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Hendrix Collaboration

Created by Kayla Cole

If you haven't see the new rooftop spot in Columbia yet, you're missing out! Hendrix opened in February and has been buzzing Main Street ever since.

When you visit Hendrix, you will see art throughout the venue that was curated from our very own Meredith Christenberry! The collaboration came from a friendship between Christy Davis (Owner and Designer of Hendrix) and Meredith. The two have been friends and working together on successful local projects for five years, and Hendrix is no different.

*Robert Clark Photography

We sat down with Christy Davis to ask her about how she developed the design concept for Hendrix and her thoughts on design trends. Here is what Christy had to say:

I am originally from Birmingham, Alabama, and attended The University of Georgia, where I got my degree in interior design.  I have always wanted to be an interior designer since I was in middle school.  I used to babysit for a designer, and that is where I caught the design bug. I began my interior design career in Houston, Texas.  I moved there right after graduating college, and worked for a large high end design firm that specializes in new construction and remodel.  Houston is where I began to really gain knowledge and understanding in the design and construction process, timeline and importance of using quality materials and craftsmen.  I earned several design awards while working at that firm.  My husband's businesses brought us to Columbia, SC.  When we first moved here, I took some time off from design.  The economy had crashed and there weren't many people hiring here.  After working part time for a designer in Columbia, I decided it was time to out on my own.  It's been a dream of mine to own my own business, and the timing was right.  I have been in business for 5 years now.
The owners of Hendrix are my husband Chris Davis and his business partner Jon Sears.  Chris is from Georgia, and Jon is from Virginia.  They both love to travel, which is where the inspiration for Hendrix began--restaurants and bars in cities, like NYC, DC, Atlanta and Europe.  
*Robert Clark Photography
Both Jon and Chris have wanted to open a restaurant for a few years, but the opportunity never was right, until now.  The stars aligned the end of 2017/early 2018 when conversations with architect and developer Scott Garvin, Garvin Design Group, happened--from developing a historical building, to would you want to be a tenant, to having a chef being available, etc.  By spring/summer of 2018 everything started happening.  They also really wanted to be part of the Main Street development.  They are so excited to be part of our cities downtown growth.
As mentioned above the design concept came from travel.  However, Jon and Chris didn't have any idea of what they wanted the space to look like.  They only knew they had one word to describe the space: Energetic.  They said, 'Show us some options, and we will tell you if we like it or not.'  That was probably my biggest challenge--having no direction to start.  
Because it is a historical building, we could not touch the existing brick walls, exposed wood rafters, and wood floors, and we didn't want to touch them.  Jon and Chris knew these architectural elements were the perfect backdrop to any design, and those elements were what drew them to the building.  Because of the shotgun shape building, it limited us on location of kitchen and dining space.  I had to work on various design layouts until we came up with one that worked best for the space.  Garvin Design Group was very helpful with making sure all our designs would clear codes and work with engineering, electrical, etc.  
Commercial construction moves much faster than residential--that was another challenge we faced.  We had to make sure everything we ordered would be available in time for the projected completion date.  If it had a long lead time, we had to order well in advance or re-select.  Also, we wanted to use as many local vendors as possible.  The color palette started with the tiles on the indoor bar face.  They are a geometric print wood tile from Mirth Studios based out of Charleston, SC.  With the layout we chose, I knew we had to have two focal points--1. the bar and 2. the dining wall.  The dining needed to be bold but complimentary, so I chose a gorgeous wallpaper that looks like a semi-precious stone.  I then chose the bar backsplash tile to mimic the same pattern but in a neutral color so it complimented the wallpaper.
*Robert Clark Photography
We wanted to bring a modern design to Hendrix, but not too modern since Columbia is more traditional in style--comfortably modern.  I made sure to select materials and styles that had clean lines, but with enough warmth that it wasn't too stark and cold.  Also, we wanted to show our customers that we can have a space that feels like your in a restaurant in Chicago, Charleston, or NYC.  And I think we accomplished that.  And the rooftop bar is everything.  You can really see the skyline and how beautiful our downtown area is!
First, we are very big proponents of supporting local and shop small as much as we can.  Second, I am a huge fan of original art; I try to place it in my client's homes as often as I can.  I was mindful about using as many local SC vendors as possible throughout the project, I wanted to continue that with the art.  We have many talented local artists and Carolina artists, so why not bring more awareness of these talents to our community?  I love being able to introduce people to new artists, and showcase a variety of styles together.  Also, it's so fun being able to hear about how many people love the art!  
Honestly, the end result---installation day.  Seeing pure joy and elation on my client's faces is everything!  The design process is not always rainbows and butterflies; it's typically stressful and trying.  People are spending a lot of money and putting their faith and trust in you to create a warm inviting space that reflects their lifestyle and personalities.  And most cannot envision the end result, so that's what makes it that much sweeter. I also like to follow up with my clients 3 months and later to see how much they are still enjoying the space(s).  
For the restaurant, it's a completely different and similar at the same time.  I'm so happy both Jon and Chris and the developer love the design.  
Since it is a restaurant, the design gets judged by so many people with different tastes.  And not everyone has to love it, but I wanted to design a space that everyone would love.  Thankfully, we have had all complimentary words on the design.
I attend various home shows in the country and in Europe.  Also, I try to stay in touch with tastemakers in the industry, whether they are designers, publicists, product developers, etc.  Showhouses are another great way to see what is trending in the interior design world.  
I have known Meredith for about 5 years now.  I want to say we met through a friend, but cannot quite remember how we connected originally.  It might have been first though Instagram, and then face to face through a friend.  But I'm so glad I did connect with Meredith.  She has helped me place art for several projects, as well as commission a few beloved personal pieces of our late dog, Sadie Mae.  It's so nice having someone like Meredith assist in finding art.  I can tell her what I'm looking for, size, style of room and art, and she sends me pieces to propose, making it that much easier to find art.

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