December 15, 2023
UMMO
22 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60654

Interior Design Studio: 

Studio K

We sat down with Studio K’s Founder and Creative Director, Karen Herold, to learn more about her vision behind this project.

How often do you consider the food when designing a restaurant? Is that first and foremost or does it take a backseat to other narratives you want to tell?

"I always consider it. The food of the restaurant is essential, but I want to make sure our design is focused on experience. This involves us starting with Italian food, Northern Italy, and the cultural spirit of Milan, then we leaned into being inspired by music, with the ambiance of a jazz club."

Designed by Studio K, UMMO, unlocks the vibrant flavors of regional Italian cuisine in a colorful and beautifully imagined space.

We sat down with Studio K’s Founder and Creative Director, Karen Herold, to learn more about her vision behind this project.

How often do you consider the food when designing a restaurant? Is that first and foremost or does it take a backseat to other narratives you want to tell?

"I always consider it. The food of the restaurant is essential, but I want to make sure our design is focused on experience. This involves us starting with Italian food, Northern Italy, and the cultural spirit of Milan, then we leaned into being inspired by music, with the ambiance of a jazz club."

The upstairs and downstairs are cohesive, but they have distinctly different auras. Is that intentional?

"I designed it as if this was a couple’s apartment. The parents live downstairs, the husband is an architect, and his wife curates an art gallery. They are sophisticated and educated in art, literature, food, wine, and music. They enjoy fine dining, and their home has many vintage pieces they collected from their travels."

"The upstairs is toned down and clean but also warm and inviting. Very energy driven. The loft is where the afterparty would be and where the kids hang out while their parents are downstairs. There would be records sprawled out on the ground, guitar on the couch as if a musician lived there."

Lastly, besides our service and diverse and charismatic line of products, how do we at ELM make Studio K’s life easier?

"You guys understand design. You can see our concept, the vision we have for a project, and then find the materials that match what we are trying to accomplish."

The upstairs and downstairs are cohesive, but they have distinctly different auras. Is that intentional?

"I designed it as if this was a couple’s apartment. The parents live downstairs, the husband is an architect, and his wife curates an art gallery. They are sophisticated and educated in art, literature, food, wine, and music. They enjoy fine dining, and their home has many vintage pieces they collected from their travels."

"The upstairs is toned down and clean but also warm and inviting. Very energy driven. The loft is where the afterparty would be and where the kids hang out while their parents are downstairs. There would be records sprawled out on the ground, guitar on the couch as if a musician lived there."

Lastly, besides our service and diverse and charismatic line of products, how do we at ELM make Studio K’s life easier?

"You guys understand design. You can see our concept, the vision we have for a project, and then find the materials that match what we are trying to accomplish."

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