Dezeen Magazine

Atelier Eva in Williamsburg

Williamsburg tattoo parlour Atelier Eva is designed to feel like a spa

Turkish artist Eva Karabudak designed a soothing and welcoming interior for her tattoo parlour, Atelier Eva, in New York's Williamsburg neighbourhood.

Karabudak acted as lead designer on the project, creating a neutral space with concrete and glass surfaces and furnishings in a palette of charcoal grey and eggshell white.

Eva Karabudak's tattoo parlour in Williamsburg
Metal finishes pop against charcoal grey and eggshell white

She also commissioned bespoke furniture in black walnut and maple and bleached ash for Atelier Eva from Brooklyn woodworker Joseph Cauvel.

"Our primary objective was to create a serene environment, because receiving a tattoo can be a stressful experience," Karabudak told Dezeen.

"Our clientele varies across all gender, age, cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, so it was important to design a space where everyone can feel at home," she added.

"We want our clients to feel as if they're in a spa or hotel, rather than a clinical or abrasive space."

Tattoo parlour in New York
The neutral palette is designed to be calming

Clients are welcomed downstairs in a reception area with white walls crisscrossed by steel beams. A colourful painting by Turkish painter Murat Palta hangs on one wall.

"Since I'm a Turkish immigrant who fell in love with America, Palta's presence in our lobby is also my little way of introducing myself to everyone who enters," Karabudak said.

Recepttion of Atelier Eva tattoo parlour in Williamsburg
A Murat Palta painting hangs above a Joseph Cauvel bench

Wooden benches and dark walnut bookshelves line the entry space. Karabudak commissioned Cauv Design founder Joseph Cauvel to create these custom pieces.

The reception desk is clad in hot-rolled steel and the matching benches are made of bleached ash, with rounded grey glass inserts at one end and asymmetrical legs made of blackened maple and steel tubes.

"[Eva was] such a creative and trusting client who really took the handcuffs off and allowed me to flex some unique designs and finishes," said Cauvel.

Bookshelves by Joseph Cauvel in Williamsburg tattoo parlour
Dark maple bookshelves have rounded edges

"I designed the pieces with beautiful materials such as solid hardwoods and metals in scales that allow the eye to really pick up on the grain and patterning that is present," he told Dezeen.

"Adding design aspects such as pill-shaped rounded ends with full bullnose edge details allows them to be soft to the eye and the hand as people interact with them in daily use."

Washbasin in Atelier Eva tattoo studio
A maple shelf sit over a metallic basin

At the back, a small shelf next to a hand basin is a miniature version of the shelves lining the entryway. Gleaming against the textured cement walls, all of the metal elements were kept matte to have feel more approachable.

"We were very careful to avoid any glossy finishes, to remain approachable and down-to-earth," said Karabudak.

"All of the metal work throughout the space was finished with a powder-coated texture. We chose finishes that will patina and age beautifully."

Matthew Mccormick Mila light
A Mila light by Matthew Mccormick

The Brooklyn building Karabudak found for Atelier Eva features vaulted ceilings and large windows. Frosted lights by Candian designer Matthew McCormick also provide illumination.

"I was certain his work would be the focal point of the space, and it continues to be our most-asked-about element," said Karabudak.

"His Mila lamp is simple and elegant, with pearl-like spheres of blown glass hanging at the base of brushed steel arcs. He's said that this design was inspired by his pregnant wife cradling their growing child."

Mirror in tattoo parlour
An arched mirror framed in dark steel

In the tattooing areas, tall arched mirrors with dark glass and black steel frames are propped against the raw concrete walls.

This shape is echoed by the wood and wicker room divider screens that can be unfolded to create private bays around the tattooists' benches.

Atelier Eva tattoo parlour in Brooklyn
The tattoo studio is designed to relax clients

As well as being calming, the palette of neutral colours serves as a blank canvas for photographing the tattoo artists' creations, and ring lights provide extra illumination.

"We also needed the studio to act as a neutral platform for the artwork being created onsite," explained Karabudak.

"We take photos daily of so many different kinds of art styles, so it's vital for the backdrop to enhance and never overpower the artists' voices."

Bench made of reclaimed beam in the garden
A bench made of reclaimed wood sits in the courtyard

At the back of the studio is a small courtyard that has been turned into a relaxing garden with plants and a bench made from a reclaimed factory beam with steel legs.

More calming wellness interiors in New York include a hair salon set up for social distancing, a bathhouse built in a converted soda factory and a sensory deprivation spa with a mirrored ceiling.

Photography is by Atticus Radley.

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