How the Front of the House Leaves a Long-lasting Impression to Your Customers

“Understanding how the front of the house operates is important to the overall success of any restaurant,” Lorri Mealey once wrote an article about it and we share the same faith with her.

What does the term “front of the house” mean? Let’s first untangle that here. It’s simply everything that your customers will see, taste, smell, hear, and experience, as they pay a visit to your place. It’s as far as your customers’ five senses are allowed to indulge in the restaurant.

Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar
MWP_6442-Edit copy
Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar

The front of the house includes the exterior, lobby, dining room, bar, and restroom. From the outside to the heart of your cafe, it distinguishes you from other places. It involves the management of the customer service and the physical structure of the restaurant, which absolutely is interior design. What kind of ambiance that you want to set in motion? How do you want your customers to feel?

Everyone 100% prefers a friendly waiter who is also helpful. One that understands the a to z about the restaurant and doesn’t stutter when the guest asks one or two questions about the dishes. Thus, you have to make sure that your waiter grasps what hospitality means. Train your front of the house’s staff very well to avoid any mistakes that probably add a bad review of your restaurant.

Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar
Panbakers Latimojong – Makassar

“A good Interior design is the one that pleases every sense of a man—sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. Otherwise, it will fail the customers,” a year ago we wrote about this on our blog because we believe that integrated interior design is one that creates a long-lasting impression. This very feeling determines whether the customers are coming back or vice versa.

An amazing combination of customer service and interior design is what makes the front of the house memorable. For it’s not just the face of your restaurant, but it lays a long-term foundation for your business. It leaves an impression and they say the first impression is everything, aren’t they?

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Warm, Transitional, and Enchanting Ambiance at Seroeni, Gandaria City

One day someone asked us via the interactive question sticker that we posted on Instagram, he questioned,

“Since day one, what is the most meaningful experience that IOOR Studio had encountered?”.

Producing a great interior design for our clients can be the answer to this question, yet if we trace back our memoir, the most memorable one is when we conceived an excellent design out of a very enigmatical existing layout. When we see how that design turned into reality and it satisfied the client and us, it was the best feeling on earth!

Today, we unveiled to you Seroeni in Gandaria City, Jakarta, which is one of the hardest existing layouts that IOOR Studio had reimagined into a head-turner Modern Peranakan restaurant. On the first day of its opening, Seroeni is full house whilst we witnessed how every eye of the passersby turned to Seroeni.

Seroeni, Gandaria City

Seroeni takes its name simply from the seruni flower, which many of us may be more familiar with chrysanthemum. They serve people from very wide demography with a heartwarming Peranakan cuisine. Seroeni incorporates traditional and modern dishes, taking it to a whole new level of Malay-Chinese heritage culinary.

IOOR Studio composed the warm, transitional, and enchanting ambiance through the colors of its brand identity, navy blue and a touch of gold. As for the decorations, we bring modern chinoiseries embellishment into play and also yellow seruni flowers as the earmark of Seroeni’s brand identity.

Seroeni, Gandaria City

Through this experience, we came to the conclusion that a difficult layout can be a blessing in disguise as long as we do what we always do, interpreting the brand identity into interior design. How is it for you?

However, you are very welcome to visit Seroeni every time you are nearby. After you turn your eye, try to roam into the room and taste their absolute tasty delicacies that have been passed down through generations.

Project: Seroeni

Location: Gandaria City, Jakarta, Indonesia


Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

A Restaurant Without a Soul

We’ve been echoing about imprinting a soul in interior design and promised to letter you through our blog. So, here we write to you our thoughts about it! But first, let’s find out the definition of a soul.

Soul (n); \ ˈsōl  \; the immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.

Accordingly, a soul can be said as a variable that is unseen, but moves and motivates someone to do something. Otherwise, we can conclude that a soulless person is someone who is unmotivated. They are the ones who sail through this ocean of life as if every day is just the same. No fire, nor even a glimmer of light in their eyes. Will living this life that way be pleasant?

That’s about an individual, how about a place that has no soul? We personally think that it’s miles away from enjoyable. Because as you can feel if a person is passionate, you can also immerse into an ambiance of one place that has a soul. Do you recall any name of a cafe or restaurant on your mind?

DSC08908 (1)
Cafe La Pasion – Balangan, Bali

We really believe if a place holds a soul, it will easily attract people. No other reason than because it stands out among other indifferent hideouts, such as those monotone coffee shop and other eating houses. We see that as a problem because a brand should reflect one strong character and not copy the other brands and their interior design. So, here are our answers to that matter.

Brand Identity

Firstly, the restaurant itself should have a character, which is called a brand identity. It consists of a brand element, brand story, brand personality, et cetera. You as a restaurateur play a big role to prescribe the brand identity of your business. We hope that our clients have the same appreciation level to their own identity, just as we regard it highly.

Interior Design

Interior design is an integral part of one’s place. Through our design thinking and design development process, we’ve been successfully imprinted a soul to the interior design of our client’s restaurant according to its brand identity. More about how to do it is available here. Other than that, do you recall “Integrated Interior Design”?

Product & Service

Last but large and worth to be noted is the product of the restaurant. This is your part as the restaurateur to ensure the taste and the quality of your food. Happy tummy, happy mind! Your customer’s tummy can only be happy if it’s filled with yummy delicacy.

Besides that, people will also remember your place through the service. Have you heard this phrase, “People will forget what you did and said, but people will never forget how you made them feel”? Great meals and excellent service are an amazing combo to make your customer come back!

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 12.52.29
Ardent Coffee & Kitchen – Pesanggrahan, Jakarta

Our analysis found that a brand needs 5 years or more to grow and has a strong soul, so give it time to develop itself while you manage every aspect well. We can also conclude that in the end, a restaurant with a soul will surf longer through the highs and lows of market competition.

We have witnessed many, and of them is Cafe La Pasion that has been growing amazingly with its soul attached in every corner of the room. Thus, if you love to build an eating house or a hideout that owns a soul, you can trust the work in our hands. Promise you, we won’t let you down.

Screen Shot 2019-09-09 at 16.57.58
Ardent Coffee & Kitchen – Pesanggrahan, Jakarta

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

IOOR Studio Bali

Cycling at the beach and blown by the ocean breeze. Breathing daily with that kind of morning routine is pleasing imagery, isn’t it? Adding a sunset afterglow before your dinner, what a dreamy life! That’s living in Bali would be like, one of the artsiest cities in Indonesia. But, more to the story, IOOR Studio has been seeing the rapid growth of the F&B business there.

Based on our market research from 2014, we found that there is a strong correlation between F&B and interior design growth in Bali. As many as hideout places like cafes and restaurants have been built, many restaurateurs have also become aware that excellent interior design is an integral part of their business—the right interior design attracts their corresponding target market.

Today, most of the F&B businesses in Bali do not only have an amazing food taste, but also a strong brand identity such as Massimo, Gusto Gelato, Motel Mexicola, Wahaha, Naughty Nuri’s, and so much more. We want to join the growth of this industry and we’ve been also preparing ourselves for 5 years. Thus, we know it’s the right time to finally establish IOOR Studio Bali on July 7th, 2019. Double the seven, double the luck.

Other than that, Bali has always been our particular dream since the beginning of IOOR Studio, where we had our first project here back in 2014. Cafe La Pasion, the Hawaiian-Mexican restaurant in Balangan, Bali, has opened our way to more stories such as X2 Bar, Hard Rock – Bikini Bar, The Bare Bottle, Borough Capsule Hotel, Flapjaks that is currently in progress, and more to come!

Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 10.29.32
The Bare Bottle – Kuta, Bali
Screen Shot 2019-07-29 at 10.29.19
Cafe La Pasion – Balangan, Bali

IOOR Studio aims to make the most of every project that is trusted with us, not only the ones in Jakarta, but also in Bali. We also hope to meet more potential and international client, as we wish that we’re not only mastering the interior design of commercial space but also in the hospitality field such as hotel and resort. It’s our ultimate dream and Bali’s tourism market has already been formed well.

Bali makes us dream bigger. The ambiance of this city and the beautiful culture of its people dare us to move forward. So, yes, we can’t wait to inspire the world through interior design along with the beaches and coconut trees! Please, be expectant of our soon-to-be-done projects in Bali.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Design Has No Price Tag

Hello again, you, our faithful readers—the interior enthusiasts! We’re writing to you again and this time around we’re pretty sure that you were nodding as you read the title.

However, you still need to name your price and put it down to an invoice, and if you’re an aspiring interior designer, you’re probably confused about how to set your design fee. To that reason, we’re here to enlighten you things about pricing.


Whom to ask? It’s obvious to an interior designer, and absolutely not to a contractor. Because a contractor tends to offer a free design fee. Things like “Build with us and get the interior design for free!” is common in their industry. Other than that, you can consult with them who perhaps have a background as an interior designer and work in this field. Seek an opinion from the professionals and don’t feel embarrassed to ask their time to discuss and toss ideas around.

How to charge the design fee? It simply depends on the client’s needs—what do they want to create? Even though we think that design is art and art can’t simply be quantified, we still can count how many hours that will be spent to extract the design. Then, we can put a price on how much you’re willing to be paid to design in that time period.

Our Creative Director once shared her experience in Dekoruma event “Interior Design Business and Its Future”. She said that an interior designer must know their cost of service since they work in a service field. If we sell a product, we can effortlessly count the raw material prices and add a margin to set the price rate we wish. This is totally unlike with service sector.

Basically, never ever give your design for free! Start with a number that makes sense, then count your cost of service that consists of time, transportation, and a cup of coffee that you may need to finish the project. Once again, know your cost of service.



The longer your experience, the more you’ll be paid. Yet, to be an expert, it takes time and process. The portfolio you build from the day one of your uni-life until the internship and graduation day will be meaningful when you start your career as an interior freelancer or entrepreneur. Do everything with all your heart and give the most of it, hard work will never betray you.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

The Bare Bottle – Kuta, Bali


“The Bare Bottle is a relatively new player on the Bali food scene, but it has already caught the attention of Instagram with its unusual decor”, written by Harper’s BAZAAR Singapore.

After finishing its pilot project in the heart of Sanur, The Bare Bottle has just opened their new store in Kuta, Bali. Yet, it’s not a surprise since BAZAAR has echoed good things about this hideout and what we highlight is definitely the praise about its unusual decor.

Sunset, sand, and sea—where you can set your soul free. Those are three elements that mend your soul, and they are engraved on Bare Bottle’s logo. Through their name “Bare”, they simply want to deliver a message that healthy living is possible. Accordingly, they serve fresh delicacy through an open kitchen where the customers can see how they prepare the dishes.

Thereafter, we interpreted the word “Bare” to the interior design. You can see the detail as you step inside; concrete wall but barely finished, texturized wood, and an accent of half-buried bottles all over the bar. Along with that, we translated the curvy ‘B’ logo to the furniture that is crafted with soft edges.




“Coffee First Party Later” is their tagline, which means you can have your favorite brunch & coffee in the morning and spend the night away drinking & having a good talk with your friends. If you happen to be in Kuta, it’s always a good idea to enjoy the vibes we create at The Bare Bottle and have their healthy bites, bowls, and coffee. Don’t forget to take your best shot on the swing!

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Chi Li 吉利 – Kota Kasablanka, Jakarta

The new kid on the block, Chi Li, was finally unveiled in Kota Kasablanka, South Jakarta. However, they’re more than prepared to cater you since it’s managed under S2 Group, which one of their business is the renowned Seroeni Restaurant. Chi Li serves the market of Millennials with its appetizing Malay-Chinese or so-called Peranakan dishes. Do you recall Szechuan or X.O. delicacy?

吉利 (read: Chi Li), as some of you may know, means auspicious or lucky and we truly believe that name is a prayer. Therefore, we think Chi Li began their journey well with that name and undoubtedly together with the interior concept we had designed for them.



As you step into this casual and modern eatery, you will feel the ambiance of a house terrace. We painted tropical leafage mural, from palm to monstera, as the greeneries. Along with sunlight……wait, it’s indoors and inside a mall, how could we get the natural light? Chill, with a membrane ceiling we magnify the lighting to make you feel as if you’re in your #homeyardgoals.

DSC05097 2


What’s next? It’s a reflecting pool that can soothe your troubled mind. We installed blue-green mosaic tiles at the bar and the seating area next to it. Delightful treats and refreshment by the pool is always a fine idea to recharge yourself.

Take another step inside and you’re home, where you will feel sheltered. We put well-appointed rattan wicker as the details of the chairs and hanging bar. Rounded and tablet pattern was also applied as the accent of some furniture and decorations. With warm lighting, the ambiance becomes more casual and cozy.


Accordingly, have you decided where to enjoy this drool-worthy cookery? The terrace, the pool, or the home? We have put this concept as the whole design, so wherever you sit, rest assured. Chi Li will surely cater your cravings of Malay-Chinese delicacy.

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Tips and Tricks for Interior Design Freshmen

In every beginning, comes along a racing heart. Getting into your chosen major is not an exception. It’s the day one of everything that shapes your future career. A little flashback to that very day, these are our thoughts…

“On the first day of uni life, my heart was pounding faster than ever. Finally, the high school era is over and I can focus on the subject that I’m happy about, without an obligation to learn other things.” —Nydia Orlatta

“It was like a new milestone accomplished! I was so excited because I’ll get to meet new friends and of course, new environment. I couldn’t wait to learn many things about interior…” —Cindy Jane

Uni life is surely one that is fun if you choose your major correctly. But, fun is unequal with easy. Learning consists of something that you need to fight and price you have to pay. Maybe you will sacrifice some of your hangout time, or you probably have no time for dating. Even so, every perspiration will never be scattered in vain, because it builds a firm foundation for your future career.

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 17.08.13
Credit: @nydiaorlatta

A sleepless night is a friend to Interior Design students, hence, health maintenance is compulsory and perseverance has to tag along. We still remember one of the first year subjects that is called Nirmana and has 9 credits. It’s an a to z about art fundamentals, where we learn and practice every design element, from point to colour. This was a critical season, an uphill battle, because if we don’t pass this subject, we can’t make it to the main major, that is Interior Design.

Yet, other than a ton of assignments, Interior Design students can also have excitement in their own way too! They also learn more about teamwork along the way. Therefore, make sure you have a group of friend that is not only fun, but they who can also work together well to achieve things best with you.

Taking it no longer, we don’t want to ruin the surprise with all the teaser above. Here, we’re writing to Interior Design freshmen some tips and tricks to embark this uni life;

  1. Where should I get the Interior Designer starter packs? Success Stationery. We advise you to visit this store before day one. The most complete store is located in Pasar Pagi Mangga Dua Jakarta, but you can also go to the nearest one to you. They have some branches in other areas and you can get the information on their website. Tap this link to see where it is! >>
  2. You have the trusted and proper store in mind now, but you need some cash to buy the equipment, even a lot more in the near future. Saving is a set of skill that you need to learn, for the equipment is costly. Don’t be surprised at how much pennies you have to spend in each assignment, to buy drawing tools and other equipments.
  3. A ton of assignments as we uttered above, time management is the resolution. Try your best not to be a procrastinator, because this will lead you to sleepless nights.
  4. If at the end you still have to stay up late, this is the health maintenance packs you need to have in your bag: pain relief patches and herbal meds or drinks. Believe it or not, these will save the day.
  5. The long holiday before uni starts is a time for rest, yes, but take some time to practice your perspective drawing skill. You can also equip yourself by taking a few courses such as 3ds Max or Autocad.

Doing what you love to do is a fine state of mind, but becoming an Interior Designer needs perspiration and perseverance. These tips and tricks are in your pocket now, so it’s your time to prepare! Prepare not only for the day one, but the days, weeks, months, and years after until you get your degree and achieve your dream. We don’t wish you a smooth-sailing trip, but an enjoyable one!

Screen Shot 2019-04-30 at 17.06.51
Credit: @isabellaibraniworks

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

Lifestyle Joint as the Way to Network

F&B industry in Indonesia has recently run like the wind. Its rapid growth is just as it’s seen—rise and shine new restaurants in every corner of the city! Different restaurant, different category, there were countless moments where we uttered, “Wow, another new restaurant popped up!”.

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 12.47.03
Native Coffee Tribe | Credit: @ernesttheofilus

According to our research, there is a new category that you must spot and stop by. Yes, it’s Lifestyle Joint! This kind of space is usually managed by one Restaurateurs, but it doesn’t only consist of the food and beverage that are sold by him. Instead, he asks other brands to jump in and market their own goods together. Do you recall some places right away?

Yet, it’s not only hype in the town, or another aesthetic space. It’s a place to network! Can you picture how?

The owners can network with each other, and yes, it can be one amazing collab!

Customers, too. And this can be a beginning of so many things!

Sadly, this lifestyle hasn’t become a custom to society here. As an interior design consultant, however, we predict that Lifestyle Joint will become the next trend in the near future. Where the renting space rate is rocketing in this metropolis, Lifestyle Joint offers something new that provides both tangible and intangible advantage for the owner and customers.

Thus, if you dare to try, it’s really okay to converse with your left and right. This can be such a refreshment to our culture, eh? If the Jakarta townsider can be a little more open, this is the moment to network!

In the same manner, the concept of co-working space and communal table is actually provided for you to network, too. Have you taken advantage of that facility?

As an answer to your question of how to network, it’s as simple as going to places with Lifestyle Joint concept, where you can find many communal tables. You can start with a hello and converse casually. Then, ask their field of work, for it’s the easiest way to introduce your own business. Last, connect through social media. It doesn’t have to be Instagram, but LinkedIn, to be more professional.

Happy networking!

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 12.52.29
Ardent Coffee | Credit: @stevensoetanto

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio

What You Shouldn’t Present on a Project Pitching

What do we love as an interior designer? Without a doubt, project. A project gets us money and diplomatically say, it enriches our experience, broadens our creativity, and definitely adds more pages to our dear portfolio. Even better if we work on an interior of a place that is owned by renowned ‘someone’, namely our dream project.

What’s your dream project? Selah.

Let’s say that you have your own bubble of wish now, you definitely don’t just stay in bed, do you? We hope you don’t….but if you do, wake up at this very second and start planning on how to make the dream happen. That’s the first step to reach your dream: wake up.

Thereafter, the big question is: ‘HOW’, and to that end, we want to tell something that you’ve undoubtedly already guessed even from the very first sentence you read on this post—project pitching. This is the second step: find the ‘how’.

DSC09101 (1)
The Bare Bottle – Bali

Finding the ‘how’ is relatively easy since it’s just a click away now, and voila, you’re now reading a blog that can help you to know more about the interior design world. However, IOOR Studio doesn’t letter to you anything like how to win a project pitching or 10 ways to pitch remarkably before the potential client. Otherwise, we want to let you know what you shouldn’t present on a project pitching.

First, don’t present the 3D of your design.

Second, don’t present the 3D of your design.

Last, don’t present the 3D of your design.

Boom! Do you get it? It’s not fair for you, dear interior designers. What you present on a project pitching should be just as far as a design concept, such as mood board. You may also tell them more about your style and show it through a portfolio or company profile.

On the side note, to the one who holds the project pitching, it’s not fair for the interior designer if you ask more than a design concept. Because, we’re not a contractor, where you can compare what they sell to you. An idea shouldn’t be measured that way.

DSC08882 (1)
Cafe La Pasion – Bali

Therefore, the title of this blog should actually be “Why You Shouldn’t Join a Project Pitching”, dear interior designers. Having a dream project is one thing and you can achieve it someday with your awe-exceptional concept. But, a project pitching isn’t the best way to reach the dream, because your idea is something that’s immeasurable!

Nevertheless, if you still want to join a project pitching, never ever present the 3D of your design. We’ve told you four times, may the force be with you!

Letter to you later,

IOOR Studio