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Bloodwood Restaurant

Newtown’s Bloodwood restaurant, a sustainable approach to dining in Sydney.

Interior Designer Matt Woods was in the right place at the right time when he was asked to design the interiors of Bloodwood restaurant on busy King Street in Newtown.

“I am a long-time Newtown resident and just happened to become friendly with one of the bloodwood owners while they were working at Moose Cafe (now Moose Bar) just down the road from Bloodwood,” Matt explains.

“They were looking for a design, I offered them some free advice on furniture, and the next thing you know I was engaged to complete the full interior package.”


Coming from a fine dining background the 3 owners, Jo Ward, Claire van Vuuren and Mitch Grady, were out to create “affordable quality dining” in Newtown.

“At that stage I was studying a Masters in Sustainable Design at Sydney Uni and believed that the best way to do this was to make the venue as sustainable as we could,” Matt says.

This has been achieved through the use of construction waste, reclaimed and recycled materials, FSC certified plantation timbers, re-used seating and low-energy LEDs and long-life compact fluoros – modern technologies in beautiful designs including works by Volker Haug.



“I was very conscious of making a real pig punch onto King Street’s foot traffic, I’d been aware of Volker Haug’s work for quite a while but hadn’t had the opportunity to push his designs through on any of my previous designs due to the conservative nature of the company I was working with.”   

Matt used Volker’s ‘Rudolf’ and Candy Bananas as playful, eye-catching elements in the restaurant. While an open back deck creates the relaxed courtyard atmosphere that people have come to expect from the best of Newtown dining and bars.



“Aesthetically I drew inspiration from the streets of Newtown, and more widely my experience as a Sydneysider, and have made conscious efforts to reflect this inner urban environment,” Matt says.

“From a sustainability point of view the bloodwood ethos is one of minimal waste. The changing monthly menus are printed on recycled paper. The water jugs are reclaimed and re-blown wine bottles.”


“Aesthetically the interiors are not trying to re-invent the wheel. I simply took a whole heap of finishes I had been a fan of for a while and rearranged them in ways I hadn’t seen before. I think the food at bloodwood does the same sort of thing. The guys are wearing their influences on their sleeves but do it in manner Sydney is only now lucky enough to be experiencing.”


Matt Woods


Photography by Will Reichelt & The moment It Clicks


5 Things we love:




The doors

The doors scattered around the restaurant are a little random, but so cool. Whether serving as actual doors or like installation artworks.



Rudolf Peg Board

The ‘Rudolf’ peg board with coloured cubes is a liitle bit of art and light. Volker Haug’s lights, Matt Woods’ inspiration.




The Bathrooms

Industrial-style bathrooms – high-quality finishes with a touch of grunge-chic.




The Seating

Reused seats – they take us back to simpler times with everything from timber to steel. They add texture and history to the space.





Railway Sleepers

Reclaimed railway sleepers – once the reserve of garden retaining walls, it’s great to see them in a new urban context


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