design and refurbishment of restaurant & takeaway


With a 5-year reputation for excellent authentic Thai food and hospitality, Simply Thai was an established restaurant and takeaway. It had had a quick redecorate before it originally opened but nothing since so the whole place was looking tired and certainly did not do the food justice. On a limited budget, the brief was to create a fresh contemporary Thai look and feel to better reflect the owners and the business and to incorporate some of their existing artwork. 

It was designed with a ying and yang approach to reflect the husband and wife couple that run it and different aspects of Thailand itself. The restaurant reflects the sun and is warm. The takeaway reflects the ocean and is calm.


All existing fittings were removed to made good of all walls and ceilings. The walls were kept clean and simple and painted light colours with feature textured wallpapers. I created cost-effective impact lighting in the restaurant with light boxes made from deconstructed glazed and back lit oriental folding screens. I made replacement table tops for the restaurant from a job lot of solid oak dining table tops I found on ebay. These were stained a teak colour to match other woodwork and finished with a specialist hard wax oil for hygiene and longevity. I also fitted a new wood laminate floor in the restaurant with a ramp between the restaurant and takeaway for accessibility.

I built a stud wall in the takeaway to hide a large chest freezer. The new takeaway reception desk was also designed to incorporate a back lit oriental screen and power points. Three overhead lights were placed above it. Additional seating was provided in the takeaway by building a full length upholstered window seat and installing a reclaimed pew which was upholstered with Thai Lotus fabric. I also sourced and fitted two used oriental style internal doors which were more in keeping with the rest of the decor.

The bay windows were restored and repainted on the outside and stripped back to bare wood and stained to match on the inside. The outside railings and shop fascia were also repainted to match.

With the exception of  the furniture elements that were built in my workshop in advance, the whole project was completed in a 3 week period during which the owners usually close to take their annual holiday to Thailand.

My wife built a new website for the restaurant for relaunch and that and the refurbishment have resulted in a doubling in the volume of customers and so the project paid for itself in the first 3 months.