Market and Moss – The Big Reveal

Big design and incredible food go hand-in-hand at the inspired ambiance of Chapel Hill restaurant Market and Moss. We started to dive into this large-scale renovation and redesign last week (check it out here!) and today we’re showing you all those inside looks here in the last big reveal of this complete transformation. Follow along with us as we give you a peek into all of the beautiful details that made this space complete.

Moody walls, golden sconces and bright artwork - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

The Long Game

It’s always so amazing to see a huge project come together. Big design can certainly happen fast, but with commercial design, it can sometimes be a multi-phase process- starting with an idea, shaping it into a vision, and then bringing it to reality piece by piece. The owner of Market and Moss had a big dream for this space, and together the vision we created for this place was one of great design, but also community, enjoyment, and – of course- delicious food! We love working with business owners because we’re not only creating a perfect place for them, but also for every patron that walks through the door. Making their experience in the space beautiful and memorable means creativity, planning, and strategy go into every square inch, right down to the last drawer pull and tabletop. It’s a huge collaboration to bring a space like this together, and oh my, do we LOVE the challenge. It also gives us an opportunity to do one of our favorite things, which is to discover and bring in local talent- artists and tradespeople who can help make every element even more unique and incredible, infusing it with meaning and fostering connection.

Peach, navy and hunter green looking amazing - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

Hand Crafted

One of the most impactful elements we brought into the space was the seating we created with Carolina Custom Booth. Seating design for a restaurant may seem like a regular line item, but in actuality, it’s hugely important. Restaurants are BUSY places- and though it may not seem that way when we are sitting at a table chatting and relaxing, we as designers know that the first critical component of a seating space plan is movement. Staff, servers, patrons entering and exiting- seating is a big part of what will create this pattern, as well as determine how efficient and comfortable it will be. At the same time, we want to strategically maximize seating capacity so that more people can be served, but in a way that still appears intentional, organized (but not too predictable), and maintaining the perfect amount of space to create that perfect cozy-but-not-crowded feel. Easy access to the kitchen and the outdoor seating area was also a must for this beautiful space. If it sounds like a tall order, that’s because it truly is- and smart strategy is key to creating a space that looks incredible, but is also designed for optimal function.

Hunter green velvety barstools - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

Complementary Seating

Once the Master Design Plan link was in place, we set out to create a seating space plan that would maximize the space. This meant planning every inch of where booth seating would go, as well as how tables would be laid out in the open center and along certain walls. A mixture of both booth seating for larger groups as well as intimate table arrangements helped us balance the space and flow of movement throughout each area. Working with local makers Carolina Custom Booth (CCB) helped us to create just the right feel for the space. Choosing the style, color, height, and finish of the booths was key to making them feel that they were a cornerstone of the design, and every inch placed with intention. Varying the color (a sleek camel brown complemented by rich, dark green) as well as the tufting style and the shape/length of the booths were key to layering in depth and visual interest to this large seating set.

Camel dining booth - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill
Channel and diamond tufted custom booths - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

Raising the Bar

Finding ways to elevate visual interest doesn’t just stop at eye level. Another key element in this space was installing a custom tile ceiling. The detailed, architectural feel of the tiles and texture of the surface draws your eye up through the rooms, giving an expansive feel to the entire restaurant. The crisp white color provides the perfect contrast to the rich blue of the walls, as well as the deep colors of the upholstery of the chairs, bar stools, and booths. The light tabletops create the perfect echo to the clean finish of the ceiling. The pattern and texture of the tiles hint at the Old European feel that inspired the entire concept of Market & Moss, from the food and ambiance to the stylistic elements of the space.

Tin ceiling, antiqued mirrors and copper accents in the new bar space - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

Reflection of Character

Market and Moss is full of layered design elements, but those details were just as important in creating a memorable space that would truly draw people in with its charm. Adding character to this space took the shape of sleek lighting and bold art. The wall sconces are a mixture of forms to keep things interesting and dynamic. The shapely and smooth gold fixtures are set against the rich blue wall, and these gorgeously unexpected asymmetrical glass sconces complement the warmer walls. We especially love the way the sconces are highlighted by the custom mirrors throughout- the antiqued frame and smoky glaze again echo a hint of that old-world feel, with a fresh modern finish.

Gold and alabaster opaque wall sconce - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

And just like any great space, just a little bit of intrigue enhances conversation and energy. We loved choosing this gorgeous piece, knowing that this mysterious lady would draw the gaze with her perfect combination of secretive and bold. The splash of color lands beautifully against the sea of deep blue, adding just a little something curious to the ambiance.

Large art and acrylic tables - Cat French Interior Design - Chapel Hill

Working on Market and Moss was a designer’s dream, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with what a huge reception it has had from patrons all over. Our biggest thanks go to Annie, who allowed us to share in her dream and vision for the space, building something both unique and inviting that could be enjoyed by so many.

Keep a lookout for the next big reveal. We’ll be posting again as well as sharing more snapshots on our Instagram @catfrenchdesign, as well as our Facebook Page. You can check out more of our recent and classic projects by checking out the rest of the CFD Blog, and by viewing images of our work on our Design Portfolio Page. Have a question or looking to start a design project of your own? We’re here to help. You can always reach us in the studio at 919-537-8148, via email at, or on our Contact Page.