When something is new and shiny we are afraid to touch it. Afraid that we will make some mark of damage. Ultimately this creates a sense of unease, where we tiptoe rather than stretch out into the world around us. When you are designing a venue \u2013 in the public and for the public \u2013 the space should feel comfortable and inviting for one to come and stay.\r\n\r\nBang Bang is a recent restaurant and bar in Melbourne\u2019s Elsternwick that reimagines the colonial clubs throughout South-East Asia. And despite the overt exoticism of the jungle-infused d\u00e9cor, there is also a well-worn, nostalgic impression that exudes a sense of familiarity and comfort.\r\n\r\nIt was important to the owners for Bang Bang to integrate into the local community. The inciting colonial club idea for the venue was not only a means to draw from the owner\u2019s heritage, but also to thematically reinforce that the restaurant is a place for the local people. And with Bang Bang open from morning through to late night, the space is designed to act as a verdant escape for any time of day.\r\n\r\nBang Bang is the cumulative result from Six Degrees Architects, Chamberlain Architects, Pom branding as well as input from the owners themselves. The lived-in feel is created from the heavy use of rough-look materials \u2013 exposed concrete and stripped back red brick walls, for example \u2013 as well as the inclusion of vintage furniture. The owner\u2019s personal collection of vintage pieces add to the assembly of mix-matched furniture used throughout.\r\n\r\nThe owner\u2019s Laos heritage pervades the interior styling. Their engagement with the designers and the creation of the space, allowed for authentic and custom artistic features, such as the stencil pattern that flows throughout.\r\n\r\n\u201cWe even created a custom tile print referencing traditional Laos patterns that were turned into a stencil pattern,\u201d says Ella Leoncio, interior designer with Chamberlain Architects. \u201cThis stencil was hand painted onto the floor and bar to create a sense of embellishment and opulence.\u201d\r\n\r\nBang Bang combines three diverse dining areas, the Sanctuary, a temple-inspired, intimate wine bar; the Jungle, the main dining room and adjacent outdoor dining space; and the Night Market, the festive, multi-coloured rear alfresco dining area. Each section offers a unique experience to suit the needs of the patron. Yet, within each, the styling seamlessly adheres to the character of South-East Asia. Local textiles and imagery from Laos culture helped to imagine the vibrant jungle wallpaper panels within the dining room. And further, a standout custom pendant light, draped in billowing cloth, exudes a relaxed and natural appeal.\r\n\r\nIt is a feat for a space that is so visually different to the surrounding Melbourne suburbs to evoke a sense of homeliness. A club of any sort is constructed to be a space to serve its members. Bang Bang\u2019s attempts to veer away from a look that is decidedly new and untouched helps to make it instantly familiar. And when paired with rich textures and foliage, make for this restaurant to become an ideal oasis for one to wind down the hours.