Design Crush: A Dreamy, Paris-Inspired Diner
Wilfred’s, a romantic, heavy-on-the-millennial-pink restaurant in Edmonton, takes cues from the City of Love.
Wilfred’s may brand itself as a diner, but we can bet you’ve never seen a diner like this: bright, romantic, dreamy and saturated in more millennial pink than an Instagram-friendly baby shower. The muse? Paris, the City of Love, where co-owner Shaun Brandt spent three months with his family prior to opening the restaurant in the Edmonton Brewery District last summer. “We were just very inspired by the lightness and some of the details in the spaces over there,” he says.
Pretty in pink. Punches of black and brass balance a delicate palette of blush pinks, which shine in details like the Chromatica tiles by Stone Tile that decorate Wilfred’s bar-front.
Working with Makespace Group, Brandt sought to create a cozy, intimate feel that borrowed from the French city’s food scene without compromising Wilfred’s diner DNA: a custom toffee-hued banquette runs along the length of one wall, welcoming parties of all sizes, while a series of leather-upholstered stools at the white-oak bar invites guests to stay a while. Elsewhere, you’ll find white-painted brick—a new feature made to look restored in the 110-year-old building, which previously served as the administrative office for the block’s now defunct Molson Brewery—and plenty of chic black and brass details (such as a bespoke lighting fixture by Vancouver designer Matthew McCormick) peppered throughout.
The pièce de résistance is a mural by local artists Judi Chan and Keith-yin Sun of Vanguard Works that depicts anthropomorphic giraffes, poodles and other critters—including Wilfred the bear, the imaginary town’s mayor—hanging out at a lush, greenery-filled park. Comprising multiple watercolour paintings that have been scanned, printed and applied as a wallpaper, the fantastical illustration warms up Wilfred’s otherwise clean and streamlined look, and captures the attention of adults and tots alike. “You couldn’t imagine the restaurant without it, now that it’s up,” notes Brandt.