Billie Buoy is a new community- and family-friendly eatery located in Essendon, a suburb in the north-west of Melbourne. For the design, interior designer and Biasol Principal, Jean-Pierre Biasol, has drawn on the feel-good vibes of the 1980s and channelled Billie Buoy, a made-up character of his time who was radical, hip and a little offbeat.
The building occupies a corner location with glazing at the front and a graffiti-like slogan splashed on the side that says ‘Wake Me Up When I’m Famous’! While the internal floor plate is just 60 square metres, every centimetre has been fully utilised.
Banquette seating has been included near the front entrance and in the rear dining room. A counter area with stools allows free-flowing circulation between areas. An arch motif has been employed throughout and creates interest while delineating spaces and softening the juncture between ceiling and wall.
The interiors and branding were developed simultaneously to form a strong and definitive design.
The colour palette is bold and eye-catching with hot pink highlights and cobalt blue in abundance. Materials are textured with a combination of terrazzo, mosaic tiles, rendered walls and felt upholstery that creates depth and variation within the blue hue. An authentic brick floor unifies the interior while a stainless steel bar and arched shelving adds a touch of pizzazz. Hot pink neon weaves its way throughout wall artwork to create Instagram opportunities for customers.
The interiors and branding were developed simultaneously so that they complement one another and combine to form a strong and definitive design. Signage and coffee cups, packaging and apparel all have the signature appeal; Rick Astley’s lyrics are printed on the takeaway bags.
Every detail has been attended to and the total design is an homage to the 1980s in a way that is young, fresh and unforgettable. Billy Buoy is the place to be and is the design statement that makes retro cool again.
Photography by Timothy Kaye