The Naked Crepe Re-Design – Phase One

Five years ago, Nicole and Tom, came up with an awesome concept – to prepare and serve healthy, affordable, delicious crepes.  Their bistro, called The Naked Crepe, was such a success from the moment they opened their doors, they’ve barely had time to catch their breath.

With their start-up budget quickly eaten up by necessities like equipment and electrical wiring, most of the restaurant was built hands-on, by Nicole, Tom and friends and family.  After five years of being filled to capacity most days, the restaurant was looking rather worn.

Since the day The Naked Crepe opened, I’ve been imagining how I would decorate the space if I were given the opportunity.  Fortunately for me, the opportunity came!  I learned about the bistro’s daily operations, the concerns and needs of staff, and the owner’s goals and vision.  I then developed a design plan for Nicole and Tom’s approval.  They approved and Phase One is now complete with Phase Two scheduled for next week!

Here’s an overview of how I proceed, once a client has hired me for a project, whether it’s residential or small commercial:

Before the actual physical work begins, I develop a Design Board, which shows the overall vision and mood for the space or spaces.  Colours and key details are presented here for consideration and discussion with my clients.

Design Board

Once the concept and details are agreed upon, we discuss the extent of the services and products that my client would like me to provide.  Depending on the project, I may simply advise or I may be contracted to hire and oversee the trades people and shop for some or all of the items and finishes required to complete the project.  Every client is different – some like to be very involved and some like to keep their lives as stress-free as possible.   That’s the beauty of hiring a professional – a designer will save you time and money, will ease a lot of the worry and stress and will help you feel confident in your choices.

Now, here are some photos of the Naked Crepe – before, during and after Phase One:

Before Photo – I learned this chalk board was placed here to prevent people from walking into the post near the door.  Read further for my trip-hazard-free and tidy solution.
Before Photo – glare from directional lights was a problem at certain tables and the dark trim made the ceilings appear low.

Now, here is Phase One in progress with a few after photos.  I’d like to offer a hugh THANK YOU! to the awesome team who worked many long hours to make this transformation in a very short time frame:

The painting crew from Women In Rollers,

The electricians from Cluff’s Electric Heating and Plumbing,

The carpenters, Steve Eaton and Joe, and

Shelley Marchbank for cleaning everything!


There will be a Phase Two and a Phase Three, so stay tuned for future posts!

Getting started. Phase One involved new lights, new paint, the removal of in-the-way wall heaters, energy-saving LED bulbs throughout, new seating arrangements, a new, safer step to the raised area (that needs to stay for structural reasons), and a couple of new serving accessories.
High gloss paint on the ceiling bounces daylight into the space – visually raising ceiling and brightening the space.
With the post near the door painted black, it stands out and is less likely to be walked into.  New directional lights are pointed downward so they won’t glare into anyone’s eyes.  Notice how dark and brown the old colour on the far wall looks in comparison to the new cool white and blue-grey tones.
These pop-of-red chairs will go outside once new upholstered chairs arrive for the new eat-at-counter.  The new counter makes much better use of this awkward space.  An eye-catching birch step replaces a worn and torn curved step trip hazard onto the raised area.
A birch chair rail encompasses the space, preventing chair damage on the walls and providing an anchor for funky coat/handbag hooks.  With the rounded backs on the chairs, finding a place for handbags used to be a challenge.


The new cool colours serve to make the restaurant FEEL cooler, and larger, and fresher!  (Please note, these lights only look glaring because of the effect of the camera, but they don’t appear this way in reality.)

Nicole, Tom, the Naked Crepe staff and guests seem to be pleased with the transformation so far.  Stay tuned for Phase Two!


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