business of distinction
BAKATSIAS grew up in Karitsa, a small village in Greece
where there were no grocery stores or restaurants, only
the land and a mother who knew how to cook.
“My mother had the ability to fill a table up with an
abundance from the garden. She could make magic with an egg-plant
and a potato,” says Bakatsias.
He spent his childhood collecting wild herbs in the mountains,
using them in dishes he prepared with his mother. Later, through
training in New York, Paris and the Mediterranean, Bakatsias further
developed creative ways to accentuate a food’s natural elements.
He carries that same concept through to the design of his restau-rants,
using natural materials while marrying in stylish accents of
Greek flair. For Lumina Station, it was about lightening and bright-ening
a dark and dated space.
“The space before was extremely dark, everything was layers
of darkness, so how do we transform that?” says Bakatsias. “For a
Greek concept, we take it back to the natural ingredients and the
Transforming the location meant introducing plenty of welcom-ing
white, natural stained woods, cool tones of tile and plush seat-ing,
crowned with exquisite lighting.
Thoughtfully arranged are wood tabletops with iron or wood
stands paired with seating of velvety moss green upholstery for
date nights or parties of four, six, eight or 10 diners. There is
seating inside for 140 guests.
“You have to have tables that feel comfortable for two guests, six
guests or a larger group. In design you have to make sure all the
tables are not the same,” Bakatsias says.
Bakatsias visited the showroom of lighting design firm M2C
Studio and fell in love with its custom chandeliers and sconces made
of brass and linen.
“Giorgios felt they represented the coastal seaside of Greece,” says
Stuart Gans who owns the company located in Wrightsville Beach
and High Point with his wife, Leyla.
Leyla is the designer. She created original pendant and sconce
lighting for Kipos.
“We took in the colors of the Greek isles like the blues and put
in those accent colors,” says Leyla. She uses a contrast of solid brass
and soft fibers in her designs. “I love mixing a little bit of hardness
with femininity. Fiber is very central, like a woman’s hair it has move-ment,”
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The pendants over tables and the bar are circular-mini chandeliers
that cast a sunburst shadow. Bakatsias calls them lanterns.
“They are playful, but at the same time, very chic,” says Leyla.
Matching wall sconces are called sol mio, which means “my sun”
“The strings that come down are almost like you’re at the beach
and your hair runs wild. It will bring some romance in the space,
that’s what I’m looking for,” says Bakatsias.
They produce a comforting glow.
T H E D E S I G N