When hospitality innovator Jack Zimmermann began concepting his modern Japanese restaurant TenTen, beautiful yet highly functional lighting was definitely on the menu. One Google search later, he was on his way to Ketra’s Austin offices for a demo, delighted to have found not only the creative lighting technology he was looking for, but finding it right in his own backyard.
Arrange lighting so elegantly that patrons don’t even notice it
Construction always comes with a host of challenges, especially when elements like a full custom furniture package is part of the plan. Restaurants also frequently encounter difficulty in making sure that all tables are equally lit. But for the TenTen project specifically, the biggest challenge was to turn the space (formerly a printing company) from a “gray box” into a welcoming spot with a vibrant, fresh ambience.
We wanted the lighting to be so elegant that patrons don’t notice the lighting at all.
The key to ensuring even lighting on all tables turned out to be Ketra’s linear lighting. Whether it is individual tables, or two joined by a leaf to become banquette-styled seating, Ketra’s superior focus and beam width mean that one table is not lit more than another, nor is any one table’s lighting too bright or not bright enough. In addition, Ketra ‘s ability to mimic shifting natural light gives TenTen the ability to subtly adjust the quality of the restaurant’s lighting, gradually adding warmth throughout the evening to create a soft amber glow in the room.
As part of desire to honor nature in the space using principles of imperfection, layering and rugged/rustic elements, one large wall inside the restaurant is pale-colored stone. Strategic use of Ketra’s G2 lights, with their incredible variety of easily changed colors, transformed that wall into an amazing canvas for a gallery of changing scenes — providing a unique focal point and giving people something to be excited about during dinner.
Ketra was also tapped to help create some special “design surprises”. Two walls in the bar area were painted with a special mixture that contained real copper. After the paint dried, it was sprayed to develop an authentic patina. Downlights from Ketra were then placed above those walls, and now create an impressive pop of color by cycling through the entire spectrum of blue shades. It’s beautiful design moments like these — highlighted in a way that makes the entire effect feel uncontrived — that reinforces the restaurant’s peacefully luxurious vibe.
The lighting is to die for . . . Ketra brought the entire space to life with gorgeous colors that add to the earthiness and simplicity of the restaurant.
With its beautiful, vibrant lighting and organic atmosphere, TenTen provides an experience that’s more than just dinner — it’s a full “night out”. As their website informs potential guests, their space is intentionally designed to “elevate meals into memories”. And meals aren’t the only thing they are elevating — after TenTen stepped in to fill a market void, more and more members of the Austin hospitality scene are engaging high-level design consultants to create something special of their own.