The Retro Charm of Ottawa’s Buvette Daphnée by Ivy Studio

The colourful wine bar and fine dining locale takes inspiration from Quebec diners.

Under the warm illumination of Canadian-made lighting, Ottawa’s Buvette Daphnée takes inspiration from Quebec diners with a retro colour palette, vintage seating, and walnut millwork. In an old industrial building in ByWard Market, the 1,500-square-foot space, designed by Ivy Studio, combines the head chef’s connection to both Montreal and Ottawa for an interior that captures contemporary Canadian design at its most fun.

The Montreal design studio opted for texturally rich materials, like velvet, leather, brick, and wood, and balanced the retro colour palette of light blue, caramel, orange, and white with contemporary lighting fixtures and elements, such as the tambour wall and aluminum accents.

Diners enter at the middle of the mostly open floor plan, greeted by a burnt-orange oval server’s station stocked with wine glasses and white shiplap walls that immediately establish it as a relaxed but stylish dinner reservation. Frosted-gold globe lights hang overhead, made from 1960s Montreal street lamps by design upcycle pros Studio Botté.






A 36-foot U-shaped bar with dark-wood trim and legs and a cream top dominates the space to the left. A footrest ledge clad in small white square tiles wraps a bar wall with vertical mocha tiles. Ten dusty-blue velvet chairs on steel-and-walnut pedastals enjoy views of the open kitchen and out the window. Along with the centre table, five red stools can be added on the opposite side of one arm for additional seating.

Suspended over the bar, a 30-foot-long lighting fixture, made from a red aluminum tube, was custom created by hand for the space by Montreal lighting studio Hamster as a reflection of their city’s contemporary design scene.

In the front left corner, built-in white shelves store glassware, liquor bottles, and a wine fridge. Above the shiplap hood that runs the length of the kitchen, the wall and 15-foot ceiling are painted black so they disappear into each other and give the appearance of being endless.





To the right of the entrance, the main dining room offers a cozier and less casual dining experience. Lower ceilings, also clad in shiplap, create a more intimate feel, while unfinished brick walls highlight the building’s historic roots. Along the back wall, two semicircle alcoves in the wall with narrow wood slats tuck away light-blue banquettes and small round tables. White ceramic pleated pendant shades, handmade in Canada by hang above each table.

An L-shaped deep-brown leather banquette, accompanied by wood chairs with vermilion cushions, runs along the opposite wall, which is accented by circular white sconces. Two booths, in channelled caramel brown, sit in the middle of the room, accented with an arched wooden base. Across the entire space, a geometric-wave floor mosaic in rows of browns, blue, and cream captures the colours used throughout the restaurant for a feeling of consistency between the two sides.



Photography by Alex Lesage.