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“Warm, connected and authentically Australian”: LVN Restaurant by Georgie Shepherd Interior Design

With each bite and brushstroke, diners at Bird in Hand’s latest restaurant are whisked away to the heart of Australian creativity and heritage.

“Warm, connected and authentically Australian”: LVN Restaurant by Georgie Shepherd Interior Design

Hemmed in vineyard rows, the LVN Restaurant at Bird in Hand’s Woodside estate in Adelaide has imbued an Australian vernacular language into the design by fostering links to First Nations people and the land on which the winery is located.

With its strong connection to the landscape and a backdrop of curated contemporary artworks, the venue was designed by Georgie Shepherd, of the eponymous Georgie Shepherd Interior Design studio. LVN Restaurant pays homage to local culture; thus, winery co-founder Susie Nugent sourced Shepherd, a local herself, to undertake the design task. The two collaborated closely to design this convivial venue.

The brief was simple: design a restaurant that reflects Bird in Hand’s ethos, where executive chef, Jacob Davey, showcases the best of the region’s produce to complement a selection of wines. “Andrew and Susie Nugent approached us with a vision to transform the existing restaurant space into a new high-end restaurant that embodies all the messages and qualities of Bird in Hand,” Shepherd explains.

Susie and Andrew’s daughter, Lalla Victoria Nugent, adds: “Following the visual journey of the spectacular garden, we aimed for the restaurant to exude a light-filled, comfortable ambience with refined sensory elements. It’s almost as if guests are stepping into the heart of Bird in Hand and taking a seat at the kitchen bench.”

The intimate collaboration between designer and client included extensive liaison about the orientation of the oeuvre of artworks – where they should hang throughout the space, and so forth. “We made a purposeful decision to keep furniture away from the walls so that artwork could be strategically displayed throughout the restaurant, ensuring diners sit among the collection. The colour palette and themes in the artworks harmonise with the interior scheme, while the lighting was designed to accentuate each piece, creating a visually engaging and cohesive atmosphere.”

The acquisitions of the Bird in Hand portfolio feature prominently on the walls and envelope the dining room. Many of the curated collections were sourced from South Australia’s Hugo Michell Gallery, including works from artists such as Wanambi, Ildiko Kovacs, Idowu Oluwaseun and Georgia Spain – all avant-garde pieces were curated by Susie under the guidance of Georgie. The dynamic duo share a ‘same page’ working relationship that has simply grown stronger over the years.

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“Susie was involved throughout the entire curatorial and design process,” Georgie shares. “After working together on previous projects, we were closely aligned in our vision for this dining space: warm, connected and authentically Australian.”

The artworks and materiality were chosen to reflect and “create an immersive space with humble materials, true in form and honest,” Georgie says, emphasising the “warm, earthy and textural” palette of Venetian plaster, aged brass, marble, stone and glass. “These materials nod to a country farmhouse style but also forge strong connections to the land and history of the winery. Local culture and storytelling come through in the art, particularly the works by Indigenous artist Garawan Wanambi.”

The gardens became luscious outdoor ‘rooms’ that work in synergy with the palette and layout of the dining room. “We utilised natural materials such as stone and timber to create a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor spaces, while the large steel-framed windows offer views of the garden from the restaurant,” Georgie explains. The seating is orientated towards the main doors that open onto sun-drenched terraces, where sculptures and a mural by Lucas Grogan are set among manicured garden scenes. “The outdoor seating area invites diners to immerse themselves in the garden, encouraging relaxation and enjoyment before or after their meal.”

Georgie Shepherd Interior Design

Duy Dash

Restaurant Advieh by Warren and Mahoney

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