Elegantly renovated Swiss restaurant basks in the glow of designer South African lighting


Situated in Baden, Switzerland, the newly renovated Grand Casino Baden’s PLÜ Restaurant & Lounge strikes the perfect balance between opulence and natural design.

Swiss-based interior design company, Atelier West, was commissioned to modernise the interior of PLÜ Restaurant & Lounge in 2020. PLÜ translates directly to ‘plush’ and this is evident as the inspiration for Atelier West, who curated a modern, luxurious space with tastefully chosen design elements.

The restaurant is enrobed by floor to ceiling golden-hued curtains which frame the picturesque views of the greenery outside.  The lounge area has a metallic-gold wall that houses a sleek fireplace and is surrounded by minimalist yet inviting velvet armchairs. Velvet-tassled cushions sit atop a burnt-orange velvet booth nestled in a corner.

The bar area creates a focal piece in the space.  Gold screed floors are cleverly mirrored by a gold ceiling. The bar’s semi-circular countertop is covered with gold and complemented with metallic, glass and chrome elements.

However, there are clever and subtle nods to nature within this opulent and elegantly designed space. A dark herringbone wooden floor brings grounding to the space. Wooden beams span the ceiling, interspersed with glowing and warming downlighting. Leather ottomans are scattered among the velvet armchairs, paired with wooden coffee tables. The tables in the restaurant are a dark wood, complemented with sleek, leather chairs. Behind the bar, a statement wall is covered in a striking floral wallpaper that nods  A bright, colourful floral arrangement and small artfully placed succulents bring lively energy to the space. Used throughout, metals bring a natural modernity to the design pieces.

Looking up brings the discovery that it is the lighting that brings these two worlds of nature and luxury together. Atelier West approached Cape Town-based design company, willowlamp, to provide a series of their organic and sculptural lighting pieces. willowlamps’ pieces are inspired by nature which speak to the natural elements of the space, while the cohesion to the luxurious design was achieved by finishing the chandeliers in gold. Atelier West opted for three designs to be used in the space.

In the restaurant area, each extended rectangular table is lit by a circular willowlamp Ngoma Drum to create a lovely contrast of shapes. The roundness of the Ngoma Drum is also a subtle nod to the round coffee tables and ottomans in the adjoining lounge area. These circular chandeliers are interspersed with two variations of willowlamp’s Moroccan Vases which are carried through to the lounge area. These elongated lights are pendants inspired by the forms and colours of Moroccan design and bring a dynamism of shape to the ceiling.

The bar is thoughtfully lit with willowlamp’s Long Lantern in its suspended form. These lamps are a strategic choice – low voltage downlights create the effect of a shaft of light which generates a gentle glow, rather than a dominating light.

In total, 47 willowlamp pieces bring a warm, golden glow to this beautifully designed space of modern luxury.

The project resulted in PLÜ Restaurant & Lounge oozing opulent elegance whilst perfectly incorporating grounding, natural elements captured in subtle nuances.

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