When Kate Rohrer and her all-female team at Rohe Creative initially began putting together a design for Philadelphia, PA’s Louie Louie in 2016, they aimed to replicate the feeling of a classical European cafe. “There is an elegance to this type of design, but it’s also operationally functional,” Kate says. “Plus, the spaces [are] timeless, and we were inspired by that.”
Pretty far into the process, however, Rohe Creative and their clients both felt the need to head back to the drawing board. The original concept just wasn’t vibing anymore, not only amongst themselves but with where the country stood politically. “We listened to our instinct(s) about the way the world felt, and we listened to our client,” the team tells us. “He was pushing us to do more and vice versa. We all wanted to create our best work for the concept.”
In order to craft a space that was optimistic, full of cheer and welcoming to all, Kate shifted focus to the fancy-free 1960s and 70s, a period of design when bright colors reigned supreme. “By taking a step back in time, we felt free to explore and create and had a lot of fun doing it,” she explains. Along the way they weren’t just replicating tried-and-true styles, though. They were updating them, crafting a look deemed “Retro Nouveau” for its layered combination of the old and new.
Amidst the eclectic Retro Nouveau touches basks an abundance of curves. Whether through lighting design or furniture, these undulations nod to fierce femininity and the excitement felt after 2017’s Women’s March. This purposeful touch paired with a vibrant color scheme has made Louie Louie one of the most memorable spaces I’ve ever covered. Scroll down to check it out, and enjoy! —Garrett