Bow & Truss, the new North Hollywood restaurant and lounge crafted from what had been an auto body garage, may not sound like the kind of place with design elements that could translate to a residential environment. But as envisioned by Beth Holden, principal of the West Hollywood architecture studio New Theme, in collaboration with her client, Morgan Margolis of Knitting Factory Entertainment, the updated 1930s building will indeed hold some design solutions with high visual impact that diners just might bring home.
The restaurant, scheduled to have its grand opening Friday, has a stunning showpiece: a richly patterned bar that's actually just formaldehyde-free medium density fiberboard, or MDF, finished with paint that’s low in volatile organic compounds. The pattern, inspired by the jali screenwork common in Islamic design, was cut with a router by hand, then set on sanded plexiglass backed with dimmable LEDs. This particular pattern may be intricate, but the concept and simple materials could be deployed as an accent wall, adding ambient light to a stairwell or entryway. At Bow & Truss, the geometric cuts of the MDF are meant to blend with the restaurant's Spanish bent and with Southern California's architectural traditions.
"We studied different patterns and abstracted it to look a little more modern,” Holden said. “We wanted it to have that cross-referencing."