make do and paint it grey. As luck would have it the builders noticed that the original floor was underneath, intact up to the bar where it was a patch of concrete. We kept both, the concrete although rough and a bit unfinished looking is industrial and therefore right up our street!
As with the floor, the strip out revealed some cool original features…the red wall, the green steel and the bare brick wall. Playing right into the Industrial Brief!
Tolix Style Chairs are having a moment. Comfortable and complementing the look, I sourced these reproductions from a contact I use for some of my vintage stock.
The Banquette seating pulls the scheme together in a modern vibrant green colour but traditional chesterfield style.
So glad we decided these loos were not liveable withable. I have seen worse but the new ones are much more TOTA.
Continuing the accents of green in the lighting and seating, the tongue and groove in the bathroom is Calke Green from Farrow and Ball with the Limehouse crackle retro metro tile from Tons of Tiles. Yes, we know metro tiles are ubiquitous but we all loved them and they are so reminscent of Tooting Broadway and the Northern line we just had to!
The F and the M signs on the loo doors are from the wonderful vintage website The Vintage Wall and from an early numberplate from a vintage car. The Men’s mirror is from a little boutique I know*. The Ladies’ mirror bought on a Colporter antiquing trip with Victoria.
*that is my euphemism for TK Maxx.
The mood board and our Pinterest Board had an image of a bar that Gary just loved. Our clever Project Manager had it copied in mild blackened steel.
Check out those corners.
A french sign.
Vintage tins for the bill.
An optician’s poster…
Some vintage office trays from Northcote Road Antiques in TOTA green and grey are a different way of displaying the pastries.
And finally…all the little branding details which I will blog about next time. Until then give it a try and see the design for yourself.
Coming soon…the branding materials…
They do say everything comes around again and look what is hot again now, exposed brick.
If you read this blog often you will know that Colporter has been working on the design and branding of a new restaurant in Tooting, TOTA. We have tweeted a few photos of the walls we uncovered in the strip out and have been teased about our obsession with them but they have been a real gem of a find as the client wanted an industrial look and some character. A bit like this, a cafe called The Grounds in Sydney.
It is funny how when you decide on a look all of a sudden you start noticing it everywhere.
Or is it just because it is at the fore front of your mind?
Either way exposed brick does seem to be having another moment right now, be that on Tooting High Street, a New York Loft apartment or a quirky cottage.
This time it is not brick slips or fake brick effects like it was in the 80s but the actual wall, in its raw state. You could say it is a bit more honest but getting a wall back to this raw state is not always easy, and so is not quite as honest as it looks. It can be a little contrived.
I love a bare brick wall best when it is in a kitchen, especially when mixed with industrial elements, or in a commercial space.
I love it even more when there are some old layers of paint on the brick. Check out the wonderful wall annotations above.
I like the above half finished look, it works with the decor. If my Mum came round and saw that she would certainly ask when I was expecting the plasterer. Like all fashions it is not for all tastes.
This one really works for me, the contrast of the modern window treatment with the original brickwork and an oversize Chandelier. Very rough luxe.
To challenge my own preconceptions on brick here it is in a bedroom. This may even be one of the clever Tromp l’oeil wallpapers which are very effective. Rockett St George do a great range if you do not fancy chipping off perfectly good plaster.
Ultimately that is the problem, you do not know until you reveal a ruddy big patch what your bricks are going to be like. We do not all have an urban loft style home so it may be one of those looks where you do not practice what you pin.
I am an absolute sucker for branding. Show me a cool logo, some quirky stationery, I am completely won over. You can imagine how excited I was therefore to take on an extra role for the owners of Tooting’s new restaurant, TOTA of advising on and designing their branding, as well as the interior design.
This week has seen that new logo revealed…
The Tooting Twitterati seem to like it. I will post more on the branding of TOTA in a few weeks when we get closer to the opening date and when the Menus are finalised. Oh how my tummy rumbles.
Anyhoo, the lovely TOTA font is from a Family of fonts called Frontage. I see that another stylish new brand, Loaf are also using it in their fantastic branding. Check out this little parcel that arrived from Loaf here today.
Loaf is the new name for The Sleep Room. I guess they realised that if they wanted to branch out into sofas, as they have done, their name was a bit limited. Their rebrand is super smart. I love grey and yellow (see earlier blog posts and my good friend Erica’s blog modernmummusthave) it is very calming and not overdone in the marketplace.
Their attention to detail in the packaging is second to none.
I had stickers very like this on our wedding favours. TOTA’s restaurant menus have cool “call outs” like this as well. It works with the font and is not obtrusive. The grey ticking is very chic. A lot of thought has gone into this sample package. This is very sensible as all too often samples of fabrics are bunged into a manilla envelope, cut in all different shapes with no care. I like what I see here so far, so I expect their sofas and furniture should have been made with the same degree of care… see what they have done here people? I am buying into the brand. I think they are a quality outfit so I MAY part with some hard earned cash.
But hold on. What is this little sachet?
Great! Some Hot Chocolate for me to spill on the gorgeous new sofa. And that is why I shall not purchasing one just yet. Yes, great branding, superbly designed sofas but I have 3 kids who cannot brush their teeth without spilling down their clothes and so I just cannot yet indulge myself. I have to put up with our brown leather sofa for a few more years.
They are very lovely though and I will file the samples (and the box they came in) away in my “ideas box” for a few more years.
So, word is out. The name of Tooting’s new restaurant is TOTA, an anglo saxon word possibly meaning the people of Tooting. It is to be located at 102 Tooting High Street and should be open in a couple of months. Yay, Tooting is a changing.
Through the wonders of modern social networking I got chatting on Streetlife to Victoria, and later met up with both Victoria and Gary (the chef), the proprietors of TOTA, for a delicious slap up meal at their Tooting home. Wowee. Need I say more, the People of Tooting are in for a gastronomic treat.
Following this boozy meal Colporter was instructed to help these lovely people realise their wonderful vision for the exterior and interior of TOTA. We have been busy for a month or so now, doing site visits and choosing things for the interiors scheme and, of course, visiting lots of other eateries for research purposes only of course. The look and scheme is top secret for now but we will give you some snippets of info when the builders start! Keep an eye on the outside as that is soon to get a smart new paint job on the upper floors which will give some clues to the remainder of the scheme.
For up to the minute info follow TOTA on Twitter @TotaRestaurant
This is hugely exciting for us as we LOVE Tooting, we LOVE food, and we LOVE restaurant interiors.
I saw today that Earlsfield was voted London’s best kept secret in Metro. I used to subscribe to that view too back in 2002, but surely Earlsfield has very much been discovered now? It has a Carluccios for goodness sake, they hardly open those up in edgy, up and coming areas. I actually believe that myself and a few friends are responsible for the upsurgence in SW18’s popularity. We raved about it to anyone who would listen back in BC (Before Carluccios), and even BCN (Before Caffe Nero). In fact, we flipping raved too much, and were all priced out of Earlsfield by 2006!
So where does one go when Earlsfield is too expensive but you want to be in Wandsworth still? Tooting is the answer.
So here are my five reasons to choose Tooting:
1. Lovely housing stock.
Something for all tastes: posh double fronted Victorian in the Heaver Estate; mini versions of Heaver houses, (but still 4 bed and oodles of period charm) in Furzedown and much wider proportions than Earlsfield examples from the same era.
Picture from www.heaver.net
Edwardian terraces are nearer to Tooting Bec tube so offer convenience and space; and some swanky School Flat conversions at the Broadway. If your tastes are more modern, Heritage Park is a well thought out, and attractive, new-ish development within walking distance from the common and the tube.
2. Great Independent Shops and Restaurants
My favourite housey/gift shop locally is Raine on Moyser Road. .
For Furniture shabby chic style, and easy on the bank balance, it has to be Quirky Dovetail (although they may like to be referred to as Balham I am claiming them for Tooting).
If you are crafty we have the Wimbledon Sewing Centre (a real misnomer) and the Dolci Aiuti on Trinity Road. The former sells all sorts of things for homecrafting, fabric, paper etc. The latter is a cake decorating shop with italian charm.
To eat we are spoilt for choice. There are the award running curry houses which speak for themselves. Recently on streetlife there has been a very excitable thread about the wealth of wonderful restaurants locally. Meza a dinky lebanese restaurant comes in for some high praise indeed but I have not made it there myself as yet.
A personal favourite is the Italian Deli on Franciscan Road. Aldo and Giacomo serve up delicious and reasonable authentic italian dishes, bags of atmosphere but just a shame it is unlicensed and daytime only.
For a fab meal and you can BYO it has to be Rick’s Cafe. If you fancy splashing out then tenuously Tooting claims Chez Bruce as its own by postcode lottery, even if the reality is Wandsworth Common. I recommend the three course special at lunchtime!
For Sunday Lunch and a bustling weeknight supper The Antelope, run by the Tooting loving chain Antic, is excellent. The fit out is a bit my Nan’s front room meets Downton Abbey but that is clearly what I like (www.colporter.co.uk).
For some nightlife The Antelope’s sister outfit, the Tooting Tram and Social, is a cool location where the young things hang out in the hangar like space.
3. Artistic Merit.
Tooting gets 10/10 for its artistic credentials and I am concerned I may miss someone out of this section. This is a place where there are many talented artists and creative souls willing to share the love with the community. Sprout is a wonderful community gallery space in Furzedown which has art classes, poetry readings and houses local artist’s work.
This flyer says it all, enjoy some crafts and a pint at the amazing Tooting Tram and Social. Before I had kids I would have been at this every weekend!
The latest addition to Tooting’s artistic community is Construction Gallery, a cafe and community gallery on Upper Tooting Road . This opened last week so get along and support it.
4. Schools and Nurseries
The amazing Graveney School, an outstanding Secondary School with academy status, is located in Tooting and we have a number of super Primary Schools.
The Furzedown Family Centre, Eveline and Looking Glass Nurseries serve the toddlers very well. A special shout out though for the Family Centre, http://www.furzedownfamilycentre.org.uk/. This is one of the very special things I have found in Tooting, a real sense of community, here the parents come together to assist the permanent staff by attending the sessions once every few weeks. This gives a real warmth to the nursery and keeps costs down for the dedicated staff who run it - a gem of a place.
5. Last but not least the Lido
What a place this is. Nestling in the middle of Tooting Common this outdoor pool is just stunning in summer and, well, chilly in Winter. You can see triathletes training in their wetsuits in the enormous pool and, on a sunny day the nippers paddling in the baby pool.
So, that was a canter through my top 5 but I am sure to have missed so many other qualities. There is the Common, the new Library, St George’s Hospital. Comment below if you have different faves and retweet this link to spread the word about a great place to live.
DO NOT READ THIS if you are coming to my house tomorrow as it will ruin the moment.
DO READ THIS if you want to see how our gaff tarted up for a bit of a do.
I have only spent about £10 on my red white and blue decorations, I had my gingham checked and striped tablecloths already.
We will be showing the wedding through a projector onto the wall for those who can be bothered to get here at 11. Then we will show some classic wedding films throughout the day.
The menu is Chicken Liver Terrine with crusty bread, Pork Belly with Savoy Cabbage and Lardons, a selection of puds and a ma-hoo-ssive cheeseboard. All washed down with much fizzy stuff. My better half is the culinary wizard I do pretty stuff.
I was not best pleased when a prime spot in Tooting turned into yet another 99p shop, however, they came up trumps with the streamers.
Colporter has lent me a few stock items, the vintage Union Flag proudly displayed, the vintage bavarian beer bottles used as vases. It’s good this owning an “online vintage emporium” malarkey.
Even Mick Jagger is feeling the patriotic love.
Anyway, enjoy the day off whether you are getting involved or seething with republican hatred. I just love any excuse to come together with friends, drink fizz and feel the love.