Design Brooklyn is an occasional column featuring Brooklyn interiors, both residential and commercial. The column is written by Anne Hellman, with photographs by Michel Arnaud. They blog at Design Brooklyn and have a book of the same name coming out in October.
The notion to hang dining chairs from the ceiling at Saraghina in Bed Stuy was inspired by the children’s story Peter Pan. Edoardo Mantelli, who owns the Italian eatery and pizzeria, brought in artist Paola Citterio to design an atmosphere that evokes the home-cooked food the menu is based on. The space Citterio created in what used to be a one-story garage is both nostalgic and light-hearted, as though all of it has been sprinkled with a little bit of pixie dust.
Chairs are not the only items that hang from the ceiling. Glass wine jugs hung like chandeliers provide the ideal light fixtures over the front counter. Found signage from the area’s past and other kitchen elements such as old bottles, canisters, and dangling meats and cheeses decorate the rooms. The interior has been given a coat of white paint, bringing new life to the aged wooden beams. All this, without erasing a strong sense of place and history.
Outside, the black façade and rustic sign give a hint of the conceptually playful interior, as well as a nod to the old structures of the neighborhood. It is nice to think about, when sitting down inside, what it would be like to float up to the ceiling.
Above, dining chairs of different styles hang every which way from the ceiling, as if brought to life. Hanging wine jugs reconfigured as light fixtures light the counter space in the front of the restaurant.
The pay booth from the site’s previous incarnation as a garage has been reconceived as a busing station as well as a place to hang cured meats.
The hours open sign utilizes a rusted part from a water well and whitewashed wood to convey the eclecticism of the restaurant interior.