Retail design: The thinking behind cosy shelter Kindred

Article by Simply You


The designers of Kindred cafe have created a cosy shelter in the heart of bustling Britomart.

Creating a restaurant that has character in a goldfish bowl commercial building was a challenge the team from Auckland-based design practice Ctrl Space relished. With bars and cafes like Glass Goose, Citizen Park and Kokako under their belt, the company has garnered a reputation for designing award-winning hospitality spaces. So when the owners of the newly opened Kindred tasked them with designing an eatery that felt like an extension of their home, a “cosy shelter”, in the space beneath ASB bank in Britomart they gave it a major makeover.


The tiles on the floor were stripped back and a grinder taken to the concrete before it was sealed, giving it a natural look. Ctrl Space owner and director Chris Stevens says the tactile effect was important in the overall concept so materials like steel, brass and leather were used. “Organic paint finishes give depth and texture, warm timbers and the green tones of the leather add to the natural feeling,” he says.

The delicate colour palette adds to the feminine aesthetic which was also part of the brief. Much of the furniture was made locally to the firm’s custom design. Additional chairs and bar stools were sourced from Backhouse furniture and interiors specialists. The lighting is also bespoke, the glass globes were handblown at Auckland’s Monmouth Glass Studio.

Words: Naomi Larkin
Photos: Supplied