By Doug Dalsing
Sometimes the best way to get something unique is to take a great idea and turn it on its head—or side. That's exactly what Anurag Nema, the founder of nemaworkshop, a Manhattan design firm, did with this 420-square-foot location for café D'Espresso on Madison Avenue in New York City. The café sits just one block from the New York Public Library on 5th Avenue, so Nema took a quaint library—book-lined shelves on three walls with a herringbone oak floor underfoot—and turned it 90 degrees. Here, the herringbone oak adorns one 15-foot wall while glazed, sepia-tone tiles printed with images of books run along the floor, up another wall and across the ceiling; the remaining wall mimics a ceiling, complete with bulbous lights that jut over the service counter. "Ultimately, the space gives definition to the emerging brand," says nemaworkshop's spokeswoman Tiffany Tabar. "The concept itself is bold and receptive to future locations." In fact, Eugene Kagansky, the owner of D'Espresso, told The New York Times in September that he plans to open 10 additional D'Espresso locations in Manhattan. No word yet on whether the next location will be upside down, inside out or just right side in.