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Laem Charoen Seafood Central Eastville, by Thai-based Designer, Onion

In her eighth design for the Laem Charoen Seafood Restaurant, Onion design director Arisara Chaktranon shares her thoughts on the value of blending modern interior trends with tradition and nostalgia.

Sometimes in order to attract the new, one must take cues from the old. That’s exactly the mode of thinking of Arisara Chaktranon, Onion’s design director and lead designer of Seafood Restaurant Laem Charoen. The family-run eatery has entrusted Onion to design their Seafood franchises in Bangkok since 2007. Now, Laem Charoen Seafood at Central Eastville is the eighth project under their belt.

Chaktranon, given the task of re-invigorating Laem Chareon’s Eastville Restaurant, takes design inspiration from the 1970’s to create a nostalgic yet modernised version of the restaurant, which originally opened back in 1979. Chaktranon explains, “We wanted it to look fresh, friendly, attract a new generation and also have a hint of a good restaurant that has run for over 30 years.”

In order to do so, Onion chose to work with the most nostalgic elements of Laem Charoen Seafood: the uniforms of the servers and captain. The uniforms, unchanged since Laem Charoen’s opening, boasts light blue shirts, bow ties, aprons and black waistcoats. The choice of materials, colour schemes and geometric forms of the restaurant are directly influenced by that of the uniforms, seen in the black and white triangular prism ceiling, linear patterned sofas, wooden chambers and ceramic walls.

The restaurant has four main dining areas in the open-plan layout. Next to the entrance, the dining area is composed of brass-laminated facade, white marble floor and partition. In the middle of the restaurant, there are wooden chambers for six people, round black granite tables with fixed curved sofas, movable wooden tables and the VIP room cornered by two panels of looking glasses. Giving more privacy to the users is new to Laem Charoen Seafood. In the past, the restaurant layout tended to favour the open-plan design, allowing tables and chairs to be easily rearranged to serve large groups of guests. Here, Onion’s intelligent design allows for a dining experience that caters to all.

The design, whilst modern and refreshed, pays homage to the nearly 40-year-old business through its well thought-out material palette and the blending of old and new physical elements. Through taking inspiration cues from the 1970s and renewing them, Onion both tastefully celebrates the past and undoubtedly invites the new.

Laem Charoen Seafood was originally founded in 1979 at Charoen Cape in Rayong Province, with the business now boasting 16 locations throughout Thailand.

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