Images: Benny Ho
A rippling wall of Adriatic Sea, Daisy, and White Wash Ogee Drops is the perfect backdrop for Hai Poke's fresh seafood fare. Adrienne Consales, founder of Black Ink, a full-service interior design studio specializing in custom commercial and high-end residential renovations and interiors, talked to us about her firm, the restaurant and of course her tile selections!
First, can you tell me about yourself and your firm? What sorts of projects do you typically work on?
I am a Pittsburgh girl who graduated from Ohio University in 2008 with a degree in Interior Architecture. I always knew I wanted to be a designer. I decided that I wanted to be an interior designer when I was 10 years old - and here I am! I worked in architecture firms as an architectural interior designer up until January of 2016 when I left to launch Black Ink. I do both commercial interiors and residential renovations. I've done anything and everything from restaurants to juice bars, salons to dental offices to gyms. I take on whatever comes my way that fits into the Black Ink aesthetic. We've been fortunate to work on a wide-variety of project types including workplace, retail, hospitality and various residential projects ranging from full-house interiors to single-room luxury renovations.
Your firm works on both residential and commercial projects: how would you say designing differs between those two groups?
I would say design differs in many ways between commercial and residential. Residential design is very personal and very emotional for the client since it's so close at heart. Homes are our safe space - the place you come to when the day is done to be with family and the relax. It's a space that is truly our own. The clients are heavily involved in the process (which is wonderful!). Part of the process in both residential and commercial design is teaching the client about the design process - most of the time, this is the clients first time using a designer and architect, so there is a learning curve. My commercial clients are often running a mile a minute in all different directions - so there's a lot more to coordinate without much client involvement in some cases. The process can be much quicker in commercial design, but the care and level of detail never changes.
How involved were the owners of Hai Poke involved in the design process? Was this your first time working with them?
This was my first time working with these guys - they were fantastic clients. Very energetic and excited about their first brick and mortar restaurant. They were very involved with the design development process where we gathered hundreds of images from all over the world of colors and details we loved for the brand development. We narrowed is down to a more simplisitc, but visually textural palette and really let the food shine. Poké is so colorful, and we wanted to keep the bowls at center stage.
What were your goals for the space?
The goal was to create a very unique space to allow them to stand out from the other poke or sushi places in Columbus - but on a budget. We had two main focal areas that were highly visible from the street, so we put most of the detail there. The POS facade being one - which we clad in a hand-tacked wood design (over 800 pieces!) and the second was the west kitchen wall, where we applied the fireclay tile.
We also applied the tile to the underside of the window seats to add some detail and texture to an unexpected place.
What sort of look or aesthetic were you going for?
The overall aesthetic could be described as minimal-island inspired.
Now, on to the tile! What made you choose our Ogee Drop shape? Were there any other contenders?
The shape was absolutely perfect - reminded us of fish scales in a subtle way.
Tile Shown: Ogee Drops in White Wash
I loved the combination of the two whites for nice dimension - and the blue was beautiful.
How about the colors Daisy, White Wash and Adriatic Sea?
The whites were just different enough to give the appearance of movement once installed - the Adriatic Sea blue was close to their brand without being too 'matchy' and added a nice level of detail while keeping things crisp. It was the perfect blue without begin muddy or too grey.
How was the installation process? Did you face any challenges?
Other than my installer not following my design directions (which caused us to have to order more adiratic sea) it was great!
Lastly, are there any of our shapes/colors/patterns you are hoping to use in any of your future projects?
I am dying to use the brick tiles for a residential kitchen. I love how the glazes look on the rougher bodies - looking forward to using them someday when the right client comes along!
Tile Shown: Meteorite