The Budapest Cafe in Melbourne takes inspiration from filmmaker Wes Anderson’s distinctive visual style to create an inviting destination for patrons. Melbourne-based interior design firm Biasol combined whimsy and nostalgia to provide an immersive hospitality experience, with bold, offbeat elements encouraging patrons to engage with the design.

The Budapest Cafe in Carlton, Melbourne follows the success of The Budapest Cafe in Chengdu, China, which also drew upon Anderson’s uniquely quirky style as well as Melbourne’s cafe culture. The fresh and modern interpretation is defined by design, materiality and brand, says Biasol.

“Drawing on our appetite for modern abstract art, design and hospitality, we evolved the design experience to create an immersive, gallery-like experience. Minimising the built form maximised the space and the impact of colour in the imaginative and evocative space.”  

The Budapest Cafe’s natural earthy palette exudes warmth, texture and character, reflecting the local design sensibilities. Anderson’s distinctively symmetrical sets and imaginative use of vivid colours serve as design inspiration in the cafe’s interiors.

While earthy tones such as terracotta and orange add interest to the walls, softer hues offset the elements in the foreground. Features such as archways, mezzanine space, steps heading nowhere, and rust-red upholstered seating add drama to the cafe’s layered interiors.

The ambience is as contemporary as it is timeless, taking patrons back to an era of relaxed indulgence in a modern setting.

Photography: Derek Swalwell