Studio Modijefsky took on the task to maintain the charm of a 119 year-old Amsterdam eatery and update it to the new Bonnie cafe and bar.

  • area / size 1,571 sqft
  • Year 2020
  • Location Amsterdam, Netherlands,
  • Once again, the “Drie Wijzen uit Oost” and Studio Modijefsky have teamed up to transform this classic Amsterdam venue into Bonnie: a finest, traditional bistro bar with all its quintessential elements: mirrors, classic tiles, old fashioned wood and neon lights.

    Situated in a corner building on the south side of Amsterdam, just a stone’s throw away from Vondelpark, Bonnie fully embraces the historic fabric of the building it’s in. Together with the high ceilings, two large arched windows with yellow stained glass become the defining ingredients of the new design, casting warm golden light into the interior.

    The venue is divided into three distinct areas, located on different floor levels. The main bar, placed directly by the entrance, gives the space a welcoming vibe. A simple, symmetrical pattern carved in oak on the front of the bar has been inspired by the wooden panelling of the previous, original counter. Materials such as purple red marble with strongly articulated veins, combined with strokes of mirror, oak wood and warm grey marble add a contemporary touch to the space. A special jenever cabinet stands in the back bar paying homage to the owner of late Café Bos and his cabinet holding a selection of typical Dutch liquors.

    A more flexible plan has been designed for the mezzanine: a small bar, with materials echoing the main bar downstairs, ensures that this area is perfect for private events. Placed under a soft fabric ceiling in rich burgundy shade, height-adjustable tables and loose wooden chairs make for the cosiest place to have both quiet dinner and lively party. The wooden floor pattern mimics the floor on other levels, this time forming squares out of rectangular pieces placed in different directions. Wooden panelling from the lower level continues upstairs, creating a seamless, wholesome look; mirror strokes installed in the chamfered corners and columns add illusional reflections, opening and brightening the space up. The large arch of the original windows is projected on the ceiling creating yet another playful light fixture, its coral hues repeating the features of the neon light and leather bar stools visible below.

    Named by Studio Modijefsky, Bonnie has a welcoming, amiable character. A carefully designed graphic layer and a curated collection of art, comprising both contemporary sketches and paintings from the previous owners, add a unique touch, while all used materials and features seen so many times before give the bar a homespun atmosphere.

    Outside, stripy awnings in shades of black, grey, white and purple are adorned by large string lights, with vintage textured wall lights and golden leaf logos on the large windows adding to the old-fashioned café vibes. A larger terrace placed slightly away from the building is enclosed by bespoke windscreens and planters – their design once again repeating details of the interior. The outdoor furniture is no less stylish than the one inside, marble and wooden tables and benches creating the perfect place to enjoy lunch in the sun.

    On the busy Amstelveenseweg, this revived bar strikes the perfect balance between old fashioned and warmly familiar. Bonnie is a nod to the past, celebrating all the devoted bar owners who served drinks and listened to stories for longer than they can remember, making everyone feel instantly at ease.

    Design: Studio Modijefsky
    Photography: Maarten Willemstein