After the former home of Farmers Fishers Bakers incurred extensive water damage after a flood-gate malfunction on Washington D.C.'s Potomac River in 2011, local firm GrizForm Design Architects was tapped to create a new restaurant that would pay homage to agriculture and the restaurant's farm-to-table commitment. The result is an aesthetic that is both distinctly charming and American kitsch, and the perfect mix of utility and unique design choices.
"Some of the best design ideas come from simply solving a problem," says the firm's founder, Griz Dwight.
At 9,700 square feet, the restaurant is a large sprawling space, so GrizForm used five "micro-climates to cozy it up," he explains. "Applying a different theme to each area gave us the opportunity to expand on the design, have some fun and give a story to each element. For example, the bar is the farm field, with a wheat bar top, corrugated aluminum siding that hints at a silo and a two-seater barstool modeled after the back seat of a '64 Ford Falcon—because what farm field doesn't have an old car in it?"
Other customized elements include rolling pins mounted on the Baker's Table walls with Osh Kosh B'gosh overalls hardware, and a seating wall born out of the simple need to store chairs that aren't in use. "The restaurant has no back of house storage, so we figured if they have to be seen, make them look great," Dwight says. Old tractor tires double as wallcoverings and sound absorption material in the bustling bar area. And last, but certainly not least, no men's restroom is complete without bull castration devices hanging above the urinals.
"The clients had two requests when it came to the restrooms: make the women's as inviting as a spa and make the men's completely undesirable," he adds. "What better way to warn against untidy bathroom manners than a little cheeky intimidation?"