A poorly lit basement space has undergone a tremendous transformation at the hands of Italian design firm Studio DiDeA. Now home to Palermo’s trendy bistro Cento61, the renovated space combines natural lighting and greenery with eye-catching materials.

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before image Cento61 by Studio DiDeA

interior Cento61 by Studio DiDeA

Formerly an old restaurant tucked below ground in an early twentieth century building, the site includes a 1,400-square-foot interior that opens up to a large external courtyard. According to Studio DiDeA, the client asked for “a special place with an informal atmosphere that could become a meeting place for Palermo’s people to eat, drink, share and coming back”. To create an airy and attractive atmosphere, the designers brought the outdoors in with potted plants that hang from the ceiling and a color palette that evokes the sky with different shades of blue.

mixed seating Cento61 by Studio DiDeA

outdoor terrace Cento61 by Studio DiDeA

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A white iron grid used in the interior and exterior tie the two spaces together. Inside, the white grid also forms a neutral backdrop for a variety of materials that include timber durmast panels, Calacatta marble, and Niagara blue inserts. “The result is geometric-patterned wall surfaces that match the cobalt-blue sofas and the light blue and yellow colored chairs, adding vibrancy and a sense of playfulness to the otherwise simple space,” wrote the architects. The outdoor dining area—which, like the interior, seats 40—was designed around a 200-year-old Cycas plant and is outfitted with vibrant yellow and blue wire chairs.

+ Studio DiDeA

Images via Studio DiDeA

view from bar Cento61 by Studio DiDeA

hanging plants Cento61 by Studio DiDeA