Jialun Xiong Channels Pared Back Retro-Futurism for Los Angeles Restaurant

Looking beyond her typical practice of furniture design, Jialun Xiong has created her first-ever restaurant interior for a Chinese-inspired eatery in an industrial district of Los Angeles.

Named 19 Town, the restaurant describes itself as being a space that transitions its visitors from “hectic daytime through to happy hour, dinner, and nightlife”. Across the 4,200-square-foot footprint, a combination of intimate seats, a private room, and a partially-open lounge area allows for a variety of gathering options – each of which has been meticulously devised by Xiong and her team.

To do so, the designer has envisioned the restaurant into five so-called “zones”. Each has its own feel – yet has features materials and color palettes in common, in order to create a conceptual thread throughout the entire environment.

An overarching reference for the interior design was retro-futurism, as evident throughout furnishings and fixtures. Given that Xiong is a furniture designer herself, many of the sofas, benches, and tables have been created in-house. Some feature silver powder-coated metal with off-white leather upholstery, while others favor Formica and vinyl. In order to ensure warmth is felt throughout – particularly when surfaces are created from brushed metal and glossy coatings – natural materials were brought on board. The entranceway features Venetian plaster and custom plywood casework, and lounge areas are complete with wooden tables. “The restaurant interior forms part of an ongoing investigation in [my] design practice where [I study] the notion of lavish restraint, with rigorously minimal and linear forms balanced against a richness of materiality and detail,” the designer says.

Check out the space above, and for more design – take an exclusive tour of the iconic Kellogg Doolittle House in Joshua Tree.
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