Although it's set in the heart of Santa Monica, Esters Wine Shop feels more Parisian than Angeleno. At the entrance, a dramatic gold-framed mirror stands above a dark green couch accented with pink pillows, and further inside, a curved teal bar and a small market opposes large window panes. But despite the high-end first impressions, including a beaded chandelier that's a not-so-subtle nod to the building's Art Deco design, Esters casual details soften its overall ambiance. Designer Oonagh Ryan provided a warm contrast to the glitz by including pastoral chicken wire accents at the market counter, unassuming concrete flooring and chairs, and minimalistic lighting indoors and out. The resulting calm makes the space feel balanced between a neighborhood hangout and an upscale eatery. In other words, it's exactly the type of place you'd want to share a bottle of wine with a few friends — that is, until you can create this pastel-hued palette for yourself.
A pair of large silver bowls from Restoration Hardware rest on opposite ends of the bar. Above, mercury glass light fixtures from Pottery Barn provide a golden glow.
An antique chandelier that originally hung in an Argentinian hotel now hangs above a communal table near the entrance. It was sourced from Big Daddy's Antique Shop in Culver City.
An extensive wine collection requires shelving of epic proportions, especially in a small space. Thankfully, Alaco Ladder Company came to the rescue with shelves and a ladder.
Cubby-like shelving behind the bar ensures that Esters maximizes its available space, while vintage printed posters on the cement walls add pops of color.
The patio, which is enclosed in a blend of horizontal wood and steel, provides an ideal spot to sip wine and people watch. As the sun sets, festoon lights illuminate the space.
Reyna Abraham is a Freelance Writer, Editor and Educator who studied English Literature and Language at California Polytechnic University California. Her work has been published online at Downtown Magazine New York, eHow, and Hunker. She works as a writing consultant for the Architecture firm Gregg Maedo & Associates and has an appreciation for the ways that human ingenuity, design, and thoughtful engineering intersect.