Photo by Nikolas Koenig

Berners Tavern, housed at the new Edition Hotel in London’s Fitzrovia neighborhood, is a unicorn of sorts: a restaurant packed with discerning design and discerning food lovers, thanks to Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton’s fancy comfort food. Hotelier Ian Schrager’s team imagined a room Vermeer might have painted in 2014—something both lived-in and inviting in subtle ways.

A BEAUTIFUL MESS

Leslie Simitch of Trunk Archive hunted down 180 pieces of art for the walls. “I looked back at artists who focus on travel and interior, such as Simon Watson and François Halard,” she says. “These photographs capture a sense of mystery.” Wait, photographs? To make them look like paintings, Simitch had some of the images printed on canvas and placed in gilded frames, which help unify the jigsaw arrangement.

THE HOT SEAT

For the space’s café-style setup, the designers chose tub chairs, which have low backs that don’t obstruct your view of the art or the original Georgian plasterwork on the ceiling. Besides being comfortable, the chairs have a modern flavor that offsets the more ornate period details of the space.

LAVA LAMPS FOR GROWN-UPS

Interiors firm Yabu Pushelberg rigged the bar with backlighting that has an amber hue. The effect: Bottles shine even before your glass meets the slick zinc countertops. To pull off this trick at home, attach an undercabinet light to your bar cart and watch Campari bottles glow.

This appeared in the June/July 2014 issue.